Occupy Chicago Plans Weekend Protests

175 people arrested last weekend

By anthony ponce
|  Friday, Oct 21, 2011  |  Updated 10:35 PM CDT
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Demonstrators plan to keep on protesting, despite last weekend's arrests.

Demonstrators plan to keep on protesting, despite last weekend's arrests.

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Emanuel Speaks Carefully After Occupy Arrests

Watch as the mayor frames the mass arrests as a city imperative.

Protesters Camp Out, Get Arrested

Occupy Chicago protesters try to set up camp in Grant Park Saturday night, but Chicago police wouldn't let them stay.
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There could be new confrontations Saturday between Chicago police and Occupy Chicago protesters.

Last weekend, 175 demonstrators were arrested in Grant Park early Sunday morning after staying past the park's 11 p.m. curfew.

But protesters were back out Friday in the Loop's Financial District, and are rallying more to do the same on Saturday.

"Our message to the mayor is that free speech doesn't end after 11 p.m.," said Natalie Wahlberg, who was arrested last weekend.

More than 10,000 people signed an online petition this week asking Mayor Rahm Emanuel to allow them to congregate at the park regardless of the time of day. They're also asking for the charges to be dropped against the protestors who were arrested last week.

"People protesting for stuff like this ... there's no need for police to come after you," another protestor said. "We pay tax dollars to fund these parks, so we should have the right to assemble here 24/7."

The demonstrators say they're hoping for a turnout in the thousands.

Emanuel said Friday that the law needs to be respected in terms of the closing of the park, but that he's also consulting with the police and law department to see if there's a way to allow the protesters a way to express themselves.

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