Nurses Protest Outside Emanuel's Office over Occupy
By Kristen Mack Tribune reporter
October 24, 2011
More than two dozen people in red shirts affiliated
with National Nurses United stood outside Mayor Rahm
Emanuel's fifth floor City Hall office this morning
chanting, "Arrest the 1 percent."
The protest came a day after two nurses with the union
were arrested in Grant Park for refusing to leave after
the park's 11 p.m. closing time. They were among more
than 100 people who were arrested early Sunday morning.
Jan Rodolfo, 36, the Midwest director for NNU, said she
was arrested at 2:45 a.m. Sunday and charged with an
ordinance violation. Another nurse, Martese Chism, and
an unspecified number of medics were arrested.
Rodolfo said she was released at 1:15 a.m. this
morning, pending a Nov. 15 court appearance.
"We were among the last protesters released, for no
good reason that we can tell, except for they clearly
knew when the media cameras had left," Rodolfo said.
"We were tearful and exhausted and shell shocked."
Emanuel said the city has a balancing act.
"I have to enforce the law as well as respect peoples'
1st Amendment rights," Emanuel said.
Chism, the other nurse who was arrested, said she and
her colleagues were at Grant Park to offer their
medical services and moral support.
"We believe that they have a right to assemble and the
right to the freedom of speech under the Constitution,"
said Chism, a registered nurse at Cook County, who said
she spent 23 hours in jail. "We see our patients
suffer from the economic crisis, and we believe the
only way to heal America is to address Wall Street."
Rodolfo said her group is asking Emanuel to "act like
mayors across the country" and allow protesters to set
up a 24/7 encampment in Chicago without fear of arrest.
"A person and their rights don't stop at 11 p.m. in the
city of Chicago," Rodolfo said.
Occupy Chicago's Second Attempt At Grant Park Ends In
130 Arrests (VIDEO)
Nurses Protest Occupy Chicago Arrests
By Ivanna Hampton & Alise Blunk
October 24, 2011
Occupy Chicago on Monday returned the favor to a
powerful ally. The grassroots organization picketed at
10 a.m. alongside National Nurses United, the country's
largest registered nurses union, outside City Hall to
demand misdemeanor trespassing charges be dropped
against two nurses and all Occupy Chicago protesters
arrested over the weekend. Chicago Police arrested 130
people when Grant Park closed Saturday night and Occupy
Chicago attempted for a second weekend in a row to set
up permanent camp there. The nurses said they pitched a
first aid tent like other volunteers have in cities
around the country, including San Francisco and New
"We were providing basic first aid care in Grant Park
Saturday night," said Jan Rodolfo, registered nurse and
national coordinator of National Nurses United. "Rahm
took the tents denying protesters first responders free
speech and free assembly."
"First amendment rights don't stop at 11 p.m.," Rodolfo
But Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during a press conference
he wanted to make sure the law was enforced.
"There's a balancing act," Emanuel said. "People have
their first amendment right. It's protected and they're
expressing their views. And I've expressed my
understanding of those economic hardships while making
sure the law is enforced."
A representative from the Mayor's office told
protesters Emanuel has no plans to drop the charges.
But Martese Chism, a registered nurse arrested in Grant
Park Saturday night, said protesters have the right to
"They have the right to free speech," Chism said.
Occupy Chicago protesters stood by as well. "I'm here
to protest the way our country is not working for
people and seem not to care that other people are
suffering," said Sam Hodson, Occupy Chicago
Police Arrest 130, Tear Down First Aid Station at
By Tula Connell AFL-CIO blog October 24, 2011
Over the weekend, Chicago police tore down a first aid
station at Occupy Chicago, and nurses were among the
130 protesters arrested in a massive sweep against
those taking a stance against Wall Street greed.
About 1,500 people gathered Saturday in Grant Park
hoping to make it the movement's permanent home,
according to the Washington Post.
Along the way, marchers chanted "Banks got bailed
out, we got sold out!" and held signs that read
"Greed Sucks" and "No War But The Class War" while
police on horses blocked them from walking on the
street on Michigan Avenue, leaving them with just
the sidewalks to occupy.
The protest was peaceful, but demonstrators were taken
away one by one and handcuffed with white plastic ties.
As the Post noted, some on the scene shouted: "This is
what democracy looks like!"
Paulina Jasczuk, a 24-year-old dental receptionist,
watched as her boyfriend, Philip Devon, was led
away in the night hours. She threw him a white
sweater against the chill of a fall night in
"I'm proud of everyone who got arrested tonight,"
she told AP, adding she hoped they would inspire
more demonstrators to join in the movement in the
Protesting the arrests and destruction of the first aid
station, nurses and their allies picketed outside the
mayor's office at City Hall this morning. From the
"This movement will not be a serious movement until
we take a stand, and getting arrested is just one
way of taking a stand," said Max Farrar, 20, a
junior political science major at DePaul
University, speaking Saturday to a reporter.
National Nurses United (NNU) also has first aid
stations at Occupy protests in New York's Zuccotti
Park, as well as in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San
Francisco and Detroit and plan more in coming days.
Beyond the `Two Revolutions'
130 arrests as Occupy Chicago protesters defy order to
leave park; 11 arrests in Cincinnati
The movement, which started Sept. 17 with a few
dozen demonstrators who tried to pitch tents in
front of the New York Stock Exchange, has
spread to cities around the world.
By Associated Press
October 22, 2011
Anti-Wall Street demonstrators of the Occupy Chicago
movement stood their ground in a downtown park in noisy
but peaceful defiance of police orders to clear out,
prompting 130 arrests early Sunday, authorities said.
Occupy Chicago spokesman Joshua Kaunert vowed after the
arrests that protests would continue in the Midwest
"We're not going anywhere. There are still plenty of
us," Kaunert told The Associated Press after the
arrests, which took police more than an hour to
Elsewhere in the nation, police reported 11 arrests
overnight in the Occupy Cincinnati protests. Police
said those arrested had stayed in that city's Fountain
Square after Sunday's 3 a.m. closing time and each was
charged with criminal trespass.
In Chicago, police began taking people into custody
just before 1 a.m. Sunday. Those arrested were led in
groups to vans and two large white buses as others
clamored to be arrested.
"Take me next! Take me next!" some shouted as police
began the arrests. Others chanted as they were led
away: "We'll be back!"
Officers had begun placing metal barricades around the
area of Chicago's Grant Park known as Congress Plaza
about 11:10 p.m. Saturday, minutes after the park had
closed. Afterward, police then went through the crowd
and warned people to leave or risk arrest for remaining
in the closed park in violation of a city ordinance.
Several of the protesters who stayed inside the
barricades in the park sat on the ground. Others locked
arms as police circled and then began arresting people.
"One: We are the people! Two: We are united! Three: The
occupation is not leaving!" demonstrators shouted.
Others joined in from just outside the park.
Chicago police said Sunday morning that 130 arrests had
Kaunert said none of those arrested had resisted.
"Everybody was very peaceful and smiling and there was
no violence, though a lot of chanting," he said.
He urged authorities to let the people resume
protesting peacefully against the perceived greed and
other ills they see on Wall Street and elsewhere in
corporate America. He noted it was the second straight
weekend that arrests had been made in the park after
175 arrests the previous Sunday after protesters set up
tents past public hours.
"The police came in and again took away our right to
free speech and assembly," he said. "Several
paddywagons left and they had two very large prison
buses and those are gone now."
Paulina Jasczuk, a 24-year-old dental receptionist,
watched as her boyfriend, Philip Devon, was led away in
the night hours. She threw him a white sweater against
the chill of a fall night in Chicago.
"I'm proud of everyone who got arrested tonight," she
told AP, adding she hoped they would inspire more
demonstrators to join in the movement in the weeks
Demonstrators were taken away one by one and handcuffed
with white plastic ties and. Some on the scene shouted:
"This is what democracy looks like!"
Drums banged and some people clanged on metal.
Jonathan Sumner, 25, of Chicago, watched the arrests
from outside the park and began shouting at officers:
"Why are you doing this?"
"It's a sad day for the CPD" he said, referring to the
Chicago Police Department.
Some said earlier that arrests only signal the
importance of the Occupy movement.
"This movement will not be a serious movement until we
take a stand, and getting arrested is just one way of
taking a stand," said Max Farrar, 20, a junior
political science major at DePaul University, speaking
Saturday to a reporter.
About 1,500 people gathered for the protest that began
Saturday. Demonstrators descended on the city park with
hopes of making it the movement's permanent home. The
group had started in Chicago's financial district
before marching to the park.
Along the way, marchers chanted "Banks got bailed out,
we got sold out!" and held signs that read "Greed
Sucks" and "No War But The Class War" while police on
horses blocked them from walking on the street on
Michigan Avenue, leaving them with just the sidewalks
Occupy Wall Street began a month ago in New York among
a few young people, and has grown to tens of thousands
around the country and the world.
In Cincinnati, Police Capt. Doug Wiesman said early
Sunday that the 11 arrests carried out there were
"straightforward" and without problems. A protester,
Aaron Roco, told AP about 30 other protesters who
remained on a sidewalk just outside the Cincinnati
square during the police action weren't arrested.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press
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