In a sea of red shirts and green hats, the National Nurses United descended on Daley Plaza on Friday to protest the economic policies they say benefit the wealthy at the cost of the workers of the nation.

In a sea of red shirts and green hats, the National Nurses United descended on Daley Plaza on Friday to protest the economic policies they say benefit the wealthy at the cost of the workers of the nation.


The National Nurses United, the largest of organization of nurses, including those of John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, dressed up wearing green Robin Hood hats, held signs and spoke about the fight against austerity measures they said are harming families around the world.


"We want to heal the world," said Martha Kuhl, a nurse at the Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, Calif.


The National Nurses United rallying cry is the "Robin Hood tax," a proposal of a 50-cent tax on every $100 of trades occuring on Wall Street stocks, bonds and derivatives. The organization claims the proposed tax could raise up to $250 billion a year to help fight the economic crisis as well as be used toward healthcare, education and other basic services.


"This is a tax for the people, not on the people," National Nurses United Co-President Karen Higgins said. "A better world is possible, and now we know how to pay for it."


While some feared protests would turn ugly and violent, the mood at the rally was largely joyful, with pop songs such as The Jackson Five's "ABC" playing while many protesters danced and sang.


"Fundamentally, nurses are optimistic people," Kuhl said. "We believe in caring for others."


About 2,000 people converged at Daley Plaza and police presence was heavy, with uniformed officers lining the front of the fencing at the Plaza. Officers in street clothes also were visible in the middle of the crowd, many having visible zip cuffs on them.