Occupy Chicago protesters and city officials fail to meet

October 24, 2011

(Flickr/alizahid82)
Protest signs at Occupy Chicago's downtown site.

A representative for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office says attempts to arrange a meeting with Occupy Chicago protest leaders have been rejected or gone un-addressed.

Tuesday at a City Hall protest, the mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff Felicia Davis told demonstrators that she tried last week to arrange a meeting with movement leaders, but the offer was rejected. She said later calls to organizers were not returned.

The mayor's office could not be reached for further comment, but Occupy Chicago representatives confirmed Davis's attempts. Press liaison Evelyn DeHais said Davis offered to meet with a few leaders last Monday. She said the movement's general assembly voted and rejected the offer. Instead, they invited the mayor and his representatives to one of the daily assembly meetings. According to DeHais, the assembly later voted not to return another call from Davis about arranging a meeting. DeHais said negotiations with individuals are not how the protesters operate.

"I presented that voicemail to the general assembly and asked them whether or not to return the call," said DeHais. "As a group of about 200 people were there, they said we have already given them our response. We had already told them that the way to speak to us is not through individuals but through the general assembly."

At the protest, Davis said the mayor's office can't negotiate with hundreds of people at once.

This weekend, at least 100 protesters were arrested after a second attempt to set up camp in Grant Park. Occupy Chicago has been protesting downtown for more than four weeks.