2/9/11 - The Hedz-Up Report covers the release of four community activists the day after their arrest for staging a sit-in at the site of the former St. Vincent's Hospital. All have been charged with criminal trespass.
The activists, a part of the newly-formed group Hands Off St. Vincent's!, released the following statement:
Arrest: Community Activists Arrested at St. Vincents Hospital Sit-In
New York, NY – On February 8, at 10:30 am, four former patients and impassioned community members entered the building at the location of the closed down Saint Vincent's Hospital. These activists then sat on the ground, unfurling a banner reading "Guilty: Neglect!" and began to chant - refusing to move. Saint Vincent's personnel closed off that section of the building - currently operating as a Credit Union - and refused entry to members of the credit union as well as persons employed within the building. Two hours after their arrival, the four activists were arrested and taken away by the police.
For 284 days, 1.3 million New Yorkers have been without a hospital in the West Village. Since St. Vincent’s illegal closure on April 30, 2010, the community has been laden with false promises, patronized with a bogus needs assessment and forced, with tragic consequences, to seek emergency or medical care at already overcrowded uptown or East-side hospitals.
“Everyday that passes is critical,” said Iana Di Bona, one of the arrested activists, “Our elected officials have the ability to turn things around, yet they do nothing. It is so important to speak out and to continue to pressure and hold them accountable to service the needs of our community.”
Commitment for a New Village Hospital by the people of the West Village and all of New York City has not wavered. Any politician not actively working to get a new hospital is a target. That is a promise the St. Vincent’s Hospital Community Activists intend to keep.
More to come, stay tuned.
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