Here’s a question: If you were organizing a large scale, long-standing urban protest and tent city, where would you set up shop in Chicago?
That’s the question facing organizers of the Occupy Chicago movement this week.
As our colleague Michell Eloy reported Monday, the group is looking for a permanent location where participants can stay and sleep as the protest continues. More specifically, they’re looking for a suitable place to set up tents and, as the weather gets colder, to serve as a headquarters for their local operation.
As Eloy wrote:
Organizers have spent the past three weeks picketing in the Loop across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, but due to city municipal ordinances, are not allowed to make camp at the location. This weekend, the Chicago Police Department said they arrested 175 protestors who sat in Grant Park after closing hours.
“We are looking for a more permanent home,” said Megan Goves, a press liaison for the Occupy movement. “That is what we were attempting to do on Saturday night.”
Micah Philbrook, an Occupy Chicago organizer, said finding a site is essential as the number of protestors continues to grow.
“We want to have a tent city,” said Philbrook. “We want to have a place that we can set up and start creating the change that we want to be in society, and so moving forward that’s one of our main goals.”
That’s easier said than done in a city like Chicago, where city ordinances, land owners or other security and logistical concerns can place some locations off limits - if not immediately, then often eventually.
So, that got our team thinking: Where, then, would be a good location for the Occupy Chicago protestors to set up camp? A private park? A warehouse? Navy Pier?
It’s actually not an easy question to answer. So, we want to know what you’d recommend.
According to Eloy, Micah Philbrook said Grant Park would be an ideal location, though we know what happened last weekend after protestors lingered beyond official park closing hours. He also said organizers are considering other downtown parks and even warehouses as potential sites.
What do you think?
Share your suggested locations for Occupy Chicago in the comment section below: