"Showdown In Chicago": Protesters Crash Bankers Convention, (VIDEO, IMAGES)
UPDATED 10/26 6:06
Alex Parker attended the event on behalf of the Huffington Post and collected this video.
Parker took shots various shots of the protesters in Chicago today and spoke to George Goehl, director of National People's Action. Here's Goehl:
"I think the bankers have their boot on the neck of American dream, to be honest. We've got neighborhoods in Chicago where we have 200 foreclosures per square mile... It's insane that the same financial institutions that created the foreclosure crisis, sent the economy into a tailspin and needed billions and billions in taxpayer bailouts are now leading the charge to kill financial reform. It makes no sense."
Parker also spoke to David Floyd, 62, a Chicagoan who facing foreclosure. He has lost two jobs because of his own health problems, and his wife is suffering from cancer. When Floyd was asked what he'd say to the head of the ABA, he said:
"There's people are in your organization that are taking people's money. They're doing a Ponzi scheme on little people like me...it's serious as a heart attack."WATCH:
(For photos and video of the first two days of the protest, scroll down.)
UPDATED 10/26 4:43 P.M.:
Via, the SEIU here is a video of protesters gathering in the Chicago offices of Wells Fargo. The protesters begin by chanting, "Bust up big banks!" Later in the video they accuse Wells Fargo of targeting African-Americans with predatory loans.
UPDATED 10/26 2:34 P.M.:
Via the Flickr and Twitter accounts of National People's Action, the SEIU and other protest participants, we've compiled a slideshow of various pictures of the scene in Chicago today. Check out the photos below:
(Note the photos also include a protest that occurred yesterday in New York City. The Northwwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition gathered in front of the home of Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein.)
UPDATED: 10/26 10:36 A.M.
A Huffington Post reader submitted the following video from last night's protests, which includes some clear shots of the protesters gathering outside last night's ABA conference events.
(To send us your reports from the scene, scroll down and click, "Participate")
UPDATED: 10/25 10:20:
Via National People's Action, here is some footage from the protesters at the ABA conference. From the footage, it's clear there are some strong emotions from the protesters.
At one point a protester grabs a megaphone and says:
"The American Bankers Association has helped loosen the rules that protect us, allowing the unfettered greed that has brought us to the brink of a recession. And for those bankers who are members and support the ABA's war against the working and middle class, shame on you!"
The crowd soon begins chanting "Shame On You!" in unison.
UPDATED 10/25 9:41:
Via Progress Illinois' Twitter feed, here's more video of Sen. Durbin's speech. In this section, he calls for a "showdown" with Wall Street.
Check our slideshow of Sunday's protest photos here.
UPDATED 10/25 7:39:
According to the Twitter feeds of National People's Action and the SEIU, the protesters are headed to the ABA's "Roaring '20s"-themed cocktail party. (Perhaps the ABA is not aware of the irony of having such an event.)
Here's a picture from the scene.
Sen. Dick Durbin spoke in front of the protesters earlier today. Here's a clip from the video, in which Durbin tells the story of homeowner who was struggling to stay in her home -- and was apparently talked into agreeing to a seemingly atrocious mortgage. The woman's mortgage was riddled with hidden fees and by, "the types of things even a Wall Street lawyer couldn't explain to anyone," Durbin said.
In this video, Larry Ginter, an Iowa farmer and member the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, rallies the crowd. WATCH:
The American Bankers Association's annual convention in Chicago has become the scene for a series of major protests, which are set to continue through Tuesday. Dubbed "the Showdown in Chicago." (Check back here frequently for updates on the protests.)
Groups like the National People's Action, the Service Employees International Union, Americans For Financial Reform and the AFL-CIO are expected to turn out with thousands of protesters. Sen. Richard Durbin (D - Illinois) is scheduled to address the protesters Sunday evening. Conference speakers include Newt Gingrich, conservative columnist George Will and FDIC chairman Sheila Bair.
The ABA's convention is already underway, and some early images of the protests are trickling in. From the SEIU's blog, here's an early report from the scene:
"The Wall Street bankers are in Chicago this weekend for the American Bankers Association conference - and they've decided to do one good deed for the people of Chicago while they're here. They are helping to renovate a house that had been foreclosed... by them.
It's a nice gesture on the bankers' part, but a completely empty one. In the time it took them to help fix up that one house, banks were kicking 1,440 families out of homes across the country; that's one foreclosed home every 7.5 seconds."
Also, from the SEIU's blog, here's a picture of a banner that greeted conference attendees during their riverboat cruise through Chicago earlier today:
Got any tips, images or direct reports from the scene of the protests? Help us tell the story of the ABA protests by uploading your images and by telling us what's happening at the scene. Participate below!