SOUTH LOOP — Mayor Rahm Emanuel was convicted of fraud, aggravated assault and conspiracy Thursday night at a mock trial held by the Mental Health Movement.
"It seems that it's exaggerated as far as [the mayor's] aggressive behavior," said Ron Gordon, emcee and chairman of the Mental Health Movement.
After the crowd shouted a guilty verdict, activist Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, who had been portraying Emanuel, let loose a string of "bleeps" — meant to indicate profanity and was escorted away.
"This is the type of mayor that we're dealing with," Gordon said.
The town hall meeting, held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 26th Street and Michigan Avenue, served three purposes. First, the advocacy group continued its efforts to rally against the recent closure of six of the city's 12 mental health clinics with a demonstration that put Emanuel "on trial" for what they perceive as injustices. The meeting also rallied support for a school closure protest at 11 a.m. Monday in the Loop, and revealed "HEAL Chicago," a new initiative that partners city mental health workers and activists with Chicago Public Schools social workers to provide more consistent and comprehensive mental health care to students.
"What we're doing is starting a campaign to help heal Chicago," said Mental Health Movement activist N'Dana Carter, who announced the new partnership with the Chicago Teachers Union, veterans' groups and other organizations.
Said Carter: "We recognize a lot of the violence, a lot of the dissatisfaction has to do with mental health issues. ... We plan to make Chicago healthy, we plan to get our clinics back open, we plan to get more clinics open. And if we all participate, we can do it."
Goals of the HEAL Chicago initiative include getting the city's six recently closed clinics reopened, and opening additional service centers, Carter told DNAinfo.com Chicago.