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We are the 99 percent

Chicago: #SaveOurClinics Occupies Mental Health Clinic Slated for Closure

Posted 10 years ago on April 13, 2012, 7:39 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

mental health clinic occupied

As part of an on-going austerity program closing down vital services from schools to transportation, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel plans to close six clinics throughout the city. But the 99% has another idea. Yesterday, while hundreds rallied outside, a group of patients, doctors, and Occupiers barricaded themselves inside the South Side´s Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic, one of the clinics slated for closure. via Occupy Chicago:

Mental Health Movement / Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP)

Mental Health Clinic Facing Closure Occupied by Patients and Advocates
Mental Health Movement barricaded inside Woodlawn Clinic until Rahm Emanuel backs off clinic closures

Dozens of people who use Chicago's mental health clinics along with other advocates have barricaded themselves into the Woodlawn Clinic at 6337 S. Woodlawn, one of 6 clinics facing closure. They intend to remain there until Mayor Emanuel agrees to keep all of Chicago's public clinics open, fully funded and fully staffed.

Two of the clinics slated for closure - the Northwest Clinic in Logan Square and the Northtown Clinic in Rogers Park - shut their doors last Friday. Four others (Woodlawn, Auburn/Gresham, Back of the Yards and Beverly/Morgan Park) are scheduled to close April 30th. The Mental Health Movement, which put out a report and a video undermining the Chicago Department of Public Health's claim that all patients will continue to receive care, has been calling for hearings on the clinic closures since October. Despite repeated promises and a resolution calling for hearings, the Emanuel Administration has prevented any hearings from taking place in order to avoid public scrutiny of the plan, which has come under fire even from Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

"We have tried everything we could to be heard. We visited Mayor Emanuel when he was a candidate. We delivered him over 4,000 letters. We have talked to almost all 50 Alderman. We have held press conferences, rallies and even sat-in for 10 hours on the 5th floor of City Hall. We are the ones who know the disaster these clinic closures will mean for our communities and our city but Mayor Emanuel been unwilling to listen to us, so we are taking drastic measures to avoid a tragedy and defend our human rights," says N'Dana Carter, who goes to one of the city clinics and is a spokesperson for the Mental Health Movement.

The people barricaded in the clinic have enough food and supplies to stay for months and are threatening to do so unless Mayor Emanuel meets the following five demands:

  • Keep all 12 city mental health clinics public, open, fully funded and fully staffed
  • Stop plans to privatize Chicago's 7 neighborhood health centers
  • Hire more doctors, therapists, nurses, social workers and other clinic staff
  • Reinstate the drug assistance program
  • Expand the public mental health safety net to cover unmet community needs

Police cut locks and entered the building just after 1am, arresting 23. For updates, ways to get involved, and information on support for arrestees, follow #SaveOurClinics and @OccupyChicago on Twitter.

woodlawn commune

Update, 4/16: As of yesterday, patients, staff, advocates, and supporters have re-occupied Woodlawn by creating an encampment outside. Despite treacherous thunderstorms, the camp has lasted the night. All are encouraged to head down there! A press conference will take place this morning at 10am at the Chicago Dept of Public Health:

Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) / Mental Health Movement

Mental Health Movement protesters arrested for occupying clinic meet with Chicago Department of Public Health Patients will share stories at press conference of two people already hospitalized due to clinic closures, call on Mayor to reverse course

WHAT: Press conference prior to meeting between mental health clinic protesters and Chicago Department of Public Health
WHEN: Monday April 16th, 2012, 10am
WHERE: 333 S. State
WHO: Members of Mental Health Movement who were arrested for occupying one of clinics slated for closure

On Monday at 10am the Mental Health Movement will hold a press conference in front of the Chicago Department of Public Health at 333 S. State just prior to meeting with CDPH during the Community Mental Health Board monthly meeting. Some of the 23 people arrested during the occupation of the Woodlawn Clinic, one of the six mental health clinics slated to close this month will speak out and share stories of patients who are already slipping through the cracks. In particular, they will recount the story of two patients from the Northwest Mental Health Clinic, one of the two that has already closed.

"We occupied the Woodlawn Clinic after months of being ignored while trying to warn the Mayor about the disastrous consequences of closing clinics. Mayor Emanuel chose to send a SWAT team and chainsaws rather than listen to us. Now two of the clinics have already closed and exactly what we were trying to tell him would happen has begun to happen. We have at least two testimonies of patients currently in psychiatric hospitalization because they entered into crisis after the Northwest Clinic was closed. This has to stop. It is time for the Mayor to listen to those of us directly affected by his decision to close mental health clinics," says N'Dana Carter, spokeswoman for the Mental Health Movement.



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[-] 3 points by jimevanhoe1 (55) 10 years ago

Ronald Reagan when he was Governor of California just about destroyed the entire mental health system for the poor. He closed the one down in my home town of Stockton California, throwing dozens of mentally ill individuals out and on to the street. Seriously, as he and his wife Nancy lived free at the expense of the Taxpayers, free food, free housing, free doctors, free transportation, Reagan threw the mentally ill or handicapped out on to the Streets. Finally the University of the Pacific opened a place where they could go during the day....but at night I have know idea where they all slept.

It is time to Take Back America for All Americans

It is time to break up the Monopolies who control our Society.

These are the Criminals of Monopoly: Microsoft, GE, Boeing, Halliburton, EXXON, BP, P&G, Goldman-Sachs, Monsanto, Department of Defense just to name a few.

[-] 1 points by Yin7 (44) 10 years ago

Yes. Government needs to their job & break the monopolies. True that!


[-] 2 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 10 years ago

Follow the bouncing ball - Tax cuts for the richest 1%:



The state has less revenue, so it cuts funding for prisons and mental institutions. Then private contractors come in to perform these services.



The new facility is operated by a federal agency and is intended to house immigrants, but it creates a precedent for privatizing prisons in Illinois, despite a current law in Illinois that prohibits it, which was just expanded in 2011 to prohibit private prisons on every single governmental level, from state-wide down to small towns and counties.

This new private prison that clearly violates the will of the citizens of Illinois is being put there by a federal agency, to address a need they don't currently have. Curiouser and curiouser, my friends.

Let's face it - the mentally ill often end up in correctional facilities and detention centers as soon as there is a profit motive to put them there.

But then, so do lots of other people.

[-] -2 points by conservativemajority (-30) 10 years ago

In Illinois, the problem isn't taxes, but rather the crowding out of about everything government does to fund the demands of the public employee unions. Get used to it liberals. You support the unions, you support them sucking the fiscal life out of everything else government used to do. It's a poor choice, but that's the one you're making.

[-] 1 points by ontheotherhandx6 (13) 10 years ago

it amazing how in the face of evidence, people like you still make up your own stories about what's happening.

"The problem isn't the wealthy being taxed less, leading to less revenue for the state. Cause they're not the ones that are greedy. No, it's the rank-and-file employees who are the greedy ones." That's essentially what you're saying. Does it make sense?

[-] -1 points by conservativemajority (-30) 10 years ago

Just take more. Those that draw the line are simply greedy.

In Illinois, they just had a 67% income tax hike and it didn't make a dent and it came without meaningfully reform of the unions. Sweet.

[-] 2 points by plainscott (79) from Bowling Green, KY 10 years ago

Sure thing, Mr. Majority, so how about this: all unions, public and private, DISBANDED. Minimum wage, CANCELLED. New public policy: allow all companies to collude and monopolize, and reduce all wages to ONE CENT PER DAY, if the market will allow it. And you know with all the people out of work, companies will have no problem filling positions at a pay rate of a penny per day. After all, these workers are still being paid, so TECHNICALLY it's not slavery, right conservabots? Oh, and make sure EVERYTHING in the public domain is privatized. Not just parks and highways, but streets, sidewalks, lakes, rivers, EVERYTHING. Allow private, multi-national corporations to BUY these commons, and charge everyone a USER FEE OR A TOLL to do use them, occupy them, drive on them, bike on them, or walk on them. Anyone doesn't pay when they walk down the street, it's TRESPASSING. That means IMPRISONMENT in PRIVATE PRISONS (where slavery is legal, read the Emancipation Proclamation). Otherwise, it's indentured servitude, baby, just like the middle ages. Oh, and forget about using the public radio spectrum as a tool to challenge this new dystopian state, because broadcast spectrum is now PRIVATELY OWNED as well, right??? Now THAT is the conservative utopia, my friends! You likee? Yea, dittoheads, keep supporting the tea partiers and fascists. Keep it up!

[-] 2 points by ontheotherhandx6 (13) 10 years ago

don't forget that we have a flat tax rate in illinois. along with the fact that the 3% tax rate illinois had prior to the increase was a joke, and it's no wonder it got in hole so deep with such a low rate. So it increased to 5% which compared to other states, is still pretty low. Despite that though, it did bring in an $7B, I've heard, so it wasn't a total waste. Now with these new tax cuts for those that don't need it, expect any progress that was being made, to be undone. And none of this can be blamed on greedy unions. The pressure is coming from the top with threats to leave the state and take jobs with them, if their taxes weren't cut.

[-] 0 points by conservativemajority (-30) 10 years ago

Oh, that's how it's rationalized. It was unfairly low for so many years.

Yes, pressure comes from the people you intend to shake-down. Imagine that! Job creators and the producer-class has a limit. Illinois is just beginning to learn first hand what that's gonna mean.

Waste isn't the tax increase, it's what the state does with it after it's been collected.

[-] 2 points by ontheotherhandx6 (13) 10 years ago

That's not a rationalization, that's just the course of events. That's history. The state was not taking in enough revenue for years to cover its spending, hence debt. Irresponsible bookeeping. Not to mention the fact that interest from loans is unpayable debt, since all the interest from any loan issued is money that doesn't exist in the current money supply, so debt is inevitable, but I'm sidetracking.

We bailed them out and they evicted us. We gave them tax cuts and they continued to lay us off. Don't call them 'job creators'. If you wanna defend what they do, fine, that's all you bud, but don't label them something they're not. Here are some acceptable labels for them: -Job destroyers -Profit vultures -Labor exploiters -Prima donnas

so when were they pushed to the limit when they were being taxed very conservatively and still not 'creating' jobs? that's something that's yet to be explained.

[-] 2 points by plainscott (79) from Bowling Green, KY 10 years ago

Newsflash: state tax rates are HIGHER in "conservative" Kentucky than they are in "liberal" Illinois! Yep. Don't hear THAT much. More where that came from? In even MORE "conservative" Bowling Green, KY they have a LOCAL TAX that gets withheld from everyone's paycheck within the city. I live here; I should know. You now what else? They have a CITY OWNED Parks and Rec Department, that has a gasp! HEALTH CLUB people can join! And yes, said HEALTH CLUB/GYM does compete with 3 or 4 PRIVATELY OWNED gyms! Know what else? They have a PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY here in Bowling Green, KY, with a high rise pair of buildings that charges rent based on income! Yes, it receives FEDERAL SUBSIDIES! GASP!!! Ohhh, the socialism of it all, here in CONSERVATIVE Bowling Green, KY! Okay, reality check DONE!


[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 10 years ago

Go Occupy Chicago! This is important.









[-] -1 points by BrunO (0) from Berlin, Berlin 10 years ago

Please be careful what you support. To fight for health care is OK of course - but please inform yourself what mental health really is. Have a look at the #APA's #DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association's new Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which list nearly every normal emotion as a mental disease. A good read to start may be: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jul/14/illusions-of-psychiatry/?page=1 or follow https://twitter.com/#!/CCHRInt - Psychiatry has a bad history and is still not people's friend today. It's all about business, promoting drugs, even drugging and electroshocking children. Not better than Wall Street. Occupy health care should mean something different than supporting Psychiatry.

[-] 1 points by BrunO (0) from Berlin, Berlin 10 years ago

Thanks for your negative points... Forget CCHR, they are linked to Scientology, which I didn't know. If you prefer to believe in psychiatry because antipsychiatry is Scientology stuff, read this: News Release: Occupy American Psychiatric Association http://www.mindfreedom.org/release/occupy-apa-news - Psychiatry is serving Bigpharma and Wall Street. - Psychotropic Drugs are killing you!


[-] -1 points by antiglobb (47) 10 years ago

Plan a fiscal strike. We're preparing a scheme to follow in order to hit the politician - thieves without the risk to be imprisoned. I'll write something about that in the next days.


[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

hit me up at citicommons.com or twitter @CitizenGates if you'd like I can help get it out there.