On Saturday night, another 130 people were arrested as the city of Chicago moved to dislodge overnight protesters at Occupy Chicago. Now, the nation’s largest nurses union, National Nurses United, has put out a statement condemning Mayor Rahm Emmanuel for this action, which included arresting nurses and medical volunteers. Here’s the statement from NNU where it calls the arrests “disgraceful” and promises to picket Emmanuel’s office this morning:
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.”