Protesters Demand Trauma Center at U of C

"If you want the library, put the trauma center here"

The University of Chicago is a potential home for President Barack Obama's presidential library, but nearby residents say the university has a greater need for a trauma center.

Though demands for a trauma center aren't new, organizers stepped up their rhetoric and their tactics Monday as the university considers a bid to be home to the Obama Presidential Library.

"We are not saying the Obama library would not be a great project," Sheila Rush said, "but we are saying if you want the library, put the trauma center here."

Four years ago, Rush’s son, Damian Turner, was shot blocks away from the U of C campus, but he died on his way to the nearest trauma center in Streeterville.

"At this spot we are standing right now, we are five miles from the nearest trauma center," said A.J. McDowell, of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. "As you know, this is not a violent community, but it has been stricken with a lot of gun violence."

Protesters linked their arms together to block the entrances to a parking garage under construction. Another group sat down in front of a pair of cement trucks.

While construction continued, workers closed a gate to the property.

The protest continued for almost three hours until University of Chicago Police forcibly moved them.

One woman claimed her wrist was injured, and she was taken to a waiting ambulance, but the protesters say they plan to return.

"Today they lost money," Mark Ginsberg said. "We hit them in the pocket. They lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on the time they lost on this construction site."

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