Press Release

Chicago Mayor Emanuel Agrees to Let Nurses Rally in Daley Plaza

Nurses Praise Tom Morello, Public Support for May 18 Rally

National Nurses United today welcomed a decision by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city officials to reverse efforts to block a planned rally by nurses, and community supporters, joined by eminent musician Tom Morello, at Daley Plaza, May 18.

Earlier this week Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city had demanded an 11th hour shift in the rally site from Daley Plaza to a far less visible location – despite the fact that nurses have long held a permit for the plaza, and many years of legal precedent and established practice of the plaza serving as a traditional venue for public rallies in Chicago.  

After vocal protests by Chicago and national nurses and public supporters, along with biting criticism by Morello, city officials today agreed for the nurses to go ahead with the Daley Plaza rally as planned -- including a performance by Morello.

The rally will convene at Daley Plaza at 12 noon on Friday, May 18.

“This is an important victory for democracy, for free speech rights, and for the voice of nurses to be heard as we sound the call for a new vision and new priorities to heal our nation and other G-8 countries from the pain and suffering inflicted on so many families,” said NNU Co-President Karen Higgins, RN.

"The Mayor's office and NATO backed down because we stood up,” said Morello. “This is a great victory for the nurses union, the people of Chicago, free speech and rock n roll. Of course we're not a security threat to downtown Chicago, but we proudly remain a threat to the monied interests who failed to stifle us."

“We would hope that the city of  Chicago would have encouraged our campaign to Tax Wall Street and use that money to invest in jobs, education and healthcare in Chicago rather than spend enormous amounts of city money on police and sophisticated equipment to silence our voices,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.  “But at the end of the day, our voices will be heard.”