Protesters “mic checked” Chicago Aldermann Joe Moore, one of the most progressive members of the City Council, on Monday for joining his colleagues in a unanimous vote for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget.
“We are here because you and the City Council unanimously chose to support Rahm Emanuel’s budget,” the protesters shouted during the Chicago Democratic Meeting of the 49th Ward. “This budget will cut services in Chicago’s poorest communities by 17 percent. Our most underserved citizens will suffer the most. This is not an honest budget. This is an irresponsible budget. It will be balanced on the backs of those most in need. It cuts our jobs and increases our fees.”
The protesters concluded by repeatedly shouting: “1. We are the people, 2. We are united, 3. The alderman is not our ally.”
Moore has represented the 49th Ward since 1991. He has pushed for a law to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour for big box companies such as Wal-Mart and also ceded his budget municipal authority to the residents of his ward through “participatory budgeting,” making the 49th Ward the first political jurisdiction to adopt the practice.
Emanuel’s budget lays off City Hall officials, closes three of the city’s 25 police stations, doubles water and sewer fees over the next four years, closes six mental health clinics and reduces library hours.
Moore described it as “an honest budget.”
The “mic check” is a reference to the system of communication used by the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in New York City’s Zuccotti Park.
Unable to use microphones because they lack the proper sound permits, the protesters repeat in unison what a speaker says. The speaker begins by saying “mic check.”
The “mic check” later evolved into a form of protest. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Republican strategist Karl Rove, and Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have all recently been interrupted by the “99 Percent” movement.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: