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Police Clear Tent City Outside Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 17, 2012 4:40PM

Image via Twitter @BaburRealer

Early this morning, Chicago police removed tents and cleared the encampment set up in a vacant lot over the weekend by activists protesting the closure of a Woodlawn Mental Health clinic. At least 20 police vehicles showed up to the site around 1 a.m. and gave the group an hour to clear out or face arrest. CBS2 reported police removed and confiscated the tents after a two hour stand off, but made no arrests.

Protesters say though their tents were confiscated, it will not deter them from continuing to demonstrate outside the clinic. Sophia Kortchmar of the Mental Health Movement told CBS:

“The city is clearly using its resources well to take away our tents, but we’re not going anywhere. We have folks who are really fighting for their lives.”

Demonstrators say they plan to sleep on or inside their cars, and will continue to maintain a 24 hour presence at the clinic on the sidewalk. “We are not going to be turned around. This is a question of life and death for us and we will not give up the fight,” said Linda Hatcher via press release. Hatcher is a patient and was among the 23 people arrested for barricading themselves inside last Thursday. They demand the city keep all 12 mental health clinics open, stop the plan to privatize neighborhood health centers, hire more staff and expand services.