Occupy Chicago demonstrators are planning on joining forces with Stand Up! Chicago Thursday to answer the call for an international "Jobs Not Cuts" Day of Action with what they expect will be a massive downtown rally and march.
The action, according to organizers, is slated to begin with a Stand Up! Chicago rally outside the Thompson Center at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Stand Up! marchers are scheduled to leave the Thompson Center at 4 p.m. before meeting Occupy Chicago protesters at their headquarters -- Jackson and LaSalle, the heart of the city's financial district -- and marching through the city's downtown area before convening in Grant Park, near Michigan and Congress, by 6:30 p.m.
Stand Up! Chicago organizers say the rally is intended to "declare an 'economic emergency' for the 99 percent" and is a continuation of the series of Take Back Chicago which last month brought thousands of protesters to the city streets.
"Unemployed workers, struggling families and other members of the 99 percent ... will be calling for real job creation, protesting proposed job-killing budget cuts and demanding that big banks take responsibility for wrecking the economy," the rally announcement read.
A Facebook event for the rally already has attracted nearly 500 confirmed participants.
Earlier in the week, Occupy Chicago claimed victory after the University of Chicago postponed a planned appearance by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. "due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict." Activists had planned to "un-welcome" Rice and Paulson with a protest.
Occupy Chicago protesters were also on hand for a sit-in lasting several hours at Chicago's City Hall on the eve of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's first-ever budget being unanimously approved by the City Council Wednesday. Protesters were angry that Emanuel's budget will close half of the city's 12 mental health clinics.
As some have questioned how they will deal with the fast-plunging temperatures and looming wintry weather, Occupy Chicago organizers on Thursday revealed that they will participate in "daily events and actions geared towards building community and solidarity across Chicago and its suburbs" throughout the winter.
They are also working to secure an indoor space, out of health and safety concerns, where they will conduct committee meetings, General Assemblies and educational events. They also say they will continue to have a presence outside the Chicago Board of Trade.
"We will continue to occupy Chicago," Occupy participant Micah Philbrook said in a statement. "The traders looking down from their windows may see fewer signs and hear fewer drums, but the neighborhoods of our city, the community organizations of our city, the unions of our city and the rest of the 99 percent in our city will see and hear our support every day."
WATCH a report from Tuesday's City Hall sit-in protest: