The same day that President Obama -- as well as a gamut of other world leaders -- are slated to arrive in Chicago for the NATO summit, protesters marched to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's North Side neighborhood.
The rally, which centers on mental health issues, was lead by Mental Health Movement, a coalition of groups leading ongoing protests against the mayor's controversial move to consolidate the city's mental health clinics.
(Scroll down to view photos from the Saturday rally.)
Debbie Delgado, who had received therapy at the city's Northwest Mental Health Clinic for 22 years until it closed last month, said she in a statement prior to the rally that she "cried when I heard that the Mayor found $14 million just for entertaining the NATO war-makers for one weekend when around me people are literally dying because the Mayor says he couldn't find $2.3 million to keep our clinics open."
Protesters arrived in Horner Park in the city's Ravenswood neighborhood around 12:30 p.m. before they marched toward Emanuel's home for a brief rally there.
The Chicago Tribune reports that protesters held signs such as “Nobody trusts Rahm” and “Healthcare not warfare." The mayor's house was blocked by a line of police with bicycles.
A city spokesperson told the Associated Press that the mayor, who was not home during the demonstration, respects the protesters' constitutional right to free expression.
"The administration is equally committed to promoting the health and wellness of Chicagoans in every neighborhood and the reforms the Department of Public Health is implementing will increase the total number of people who will be served by City resources throughout Chicago with high-quality, vital health and mental health services, and better support people without health insurance," the city said in a statement in response to the demonstration, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
On Friday, the largest-yet anti-NATO protests took over parts of Chicago's downtown area. Thousands of demonstrators -- including members of National Nurses United, the Occupy movement and others -- gathered in Daley Plaza for a rally. Afterward, hundreds of protesters broke away from the event and began marching through the Chicago streets. One protester was arrested for aggravated battery of a police officer, but the demonstrations were largely peaceful.
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