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CHICAGO — The stage built outside the American Bankers Association conference for the final rally of the three-day “Showdown in Chicago” was quickly disassembled after buses full of protesters departed downtown Tuesday afternoon.
But for the thousands of people who took part in the varied events — gathering outside of bank offices, delivering letters to CEOs, and listening to speeches by union leaders, clergy and struggling Americans — the “showdown” marks a possible turning point in post-bailout America.
It’s unclear if protesters’ demands will be met by bankers and politicians in the coming months as unemployment and foreclosures inch upward. But for many who traveled here from around the country this week — including the unemployed and foreclosed upon — the protest itself seemed to offer a sort of salve, a way of tolerating day-to-day struggles with no end in sight.
Here’s an audio slideshow full of images and sounds from the middle and last day of the “showdown,” straight from the streets of Chicago. (Hint: Enter full-screen mode by clicking on the four-arrow icon above “credits.”)
Photographs by Peter Holderness. Recordings by Jeremy Gantz. Slideshow production by both.
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Jeremy Gantz is an In These Times contributing editor working at Time magazine.