Nurses' Union Condemns Rahm Emanuel for Chicago's Arrest of Nurse Volunteers With Protesters

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been the most public enemy of the Occupy movement, but in Chicago Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff, is quickly becoming his competition for the title. 

A late-night crackdown on protesters camping out resulted in the arrest not only of over a hundred protesters, but of nurses volunteering at a first aid station set up at the occupation. National Nurses United, the country's largest union of nurses, condemned the arrests. 

“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 in a statement. “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.”

The nurses' union has set up first aid stations in five other cities that are currently seeing occupations, including in New York. 

Emanuel, who was known for his Wall Street ties as a congressman and as a member of the Obama administration, has initiated several crackdowns and mass arrests of the Chicago occupiers, who seem undaunted. Perhaps his crackdowns are an attempt to get protests under control in advance of coming meetings of the G-8 and NATO in that city in coming months. 

“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.

AlterNet / By Sarah Jaffe

Posted at October 23, 2011, 10:34am

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