Folks in Rockford gathered for the ribbon cutting on a brand new federal courthouse. The celebration was met with some opposition when a protest group marched to the event.
Occupy Rockford made it's presence known marching to the dedication of the Stanley J. Roskowski Courthouse.They got the attention they we're looking for when Illinois Senator Dick Durbin came and spoke to them after the dedication.
Senator Durbin says the new federal courthouse will make justice more accessible for folks in our area.
"Too many times in the past people in Northern Illinois we're denied an opportunity for a hearing in court, a trial, or justice because they couldn't take their case to Chicago. That's not fair. We've got to make sure that justice is available for everyone and accessible and that's why this courthouse means so much," said Durbin.
United States General Services Administrator Ann Kalayil says there's a lot of ways Rockford benefits from this new courthouse. The first being putting people back to work.
"This project itself created over 1000 jobs for the citizens of Rockford," said Kalayil.
Occupy Rockford spokesman David Soll says they're protesting the courthouse because of all the injustice in America.
"Hopefully they just notice that we're there. That they can acknowledge at least that injustice does exist, not just in our justice system, but in our economic system as well," said Soll.
Senator Durbin spoke to the protestors and says there's nothing wrong with what they're doing.
"As long as they're peacefully assembling, exercising their constitutional right to speak, to petition their government for their grievances - they're following a great American tradition. I don't consider their activities to be any kind of a blemish today I see it as proof positive that our constitution is very much alive," said Durbin.
In addition to stimulating our local economy with more work the court house is made out of recycled materials and honors Stanley J. Roskowski who served the US District Court in Northern Illinois for more than 20 years.