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Occupy Chicago Protesters Seek Justice

Carrying a sign that said “Honk to Indict Banksters,” Mary O’Sullivan waved and gave a thumbs up to drivers who honked in approval at her sign.

“I want to bring attention to all the crimes. It’s amazing how many crimes our government is committing that are being unpunished,” said O’Sullivan, 72, who has been unemployed since 2008.

O’Sullivan said she worked for Pan American World Airways for 33 years, and when the company went out of business the government allowed the airline to take away her pension. It is now the responsibility of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which sends her a check for about $300 dollars a month instead of the $3,500 she said she should be receiving.

O’Sullivan, along with her husband, was among a group of about 50 protesters who banged on drums, enticed motorists to honk and waved signs on Monday at the Occupy Chicago protest in front of the Board of Trade.

Occupy Chicago is part of a movement across the United States launched last month in Manhattan, where it was given the name Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy Chicago has released a list of 12 demands, which include the repeal of tax cuts for the wealthy, the prosecution of Wall Street criminals and forgiving student debt.

“I’m out here looking for justice. Looking for an end to government crimes, corporate crimes, Israel’s crimes against Palestine, justice in general and an end to U.S. terrorism everywhere,” said Chris Fogarty, 76, husband of O’Sullivan.

Fogarty, who has worked as a carpenter and civil engineer, along with his wife, participate in pro-Palestinian protests every Sunday with the group Jewish Voice for Peace.

“What I want so badly is for the United States to stop participating in a genocide by munitioning Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians,” said Fogarty.

Fogarty said he is also concerned about all the elements that caused the recession in 2008, including risky mortgages. He explains that banks took mortgages and gave them to people they knew could never pay them back, piled debt on those mortgages, then “sliced and diced” those mortgages into untraceable pieces called collateralized debt obligations and sold them to the world’s pension fund.

“That was crime one,” he said. Fogarty also talked about the insurance schemes, credit default swaps, and the abolition of the Glass-Steagall Act, which he believes also contributed the recession. Fogarty said the perpetrators should be in prison instead of holding government jobs.

“It is grotesque,” he said. “I never participated in a scam like all these people in all these buildings surrounding us”

Fogarty also said he sees similarities between the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, and hopes that it will be similar in bringing change. “We know our government is more violence-prone than those other nations,” and he said he fears a bloody revolution here, which he does not want.

“The government must start paying attention or that is where they will drive the nation,” he said.

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