Press Release

Nurses to Lead Big May 18 Rally in Chicago on Eve of Summit with Plan to Heal Global Economies

Image removed.Registered nurses, renowned musician Tom Morello, labor, community, and Occupy Wall Street activists will gather in a major rally in Chicago Friday, May 18 to kick off protests on the eve of the G-8 and NATO summits. The rally will be held at 12 noon in Chicago's Daley Plaza.

Chicago officials had threatened to block the rally, but reversed their stance following outspoken protests by nurses and Morello with broad public support.

Led by National Nurses United, the nation's largest union of nurses, the rally is endorsed by  more than 100 organizations of labor, environmentalists and consumers many of whom are making their way to join Chicago supporters. The rally will feature a skit depicting the search for absent G-8 leaders, who fled their planned meeting in Chicago, and a performance by Morello, The Nightwatchman.

The centerpiece of the rally is a call for a Robin Hood tax, a small levy of 50 cents or less on $100 of trades of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial instruments that could raise up to $350 billion every year in revenue.

NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro outlined the need for the Robin Hood tax in an interview with legendary journalist Bill Moyers this week aired nationally on PBS.

"We're working on the global scene, and the opportunities to actually have one world and one people in a way for the first time that I've seen in my life," DeMoro told Moyers. "The financial transaction tax is seen by all of our allies internationally as a way of addressing the economy of the world. And that's why it's not the financial transaction tax in and of itself, it's the reconceptualization of what we should be as a society of people."

The revenue from the Robin Hood Tax is the first step to healing distressed communities and setting the U.S. on the road to a real recovery. More than 40 countries, including many of the fastest growing economies, already have such a tax, and it may well be adopted European-wide this year.

Another theme of the NNU day of action includes an international panel of speakers of guests from seven nations speaking about the global challenge by workers and communities against bank-imposed austerity measures. The event is open to the press. The panel will kick off the Friday events at 8 a.m. at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. It will include speakers from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Guatemala, Canada and the U.S.

The critically acclaimed actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, who portrays a nurse on the Emmy award winning Showtime dark comedy Nurse Jackie, will perform Tell Us Where It Hurts, America's Nurses are Listening, a theatrical piece written for an estimated international audience of more than 1,000 nurses, at the Sheraton at 7:30 p.m. on May 18, capping the Day of Action.  "It's a welcome creative challenge to tap into these experiences from the lives of nurses," said Deavere Smith.

(This performance is not open to the public. There are limited seats for press. Please contact NNU to attend.)

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Source: PR Newswire (