Christine Stuart photo

Standing outside the Hartford Steam Boiler building on the corner of State Street and Columbus Boulevard during rush hour, dozens of people chanted, “Main Street, not Wall Street!”

They gathered Thursday outside the AIG subsidiary to protest the government’s proposed $700 billion bailout of the U.S. financial system.

As protesters gathered in Hartford key members of Congress and President Bush met at the White House to outline the details of the historic deal. As part of that deal protesters said they want to see some regulations and oversight.

Connecticut Citizens Action Group Deputy Director Phil Sherwood said he’s “not sure Americans will sleep better tonight knowing these CEO’s get to keep their yachts.” He said “we need to be honest about how we got here, if we want middle class America to pay for it.”

Without any oversight or regulation, Sherwood said it looks like “we’re rewarding bad behavior.”

Tom Swan, executive director of CCAG, said if these companies expect us to bail them out then we want to see some protections for homeowners. “We must discourage additional foreclosures,” he said.

State Rep. Tim O’Brien, D-New Britain, said if the credit markets tighten up these companies that the average American bailed out need to make sure people can still get home and car loans.

Jon Green, executive director of the Working Families Party, said in a press release that “Any bailout passed by Congress must also actually help the homeowners who were the victims of these predatory practices, and also regulate the practices that got us into this crisis in the first place.”

To this end CCAG, Acorn, and the Working Families Party are asking people to call 1-800-473-6711 and let Congress know that the bailout should include a number of reforms to protect American public.