Huffpost Chicago
Lizzie Schiffman Headshot

Five Chicago Women Arrested Inside Bank Of America For 'Returning' Trash From Foreclosed Homes (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Posted: Updated:

Five Chicago women were arrested at a downtown Chicago Bank of America branch Tuesday after they dumped bags of trash from foreclosed properties into the bank and refused to exit the building.

Gloria Washington, 80, Donna Roberts, 56, Annie Harris, 76, Doris Strickland, 68 and Madeline Talbot, 61, all Chicago residents, walked into the Bank of America branch just before 12:30 p.m. Tuesday carrying bags of trash collected from vacant foreclosed homes on the West Side, as part of a demonstration organized by Take Back Chicago.

According to Action Now, an advocacy group that helped organize the protest, a clean-up crew spent the morning collecting garbage and furniture from a Bank of America-owned vacant property in Garfield Park to deliver "to its rightful owners."

Meanwhile, more than a hundred protesters descended upon the downtown bank after marching from the Hyatt Regency, where a picket line and occupation at the seat of the Mortgage Bankers Association conference resulted in about 20 peaceful arrests. Police and organizers directed demonstrators to march peacefully around the bank, but once bags of garbage and a dilapidated chair and sofa labeled "Property of Bank of America" were delivered to the bank's main entrance, people crowded around the building, pressing their signs up to the window.

Washington, Roberts, Harris, Strickland and Talbot entered the bank through the main entrance, where several police officers were waiting for the planned demonstration. The women walked up to the windows facing Adams and LaSalle and emptied their bags, filled with empty snack food bags, cigar wrappers, a broken doorknob and several unwrapped condoms. (Scroll down for photos.)

Three officers approached the women, who locked arms and surrendered their bags and purses to the officers. One younger woman shook out the remaining garbage in her tote bag and propped up a flier advertising the protest's goals before handing over her canvas tote bag, as a crowd three rows deep pressed up against the window cheered.

"They're gonna arrest those old ladies, and all they want is their houses back," one protester said. "They're tired of living this way."

Officers removed the women from the front window to the back of the bank, which had been closed during the commotion. At least three of the women were handcuffed near a separate entrance towards the back of the bank, where Bank of America employees were positioned to keep onlookers away from the scene.

The women were marched through the hallway of the attached building and escorted into a police van in an alley behind the bank, where at least eight Chicago Police officers were positioned around the van fending off a small crowd of protesters in Action Now T-shirts. Action Now's Communications Director Aileen Kelleher says the women are currently being held at the police station at 18th and State streets.

Uniformed police officers cleaned up the trash dumped inside the bank as protesters left the bank, marching towards Millenium Park's Cloudgate sculpture for another demonstration. Kelleher says organizers have been told the women will be released soon.

Check out photos of Tuesday's Bank of America demonstration below:

Five Women Arrested At Bank Of America During Protest
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

For more on Take Back Chicago, Occupy Chicago and other demonstrations, follow HuffPost Chicago's live blog here. For more photos from the rallies, click here:

live blog

Oldest Newest

A Mobile, Alabama man was ordered held on 0,000 bail Tuesday after allegedly punching a Chicago police officer during Monday's "Take Back Chicago" protest outside of the Art Institute downtown.

Christopher Friday, 25, was participating in the rally--which was organized to protest unemployment, foreclosures and worker's rights--when he punched an officer as protesters gathered outside the Art Institute, according to police News Affairs. The protest started with five separate marches, all converging into a massive rally at the museum, where the Mortgage Banker’s Association was holding a formal reception.

According to the Chicago Tribune, an officer asked demonstrators to move from the street to the sidewalk when Friday punched him. A second officer who rushed to his aid was also hit by the protester, prosecutors said.

MORE HERE.

Share this:
@ takingbackchi : Taking back Chicago can be exhausting. #TakeBackChiNaptime

Share this:

Protesters and organizers told HuffPost's Lizzie Schiffman that the Chicago Police Department has been "great" so far. Some off-duty officers even attended Monday night's rally.

As of 1 p.m., the crowd was heading back to the Art Institute.

2011-10-11-occupynew.jpg

Share this:

From HuffPost Chicago's Lizzie Schiffman:

Five Chicago women were arrested at the Bank of America branch at LaSalle and Adams after they dumped bags of trash from foreclosed properties into the bank. They also refused to exit the building.

"They're gonna arrest those old ladies, and all they want is their houses back," one protester said. "They're tired of living this way."

The bank was closed as the women were escorted into a police van outside. The protesters now plan on marching to Millennium Park's Cloud Gate sculpture (the bean).

Gloria Washington, 80, Donna Roberts, 56, Annie Harris, 76, Doris Strickland, 68 and Madeline talbot, 61, were arrested at the Bank of America.

WATCH video of the arrest here:

Share this:

This morning, the group Action Now conducted a vacant home clean-up on the West Side. The group of "mothers and grandmothers ages 55 to 80" removed garbage and furniture from Bank of America-owned properties before bringing the trash downtown--where a group of protesters assembled.

The group dumped bags of trash labeled "Property of Bank of America" inside and outside a bank branch at LaSalle and Adams. HuffPost's Lizzie Schiffman reports that the group--of more than 100 people--plans to occupy the bank. Police are on the scene, but no arrests have been reported as of 12:30 p.m.

From Take Back Chicago via Twitter:

2011-10-11-BOATRASH.jpg

Share this:
@ takingbackchi : Amazing. Crowd just dropped a dozen bags of trash, couch from abandoned BoA home on West Side. http://t.co/NwgFSO2R

Share this:
@ takingbackchi : Big crowd @ Chase bldng on Madison dlvring bill for cleaning up Chase-owned abandoned home on SW side,chanting "banks pay up!" #takebackchi

Share this:
@ nbcchicago : RT @Ward_Room: Why @RahmEmanuel's friends are #occupyChicago #occupywallstreet's enemies. http://t.co/HgLpA3xC http://t.co/HgLpA3xC

Share this:
@ JeffPinzino : Mortgage bankers gawking on the porch, protesters point at them and chant to police "Now arrest them!" #takebackchicago #mbaannual11

Share this:
@ JeffPinzino : Pastor being put in the paddywaggon asks "What would Jesus do?" #mbaannual11 #newbottomline #takebackchicago #occupychicago

Share this:

As a group of about 50 people began marching toward the Hyatt Regency, about 20 other demonstrators began sitting in the hotel walkway.

HuffPost Chicago's Lizzie Schiffman reports that police began arresting the sit-in demonstrators for blocking the walkway at about 11 a.m. The arrests were peaceful.

Photos by Lizzie Schiffman:

2011-10-11-HYATTARREST.jpg

2011-10-11-hyatt2.jpg

2011-10-11-HYATT3.jpg

Share this:

From the Chicago Reader:

Taking Back Our Homes Day of Action — Day 2 in the Take Back Chicago Week of Action

WHAT: Action Now will be conducting a vacant home clean-up and delivery at a Bank of America owned vacant property in Garfield Park. The clean up crew will collect garbage and furniture from the property, and a group of mothers and grandmothers ages 55-80 will then risk arrest to deliver the garbage and furniture collected to its rightful owners—a downtown Bank of America branch—while protestors rally outside.

WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, October 11. Clean-up begins at 9:00 a.m.; clean-up delivery at 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: 3328 W Monroe, Chicago, IL, and a downtown Bank of America branch

WHY: According to Action Now organizers, big banks like Bank of America own thousands of vacant and blighted properties in Chicago. Although the city’s vacant property ordinance requires banks to maintain foreclosed properties, blighted bank-owned properties are destroying neighborhoods across the city. Bank-owned properties that are not kept up attract crime, and neighborhood residents have seen an increase in drugs, rapes, killings, and dead bodies. States one clean-up crew member, “Since the banks that own these houses won’t come to our neighborhoods, we’re bringing our neighborhoods to them.”

Read the whole schedule here

Share this:
@ agentosorio : Sit-in at Hyatt walkway #mbaannual11 #takebackchicago

Share this:
Share this:

A large group of demonstrators just began assembling outside of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where the Mortgage Banker’s Association 98th Annual Convention and Expo is taking place.

Share this:
Ed: What they're saying in Chicago is exactly what they're saying on Wall Street

WATCH:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Share this:

A Mobile, Alabama man faces aggravated battery to a peace officer charges after allegedly punching a Chicago cop during Monday's "Take Back Chicago" protest outside of the Art Institute downtown.

Christopher Friday, 25, was participating in the rally--which was organized to protest unemployment, foreclosures and worker's rights--when he punched an officer as protesters gathered outside the Art Institute, according to police News Affairs. The protest started with five separate marches, all converging into a massive rally at the museum, where the Mortgage Banker’s Association was holding a formal reception.

Read more here.

Share this:
@ edshow : Ed: "What they're saying in Chicago is exactly what they're saying in New York"

Share this:

Take Back Chicago organizers told HuffPost Chicago that 28 people were arrested during Monday's demonstration. The number is small compared to how many people showed up--which SEIU officials predicted was more than 5,000. Organizers said that some Chicago Police officers shook the hands of protesters at the end, and others nodded as the crowd chanted "We are the 99%."

Share this:

From the Chicago Tribune:

Stevens advised conference attendees to "keep the business in the building" and let protesters speak outside.

Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David Stevens warned the morning general session of the conference that protesters were expected to arrive at the hotel in the afternoon. He told attendees not to "engage or confront" the protesters, and advised they use pedestrian tunnels and others means to leave the building if needed.

Share this:
@ OccupyChicago : attention #occupiers! we continually get harassed by the CPD btwn the hours of 6am - noon. that is when we ne… (cont) http://t.co/xHNF3dVu

Share this:
@ OccupyChicago : general assembly at 7 pm at the horse. Michigan and Congress. help plan the future.

Share this:

Sent from a rally participant:

Police arresting a young man who reportedly "ran at the cops swinging."

2011-10-10-photo2.jpeg

Share this:

Protester Isabel Patino explained why she showed up Monday to HuffPost's Lizzie Schiffman:

"All the big corporations want to lower our salaries, take out our health care, and all for what? They want our money. It's hard for us to pay for our houses, pay for our kids. The corporations have millions, and they want more. It's not fair. That's why we are here. To let other people know how they are treating us."

2011-10-10-OCCUPYCHI.jpg

Share this:
@ aaroncynic : 1st arrest at #takebackchicago #occupychi http://t.co/AW0hGBI0

Share this:

A Chicago teacher sent us this photo. He said bankers are drinking during the Modern Wing reception and looking at the protest from the roof.

2011-10-10-PROTEST2.jpg

Share this:
@ robojojo : Some arrests being announced by organizers, can't hear the details. #takebackchicago

Share this:

The SEIU told HuffPost's Lizzie Schiffman that there is a better turnout than expected (the expected crowd was 7,500). Police ultimately let everyone through, and the feeder marches are now in front of the Art Institute. Everyone sat in the street silently with their fists in the air.

The Art Institute's Modern Wing is where the Mortgage Bankers Association is holding it's reception tonight. As the crowds sat silently, a group of acrobats stood and did a skit featuring an evil banker and a damsel in distress.

Slowly, the crowd rose and they are now chanting "We are the 99%."

2011-10-10-protest.jpg

Share this:

Cops blocking Michigan Avenue near Monroe. They don't want protesters taking any more of it over. Take Back Chicago folks already planning on arrests. No solid head count yet, but there are "thousands" of people.

2011-10-10-COPS.jpg

Share this:
@ SarahJindra : Michigan Ave now closed from about Congress to Washington due to protest march. THOUSANDS of ppl making their way to the Art Institute

Share this:

Around the Web

Take Back Chicago

Protesters Flood Loop To 'Take Back Chicago' « CBS Chicago

Stand Up! Chicago |

Take Back Chicago Rally Expected To Bring Thousands To City ...