Nurses to picket Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on October 24, 2011, following Emanuel's destruction of First Aid station at Occupy Chicago

Members of National Nurses United announced on October 23 that they would be picketing Chicago's City Hall on Monday, October 24, 2011, to protest Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's continued refusal to allow peaceful protesters to remain in Grant Park, on Chicago's lakefront, after an 11:00 p.m. curfew. Nurses who had set up a First Aid tent in Grant Park on October 23 were among those arrested on Emanuel's orders over the weekend.

The Basic First Aid station staffed by Chicago nurses on the night of October 23, 2011, in Chicago's Grant Park, shortly before Chicago police (in background) on orders from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel destroyed the tent and arrested the nurses staffing it.The October 24 picket will take place on LaSalle Street at Chicago's City Hall following a decision by Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Gerry McCarthy to arrest nurses who had set up a First Aid station in the park on the evening of October 23. Police arrested 130 people on October 23, a week after police had arrested 175 people on October 16. Emanuel is the only big city mayor to ban the "Occupy" protesters from pitching tents and staying in the city's public parks.

At 9:30 a.m. on October 24, Emanuel has scheduled a press conference inside City Hall.


PRESS RELEASES. Nurses Condemn Chicago Mayor Emanuel for Arrest Of Nurses, Medical Volunteers at Occupy Chicago. For Immediate Release. October 23, 2011, RNs to Picket Mayor’s Office Monday Morning at 10 am

Registered nurses from across the U.S. today condemned Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his decision to arrest nurse volunteers, as well as peaceful protesters, in a late night crackdown Saturday night at the Occupy Chicago protest.

NNU is asking supporters to call Mayor Emanuel’s office at 312-744-5000 and demand they immediately drop all charges against the nurses and other protesters, and stop the harassment and arrests of the nurses and others peacefully exercising their free speech rights. Nurses will also picket the mayor’s office at 10 a.m. Monday morning, at City Hall at the LaSalle entrance.

Nurse leaders of National Nurses United who set up a nurses’ station to provide basic first aid to Chicago protesters — as NNU has done peacefully in five other cities across the U.S. — were among the some 130 people arrested by Chicago police. The police also tore down the first aid station, and arrested scores of others who had peacefully assembled to support the station.

“Even in wartime, combatants respect the work of nurses and other first responders. Yet Mayor Emanuel and Chicago seem to care as little about that tradition as they do in protecting the constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro. “These arrests are disgraceful and unconscionable, and will not deter our nurses from continuing this mission, setting up the station again, and continuing to support the protests.”

NNU first aid station in Chicago just before the arrests Saturday night

Emanuel has been perhaps the most aggressive mayor in the nation in repression of the occupy Wall Street movement with mass arrests on at least two occasions now. The Chicago Tribune Saturday reported that city officials are trying to send a message to world leaders of being “tough” on demonstrators in advance of upcoming meetings of G-8 and NATO leaders in May.

“Instead of showing off for world leaders, and paying allegiance to protecting the economic interests of the top 1 percent, Mayor Emanuel should stop, and start representing the 99 percent, the people for whom the occupy movement has become a clear voice,” DeMoro said.

NNU also has first aid stations now established at occupy protests in New York’s Zuccotti Park, site of the first Occupy Wall Street protests, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, and Detroit, and will be opening up others in coming days.


October 24, 2011 at 7:50 PM

By: Jay Rehak

When Society attacks Nurses, we're all in trouble

Bad enough that society blames teachers for its ills. When nurses can't get respect from government, we're all in trouble. Time to stick together and insist the government be given back to the 99% of people who do the actual work in our society. (nurses, teachers, sanitation workers, cops, fire fighters, retail shop workers, etc.)

Enough of government by press release and sound bites. The truth is, people are working their hearts out and not getting anywhere because the debt load in this country is so great.

Here's a secret the Wall Street folks don't want people to know: government debt is great for wealthy people who own the bonds on the debt. Bonds are legally and contractually linked to taxes. This means bondholders are first in line to receive tax receipts. The greater the government debt, the higher the rate of return on the bonds (take a look at Greece... that government so overwhelmed with debt, the bondholders can insist on super high rates of return (21% and higher currently). That means, no matter how hard the Greeks work, they'll only be paying taxes to pay to bondholders...

The only way the bondholders "lose" (and this is after they've received great interest rates for years) is if Greece defaults, which is why the European governments are scrambling to make sure that doesn't happen. Guess who's going to get caught with all the Greek debt when it goes bad. You guessed it, the European governments who are poised to agree to the bailout within the month. What this means is the bondholders will largely escape the "risk" they took when they bought high yield Greek debt. Amazing how the governments will be caught holding the bag. The old adage: Privatize the profit, socialize the debt. Amazing.

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