Nurses to go ahead with Chicago protest

CHICAGO – When the G-8 Summit was first set to happen here, the National Nurses United union immediately called for a demonstration to demand that the United States pass a “Robin Hood” tax on Wall Street speculation to help deal with the terrible affect of the Great Recession on working people. They argue that a very small stock transaction tax would bring in billions of dollars a year that could be used for people’s needs and public programs.

The NNU began negotiating with the City of Chicago for the necessary permits and parade routes to organize their protest. Even after the G-8 was shifted from Chicago to Camp David, the NNU continued to organize. They made the point that regardless of where the actual meeting was held, people’s protest against austerity plans needed to be heard, along with other ideas for alternatives that could save vital public services like health care.

With a lot of hard work they got the necessary permits to demonstrate at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. Daley Plaza is a public square that often hosts all kinds of public activities including demonstrations, music events, sports celebrations, art exhibits and much more.

However, earlier this week Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided to change the protest march route and permits to shunt them away from the very visible central downtown area to a less accessible park location.

The nurses quickly swung into action enlisting the Illinois ACLU for a legal challenge and vowing not to back off of their call for the protest action. (Video below)

Other labor and community groups, including Occupy Chicago have made it clear that they will march with the NNU on May 18.

Photo: Chicago NNU nurses demonstrate with steelworkers in solidarity with British workers. (PW/Scott Marshall)




Scott Marshall
Scott Marshall

Scott has been a life long trade unionist and was active in rank and file reform movements in the Teamsters, Machinists and Steelworkers unions in the 1970s and '80s. He was co-chair of the Save Our Jobs committee of USWA local 1834 at Pullman Standard in Chicago and active in nationwide organizing against plant shutdowns and layoffs. He was a founder of the unemployed organization Jobs or Income Now (Join), in Chicago, and the National Congress of Unemployed Organizations in the 1980s. Scott remains active in SOAR (Steelworkers Active Organized Retirees). He lives in Chicago.