Two nurse volunteers were arrested while running a first aid tent during Saturday's Occupy Chicago protests in Grant Park. Their union on Monday demanded the charges be dropped.
"We were providing basic first aid care in Grant Park Saturday night," said Jan Rodolfo, registered nurse and national coordinator of National Nurses United. "Rahm took the tents denying protesters first responders free speech and free assembly."
"First amendment rights don't stop at 11 p.m.," Rodolfo said.
But Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during a press conference he wanted to make sure the law was enforced.
"There's a balancing act," Emanuel said. "People have their first amendment right. It's protected and they're expressing their views. And I've expressed my understanding of those economic hardships while making sure the law is enforced."
A representative from the Mayor's office told protesters Emanuel has no plans to drop the charges.
But Martese Chism, a registered nurse arrested in Grant Park Saturday night, said protesters have the right to assemble.
"They have the right to free speech," Chism said.
Occupy Chicago protesters stood by as well. “I’m here to protest the way our country is not working for people and seem not to care that other people are suffering,” said Sam Hodson, Occupy Chicago demonstrator.