The following is our video footage and press release after today’s action:
OCCUPY SPRINGFIELD DISAPPOINTED ON VOTING OUTCOME BY THE HOUSE
SPRINGFIELD, IL – On December 12th the Illinois House voted 81-28 to allow tax breaks for Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Sears Holdings Corp. where the bill will be sent to the Illinois Senate for a final vote. This bill would provide $85 million per year in tax breaks from the state of Illinois for CME, as well as Sears Holding Corp. receiving $15 million per year in income tax breaks for 10 years, on top of a $125 million property tax break over 10 years. The bill also allows CME 27.5 percent of its transactions as Illinois revenue, exempting the majority from state taxes. The state of Illinois is $600 million backlogged in corporate tax returns.
Minutes before the vote went underway on the House floor, members from Occupy Springfield (OSI) displayed a banner that read “STOP COPORATE EXTORTION” and contained their logo and “OSI”. “The banner spoke for us” said Deanna Trader, member of OSI. “As the banner dropped the legislature turned to see the members of Occupy Springfield, IL., and their supporters, standing silently behind it, fists in the air” said Chris Blankenhorn, another member of OSI. As the House security tried to take away the banner the police let the banner drop and it got caught on some light fixtures. “The House security was so anxious to get rid of the banner that they yanked it from my hands, letting it fall and get caught on the light fixture” said Jordan, another member of OSI.
OSI is an active organization where their activities have included, but have not been limited to, conducting rallies at the Capitol Building, testifying before the Illinois State Senate Finance Committee regarding the CME-Sears Holding Corp. bill, conducting Teach-in sessions at the Lincoln Library, and helping the oppressed in Springfield. OSI represents the 99 percent of Americans that are being pushed down both by the political and US economic system.