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What MBA chief David Stevens learned as a protester

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Early in his political career, David Stevens, the CEO of one of the mortgage industry's largest and most powerful trade groups, was arrested for protesting. It was a quizzical reveal during a luncheon with reporters Tuesday at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual conference in Chicago. Earlier in the day, picketers restarted their calls for a crackdown on Wall Street. The tension between the two sides ramped up from the day before. A train of police cars were summoned and some arrests were made, according to tweets on Twitter from protesters. The collective target from not only the Chicago group but also many in the Occupy Wall Street protests and others around the country is the mortgage industry and Stevens' group in particular. But when he worked on Ralph Nader's political operation out of college, Stevens found himself on the other side. He and a group of volunteers protested a company in Colorado that developed plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads. He was even arrested. In a statement released Monday night by the MBA regarding the protests, the group admitted the industry caused much of the economic struggles but pointed out many were inside the Hyatt hotel in Chicago in hopes of finding a way to move the economy past the slowdown. Stevens said the protesters have every right to voice their concerns, but he said from his experience, the change they are seeking will not come from demonstrations alone. "You're not going to get anywhere simply by yelling outside," Stevens said. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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