Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day Protest St. Vincent's Hospital

May Day Protest At O'Toole Building (St. Vincent's)

Members of Demand a Hospital and Healthcare for the 99%, an official working group of Occupy Wall Street, staged a picket, an OWS-style “speak-out,” and a “DIE IN” to draw attention to “A COMMUNITY WITHOUT A HOSPITAL” at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital’s O’Toole Building at 30 Seventh Avenue (between 12th and 13th Streets) on May Day from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Community groups cite the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital as a public health crisis. The closing of the hospital has left more than a million residents, guests, and tourists on Manhattan’s Lower West Side without either a full service hospital or a Level 1 Trauma Center. Doctors, nurses, and patients will picket and stage a die-in to symbolize those who will die without access to necessary healthcare in the U.S.

While New York City, New York State, and the Medicaid Redesign Team make budget cuts to healthcare and close more and more hospitals, activists question why real estate developers and healthcare corporations can make large profits. In the face of public healthcare budget cuts and irresponsible and dangerous hospital closings, activists are organizing around the idea that a truly universal, single-payer healthcare system is the only viable option that will provide healthcare for all.

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