… while nurses take to the bar­ri­cades in Chicago

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

While Oc­cupy Health­care is stay­ing above the protest fray, that’s not the case in Chicago, where some nurses found them­selves in the mid­dle of a con­fronta­tion with po­lice.

Two nurses tend­ing to a first-aid sta­tion at an Oc­cupy Chicago protest were among about 130 ar­rested on Oct. 23 af­ter ig­nor­ing po­lice in­struc­tions that they couldn’t stay overnight at the protest site.

That drew the ire of National Nurses United, which is­sued a state­ment rip­ping po­lice: “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,” said NNU Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Rose Ann De­moro. Chicago po­lice had told pro­test­ers they needed to va­cate Grant Park by 11 p.m. or face ar­rest, as pro­test­ers at­tempted to as­sem­ble a tent city. Nurses there were tend­ing first-aid sta­tions to treat pro­test­ers.

Jan Rodolfo, the Midwest di­rec­tor of the NNU, was one of the nurses ar­rested and charged with an or­di­nance vi­o­la­tion. She said she spent about 22 hours jailed and was given five slices of white bread and a slice of bologna while in­side a cell with­out a mat­tress.

The day af­ter the ar­rests, the union held a news con­fer­ence out­side of Chicago’s City Hall call­ing for po­lice to drop charges. Rodolfo said about 150, in­clud­ing 75 nurses, showed up. She has a Nov. 15 court date for the or­di­nance vi­o­la­tion.

Rodolfo got a taste of the hos­pi­tal­ity of Chicago’s finest af­ter be­ing ar­rested at the Oc­cupy Chicago site.

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