Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Democrat, celebrated with demonstrators after the group barged into a Mortgage Bankers Association of America meeting at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago on Tuesday.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that 21 protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing. According to the article a group known as Stand Up Chicago describes itself as a coalition of labor organizations and other left wing groups.
One report described the scene and interviewed conference goers: (H/T stuff.co.nz)
The marches came amid growing protests over the economy around the country. In Chicago, the protesters had two financial industry events in their sights, including a meeting of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
One protester, dressed in a suit, who had paid US$2,245 ($2,872) for entrance to that meeting, got to a microphone during a panel discussion and asked Michael Heid, president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a top national mortgage lender: ”How do you sleep at night?”
Heid said he felt like he was at a Congressional grilling.
”Like it or not, we’re in for a period of time here that is just going to be a very difficult environment, and developing thicker skin is about one of the more practical responses for the here and now,” Heid said. ”I wish there were an answer to all the market woes, but there’s not.”
Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David Stevens had advised conference attendees in the morning not to ”engage or confront” the protesters - and to use pedestrian tunnels and other means to leave the building if needed.