Chicago, IL - Over 300 people gathered on Saturday, May 19 in a Chicago park to demand healthcare, not warfare. Protesters gathered outside a CTA train station and then rallied at Horner Park on the North Side. Protest leaders gave speeches opposing the war and poverty agenda of the NATO and G8 summits. They demanded money for healthcare and ending homelessness here at home, not for the war in Afghanistan.
The rally in the park then marched on the home of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the host to the NATO summit of war-makers, politicians and bankers. In the lead up to the NATO war summit, Mayor Emmanuel shuttered six mental health clinics. More than two dozen leaders and members of the Mental Health Movement and Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) Chicago were arrested in previous weeks occupying mental health facilities targeted for closing. One protest outside the mayor’s office in City Hall ended with six members of STOP Chicago cited for trespassing and one arrest on April 30. Emmanuel’s consolidation plan will privatize healthcare and force patients to take long trips on public transportation to obtain health care services.
Upon marching to and sitting in outside the mayor’s home, people chanted, “Healthcare, not warfare!" and "Money for human need, not for corporate greed." Protesters marched for the 99% along with the patients and organizers who were arrested.