The press statement also called on the Occupy Wall Street protesters and other coming to Chicago to protest NATO and the war and austerity agenda of the 1% to help the Mental Health Movement occupy the clinics.
To all our family from the global 99%,
To all those who believe that healthcare is a human right,
To all those who have struggled with mental illness personally or with loved ones,
To all those who have been denied healthcare,
To all those who have waited all day in emergency rooms,
To all those public servants facing layoffs or cuts to salary and pension,
To those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired,
To all those who believe that another world is possible beyond this madness,
The Mental Healh Movement calls on all protesters coming to Chicago to join us in the fight for healthcare not warfare. As NATO war-makers come to this city to plan wars that leave people traumatized an cost trillions of dollars, clinics that help people heal from trauma and deal with mental illness are being shuttered for lack of $2.3 million dollars. As our battle to save our clinics has intensified, Occupy Chicago and other Occupy groups around the city have become powerful allies. Now we ask members of Occupy Wall Street, other Occupy groups, and all other sectors of the social movements coming to Chicago to protest NATO to join us in occupying clinics by setting up a 24/7 presence outside of recently closed mental health clinics. We will dramatized the contradictions of a system that finds billions to wage NATO’s endless wars for profit but leaves its most vulnerable without basic healthcare.
At noon today approximately thirty protesters were occupying the sidewalk in front of the clinic in view of five Chicago Police Department officers an another three squad cars.
There were a total of twelve City of Chicago mental health clinics, of which six have been closed. On April 13, former 447patients, staff, Mental Health Movement activists, and Occupy Chicago occupied the waiting room at 6337 South Woodlawn. Police evicted and arrested the occupiers early the following morning. That occupation has continued and occupies a lot across the street from the clinic. (The folks at that occupation generously provided me space to sleep in a van for two nights when I first arrived in Chicago.)
Tents are not allowed by CPD at either location. Occupiers sleep in cars or sit up all night in chairs in order to maintain a 24/7 presence. They also set up a literature table to inform passers-by of what is happening.