Chicago groups, Occupiers protest at Biggert’s D.C. office [MySuburbanLife.com]

By Nick Vogel, nvogel@mysuburbanlife.com

A group of Chicago unions and left-wing interest groups are in Washington D.C. this week to protest what they say is the unfair political power corporations have over the federal government.

Shelly Ruzicka, director of operations for an organization called Arise Chicago, said the hope is to get politicians in the Senate and the House of Representative to raise taxes on the wealthy. She said the protesters believe that the wealthy use loop holes to avoid paying more taxes than they already do.

This new money, once taxed, would then be spent on public works projects and fund more government jobs, Ruzicka says, helping the ailing economy.

Allied Chicago and the other Chicago-area interest groups have banded together to form a larger group called “Stand up Chicago,” which is in D.C. this week with other interest groups from across the country, including members of the Occupy movement.

Ruzicka said the “Stand up Chicago” people are not identifying themselves as being a part of the Occupy movement. According to Stand Up Chicago’s website, the week of protests was organized partly by the people of the Occupy movement.

“It’s just a similar message,” Ruzicka said.

Today, Ruzicka said she and others from “Stand up Chicago” went to the Washington D.C. office of Congresswoman Judy Biggert, R– 13th District, to protest what they say is an unfair balance of power in the federal government.

Although all of the Illinois congressmen and women being protested by Standup Chicago are Republicans, Ruzicka said the protests were not partisan.

“It varies by state which offices are being visited,” Ruzicka said. “We’re not necessarily targeting one party or another.”

The Occupy Wall Street movement began in New York City this summer and similar protests have sprung up around the country.

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