Occupy Chicago Targets Obama Speech

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President Barack Obama is holding one public event in Chicago on Wednesday, and Occupy protesters plan to be there.

About 90 people confirmed on the "Occupy UIC" Facebook page they would attend Obama's evening fundraising event at the University of Illinois at Chicago to "hold Obama accountable" for signing the National Defense Authorization Act.

This is the same group who warned they would "have a presence" at a Mayor Rahm Emanuel speech at UIC in November. Emanuel canceled the event a day after the Occupy announcement.

Obama is expected to arrive at the UIC Forum between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., his first stop of the Chicago trip. An anticipated crowd of more than 500 paid between $44 and $1,000 to attend a concert starring Hill Harper and Janelle Monae.

“According to the NDAA, those who commit or support a belligerent act against the US can be held indefinitely, without due process,” said Tom Alter of Occupy UIC in an email. “With wording that vague, just about anyone can be labeled a terrorist."

Occupy protesters say they'll also criticize Mayor Rahm Emanuel for updating parade permit and public gathering ordinances beyond the NATO/G8 conferences. The rules include hiking fines for protesters who break the law and limiting protesters' ability to campout overnight.

Occupy Chicago, still upset with Emanuel after he didn't allow them to set up camp in Grant Park after hours, said the rule changes are an attack on civil liberties.

“Civil liberties and Constitutional rights are under attack from the Oval Office to the Mayor’s Office,” said Rachael Perrotta of Occupy Chicago in an email.

Separate anti-G8 protesters have said they expect to sue the City of Chicago over the new rules governing public demonstrations.
The UIC concert starts at 3 p.m.

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