‘Occupy Chicago’ Ends 10-Hour Sit-In At City Hall

Updated 11/15/11 – 11:01 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Members of Occupy Chicago staged a lenghthy sit-in outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office at City Hall, in protest of planned budget cuts to mental health clinics.

Chanting “where is the mayor,” the protesters – some wearing hospital gowns over their street clothes – marched to City Hall earlier in the day and staged a rally outside the mayor’s office before starting their sit-in around noon.

About 10 protesters were behind a police barricade directly in front of the mayor’s office late Tuesday afternoon, while about 30 others were on the other side of that barricade.

About 10 protesters were still in the building as of 10 p.m., although the building was closed to the public. Around 10:30 p.m., the remaining protesters finally decided to go home.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

Initially, some protesters said they planned to stay the entire night, even though there are no restrooms open in that part of City Hall and the rest of the building was closed.

Police had threatened to write tickets for trespassing, but some protesters said they were willing to be arrested if necessary.

They were speaking out against budget cuts that would force some mental health clinics in the city to close and privatize others.

Activist Alex Goldenberg said he believes privatization would “result in poor services for consumers. It’s going to result in poor working conditions for the workers and it’s going to result in higher costs, potentially, for the city and just worse outcomes for everybody involved.”

Mental health advocate Dan Boris says if clinics are closed, some patients will probably go off their medications, and have difficulty leading a normal life.

“When people with severe mental illnesses don’t have a normal life, they affect others in their community. They affect their family members. They affect their neighbors,” Boris said.

Although the protesters eventually disbanded before the night was out, they said they still wanted a meeting with the mayor about the budget cuts to mental health clinics.

  • Just Axin

    Can’t believe the PC mayor and his police chief puppet allowed these protestors to occupy the buldg. after hours. Now they can’t say no to any group that wants to break the rules.

  • Jim Flood

    I applaud the courageous people with mental difficulties that stood up for those that could not speak for themselves! It must not have been easy to get in front of the world and tell them that they have difficulties, need psychiatric care, and need their neighbors to cry out with them. I don’t know if I would have the guts.
    Let’s put aside what is right or wrong and how we should treat the weakest among us.
    How could it be cheaper to deny someone mental health care? Most of us know how easy it is to forget to take a pill. Or worse yet, a person is transferred between a series of overworked doctors and new medicines are tried out. Homelessness sometimes occurs. Police are often called. After processing at the jail they are sent on a trip to the emergency room. That is followed by a week in the psych ward. A few outpatient visits a month are a whole lot cheaper.
    The only reason I can see for Da Mayor to want to proceed with this route is he must be getting a kickback from privatizing the remaining clinics. Closing mental health clinics sure isn’t in the taxpayer’s interest.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-muckrakers/2011/11/breaking-protesters-stage-city-hall-sit-in-against-clinic-cuts/ Updated: Protesters stage City Hall sit-in against clinic cuts | Chicago Muckrakers

    […] reported that protesters ended their 10-hour sit-in at 10:30 p.m., saying they want a meeting with Emanuel over budget cuts. NBC5 also mentioned the protest on […]

  • Losers!

    What does this have to do with Wallstreet and the wealthy one percent? Don’t tell me these occupy losers are going to protest every single issue that comes up! It’s time for these losers to hang it up. The tougher they think they are getting, the more resiliant the lawmakers will be. These losers will NEVER get what they want through childish displays!!!!

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