Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

Nurses Kick Off First Official NATO Protest

The National Nurses Union plans to send a message to Wall Street

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A National network of nurses gathered at Daley Plaza in a noisy but peaceful demonstration demanding a "Robin Hood" tax on banks' financial transactions (Published Friday, May 18, 2012)

    The first official protest of NATO kicked off Friday afternoon with nurses from around the world gathering in Daley Plaza for a rally.

    "Chicago is a great place to come, but we're here with a message, obviously. And our hope is that tomorrow we'll get that message out," co-president of National Nurses United Karen Higgins said at the Sheraton Hotel, where more than 1,000 nurses gathered a night earlier.

    Nurse Explains Impetus for Protest

    [CHI] Nurse Explains Impetus for Protest
    Nurse Karen Higgins says a "sales tax" on Wall Street could go a long way to heal global economies, improve health care. (Published Thursday, May 17, 2012)

    That message: tax Wall Street to relieve the growing problem of inadequate health care.

    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 explained in a statement.

    Tom Morello Seranades Nurses at Rally

    [CHI] Tom Morello Seranades Nurses at Rally
    Rage Against the Machine frontman performs at Nurses United rally in Daley Plaza. (Published Saturday, May 19, 2012)

    It's a protest that almost didn't happen. Originally approved as a march and a rally, city officials a little more than a week ago threatened to pull the nurses' already-approved permit if they didn't amend their plans.

    The city wanted the rally moved to Grant Park because a concert by former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello increased the likelihood of an overwhelming crowd.

    Ultimately, the two sides reached a deal. The nurses dropped the march and agreed to a shortened rally and brief concert.

    "It got a little bit shaky there for a while but ... as nurses, we're like one of these people -- we never give up," said Higgins.

    Video: National Nurses Director RoseAnn DeMoro Explains Tax on PBS' "Moyers & Company"