Chicago May Day Protests Peaceful; No Arrests

Occupy Chicago joined by 75 other groups in coordinated march, protest

By Anthony Ponce, Phil Rogers and Christian Farr
|  Tuesday, May 1, 2012  |  Updated 6:28 PM CDT
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At noon Occupy Chicago joined about 75 other groups at Union Park at the corner of Ashland and Lake. The larger group will march east back into the Loop, where they'll end up at Federal Plaza. NBC Chicago reporter Anthony Ponce has the details.

At noon Occupy Chicago joined about 75 other groups at Union Park at the corner of Ashland and Lake. The larger group will march east back into the Loop, where they'll end up at Federal Plaza. NBC Chicago reporter Anthony Ponce has the details.

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A crowd estimated at about 2,000 snaked through Chicago on Tuesday in coordinated marches by Occupy Chicago and those commemorating May Day.

By most accounts, the protests by Occupy Chicago and those demanding immigration reform and greater protections for workers were noisy but peaceful.

"We want to convince them that the 99 percent are incredibly poor compared to the one percent of this country," said Jorge Mujica, one of the protest organizers.

May Day protesters began with a rally at Union Park on the city's near west side.

"We can't let unions die. We can't let our beliefs die, and this is just a reminder that we're still strong if we stick together," said Juan Campos with Teamsters Local 705.

They were later joined by members of Occupy Chicago, who began their day outside Bank of America on LaSalle Street to protest what they call corporate greed. Chicago police were waiting, with multiple officers guarding bank doors.

From there, the roughly 75 groups marched east back into the Loop, where they ended up at Federal Plaza.

"What we're seeking to do as Occupy is to become the glue that can bring all of these causes together, creating a gigantic coalition that can begin the hard work of fixing this country," said Occupy protester Rachael Perrotta.

With the NATO Summit just three weeks away, some wondered whether the May Day protests will serve as a dress rehearsal for protests to come.

Police were out in full force, with Supt. Garry McCarthy among them, but there were no arrests. McCarthy said he was just on hand to observe.

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