… while nurses take to the barricades in Chicago
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.