We started in a church. At 9:30 in the morning, leadership teams assembled for Moral Monday Illinois’ mass mobilization action. There was excitement and nervous energy overflowing from rooms packed with marshalls, energy-team members, and organizers. And in the back, in a small chapel, those of us who volunteered for civil disobedience gathered. An hour later, around a thousand people would assemble at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to demand a just and compassionate tax system and state budget. After some practical preparations and prophetic sending remarks, we dispersed to our locations. Some rallied at the Thompson Center, others of us went in secret to action’s endpoint — The Chicago Board of Trade Building — and waited for the march to come to us.
Why would people do this? What is it about something as (seemingly) dry and wonky as a state budget that could inspire a thousand people to assemble and sixty people to risk arrest? Continue reading