CHICAGO – On Friday close to  one  thousand Chicagoans turned out at the Illinois State Office Building hopping mad about planned federal budget cuts proposed for HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). Their anger overflowed into civil disobedience as they blocked traffic at one of downtown’s busiest intersections during rush hour. (see video below)

The demonstrators drew cheers and applause from people hurrying to get home after work. Even some of those stranded in their cars by the action got out and cheered the protest. Some took pictures and videos on their smart phones.

The Republican members of Congress are proposing to cut two-thirds of HUD’s budget. Like many other of the cuts proposed by the extreme right-wing Republicans in Congress, these will have virtually no actual impact on the deficit. In fact when you factor in additional costs to Medicare and Social Security to pay for nursing homes and extra medical attention for the disabled, the cuts will probably increase the deficit.



Scott Marshall
Scott Marshall

Scott Marshall is a vice chair of the Communist Party and chair of its Labor Commission. Scott grew up in Virginia where he first became active in the civil rights movement in high school, working on voter registration and anti-Klan projects in rural Southern Virginia and Tennessee. He was also active against the war in Vietnam.

Scott has been a life long trade unionist and was active in rank and file reform movements in the Teamsters, Machinists and Steelworkers unions in the 1970s and '80s. He was co-chair of the Save Our Jobs committee of USWA local 1834 at Pullman Standard in Chicago and active in nationwide organizing against plant shutdowns and layoffs. He was a founder of the unemployed organization Jobs or Income Now (Join), in Chicago, and the National Congress of Unemployed Organizations in the 1980s.

Scott has worked for the Communist Party since 1987 when he became the district organizer for the party in Illinois, a post he held until he was elected chair of the National Labor Commission in 1997. Scott remains active in SOAR (Steelworkers Active Organized Retirees). He lives in Chicago.