Nurses, City Make NATO Protest Deal

National Nurses United can have their Daley Plaza rally on May 18, but the city asked them to amend their plans

City officials and a national nurses union reached an agreement Friday to allow the group to hold the first protest rally of the NATO summit.

The deal calls for the National Nurses United to reduce the time-length of their rally from five hours to two hours, change the protest from a march through downtown to a stationary rally at Daley Plaza and have 30 minutes of music performances at the end of the rally.

The city earlier this week revoked an already-granted permit for the nurses to rally in Daley Center Plaza on Friday, May 18.

The city had wanted to move the rally to Grant Park because the nurses heavily promoted the event and added a concert by former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello -- moves that increased the likelihood that more than the originally estimated 1,000 people would show up.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended the city’s decision to revoke the nurses’ permit, saying that nurses did not mention a concert in their application.

Morello, a Libertyville native, welcomed the city’s decision.

"The mayor’s office and NATO backed down because we stood up," Morello said in a statement. "This is a great victory for the nurses union, the people of Chicago, free speech and rock ’n’ roll.”

Roderick Drew, a spokesman with the city’s law department, also said the city has agreed to allow organizers of a Sunday rally to have a stage for Iraq war veterans.

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