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Group rallies against corporate greed, unemployment

A group of about 70 people gathered on the lawn of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore Saturday to rally for jobs and other causes.
A group of about 70 people gathered on the lawn of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore Saturday to rally for jobs and other causes.

SYCAMORE – After watching corporations make billions while others have struggled to get by without jobs, Mary Cozad got fed up.

"The mega-banks and corporations are doing perfectly well," she said. "All they seem to care about is themselves. ... It makes me angry. It makes me very angry."

As a professor, she's watched as her students get overwhelmed with college debt with little means of paying it off because well-paying jobs are so scarce. She sat on the committee to help organize a rally in Sycamore to protest against corporate greed, lobbyists, a lack of jobs and other causes.

About 70 people gathered Saturday in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse to participate. Similar protests have taken place all over the country in light of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street rally based in New York City.

"The whole system seems to be broken. And that's a shame," Cozad said. "We know better. When are we going to start acting better?"

Crowds chanted, "we are the 99 percent," and held signs with sayings such as "job creators have not created jobs" and "corporations are not people - money is not speech."

"We are not anti-business, we are not anti-government and we are not anti-union," said Jennifer Tomkins, who helped organize the rally. "We want a responsive government."

Tomkins said she feels the Tea Party is correct when they say the United States government is broken. But she believes government is necessary to fixing the problems with job creation and reviving the economy.

Many people who attended the rally learned about it through the progressive website MoveOn.org, which has been promoting the Rebuild the American Dream rallies in other cities. Saturday's rally was sponsored by Rebuild the American Dream of DeKalb.

Michael Colle of Sandwich wanted to get involved with the movement because he worries about the future for his 18-year-old daughter. He said with corporations and lobbyists calling the shots, he's concerned about the direction the country is going, so he decided to get involved.

"It's a grassroots thing," he said. "It has to start somewhere."

Laura Smart of DeKalb joined Saturday's rally because she was mainly concerned with the economic situation in the United States, as well as crumbling infrastructure. She said while this country's infrastructure falters, countries such as China are building at an "astounding rate."

"Infrastructure – it really belongs to all of us," she said.

"Corporations seem to have no interest in it," Roger Cohn of DeKalb added. "They take advantage of it in running and maintaining their business and they couldn't do it without it."

Vickie McConkey of Sycamore has attempted to contact representatives in Congress and Washington, D.C., to express her concern about not enough money trickling down to those outside of mega-corporations. She feels politics are holding up progress on improving the economy.

"I just feel like you have to do something. You have to show your face," she said. "I truly believe what they're doing to the country is horrible."