400 Protesters Head to Rahm's House - NBC Chicago

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400 Protesters Head to Rahm's House



    May 19: Hospital Gown March

    N Dana Carter with the Mental Health Movement stopped by to Studio 5 to tell us all about their march today at noon. Carter and her group plan to dress up in hospital gowns. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012)

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home was the Saturday destination for Mental Health Movement protesters ahead of this weekend's NATO Summit.

    The same group that barricaded themselves inside the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic last month joined 400 others to march on Emanuel's Ravenswood neighborhood dressed in hospital gowns.

    "A lot of people don't recognize how citizens are being taxed and how rights are being lost," said N'Dana Carter of the Mental Health Movement. "They don't know ... that two have died and 16 have been hospitalized since the closing of the clinics."

    Carter told NBC Chicago the group not only will address the mayor but also his neighbors about how the closure of Chicago mental health clinics adversely affects the city.

    Six of the city's 12 public mental health centers closed last month. Since then, Carter said the group has seen two suicides and found people are getting lost en route to their destinations. Further, therapists aren't readily available for patients like they were at clinics.

    "We chose this weekend to highlight that all of this money is being spent on war when we have people dying," she said. "If you've got $14 million for parties, then you surely have $6 million for healthcare."

    Though the group became known for barricading themselves inside a closing clinic and interrupting Emanuel's public events to get his attention, Carter said the group wants a peaceful protest today.

    "There's never been a time when the Mental Health Movement was not doing something with peace, because what we recognize is it's important that people are comfortable with dealing with mental health issues. If we're erratic, if we're screaming and shouting, people will ignore us."

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