Some 300 protesters affiliated with Occupy Chicago, Stand Up! Chicago and other groups departed early Monday for Washington, D.C.
The protesters are en route to the "Take Back the Capitol" week of action, a rally expected to attract thousands of demonstrators from throughout the country. Demonstrators are slated to set up camp in the National Mall -- called a "people's camp" -- in order to protest Congress's "catering to the 1 percent instead of representing the 99 percent," according to WMAL.
Three buses are carrying the the protesters east to Washington, D.C. As ABC Chicago reported, many of the rally participants have sustained long-term unemployment and say a federal jobs bill is needed to spur the nation's economy back into action for the 99 percent.
"I want to work. I don't want to take a handout, but right now the economy is so bad, things are so screwed up that something has got to be done to help people get jobs," protester Andy Gebel told ABC.
The week of action will include the lobbying of congressional offices Tuesday, a "Make Wall Street Pay" day during which protesters will be heading to K Street Wednesday and a national prayer vigil Thursday.
Other local groups participating in the D.C. rally, which will continue through Friday, include SEIU Local 1, SEIU Local 73 and the Illinois Hunger Coalition, NBC Chicago reports.
"We need that money back here, we need it in our communities," participant Michelle Torres told NBC. "There are so many hungry people now, so many homeless people now, and it has to stop, it has to end. That's why we're out there."
Prior to the Monday departure, many Occupy Chicago protesters gathered on the city's South Side to support the Rev. Corey Brooks in his "one man occupation" atop an abandoned motel located across the street from the church he leads, the New Beginnings Church at 6620 S. King Drive. Brooks took to the roof to protest youth violence in the area, the Chicago Tribune reports, and is hoping his action wil help inspire $450,000 worth of fundraising for a youth community center on the site of what was formerly a drug den.