Let the suburbs have the protests for a change

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President Obama is speaking out on the campus of George Mason University in a few minutes and where there’s POTUS there’s protest.

The signs were pretty one-sided against health care, though one determined fellow was walking around with a huge “Public Option Now” banner that looked more suited to a renaissance faire in style than a protest.

Among the reasons for the imbalance was the limits on attendees. The invitations said “cameras are allowed, however no signs or banners are permitted,” so any opposition inside is going to have to pretty much seethe in silence. The folks outside were making up for that with their energy, doing a lot of shouting across a 6 foot tape-enforced DMZ at the folks waiting to go in. Once most had entered the approximately 150 or so folks on the other side of the tape pretty much settled down to chatting amongst themselves.

The ban on signs didn’t go over well with some – the woman below was yelling “there is no free speech in that building.”

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More shots after the jump.

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The folks waiting to get in, demonstrating that when all signs are outlawed only opposition will have signs.

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I couldn’t entirely follow what this fellow was worked up over; when I walked up there was an extended argument going on between him and a pro-Obama fellow on the other side of the tape about exactly who the building security standing in the DMZ worked for; it was going on when I walked up and was still happening when I walked away a few minutes later. Whether he was a state employee or not seemed to matter a great deal to the guy on the protest side though I never figured out why; perhaps he was bothered that the man on duty seemed to like the other side better or it was the crux of some larger philosophical point.

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Some folks were there less in opposition to something than support of a candidate. I’m guessing Fimian is against health care reform.

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That was about the entirety of the opposition crowd, though about half a dozen stragglers were conversing off to the right now that all the attendees had entered.

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There’s the protesters from the other side earlier, when they were more motivated and yelling to those waiting to go into the building.

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I’m not sure if that’s in quotes because he doesn’t think Wright is a legitimate religious leader or because it’s mis-spelled.

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I don’t know what this means but I presume it’s an issue with some compensation or retirement formula.

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Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


8 thoughts on “Let the suburbs have the protests for a change

  1. I saw basically the same signs at the Reston town hall last year…with about two dozen protesters. Was Randall Terry there, too?

  2. The ‘Hands off my healthcare’ sign amuses me in its assertion that 46 million doctors will retire in reaction to the supposed Medicare cuts. The Department of Labor currently estimates there are ~800,000 physicians in the US. This may mean we are in for a huge influx of new medical practitioners, have a career and then retire off their earnings from the program.

  3. anyone who says “hands of my healthcare” should pledge to not use medicare or medicaid.

  4. Why do health care supporters suddenly trust the government to do all the right things with this bill when the government has been failing the American tax payer for the last 30 years?

  5. Oh, so then you’re a “health care opponent,” Geb? Wow — so you don’t think anyone should have health care??

    I support reform because the system is clearly broken. It might not be broken for you personally, it’s not even broken for me personally, but it is still broken for millions of people (it’s called “compassion” and “empathy” — look it up). And right now, I’d rather have the government try to do something to fix it than stick with the status quo or delude myself into thinking that insurance companies will do anything meaningful to help those who don’t have or can’t get insurance.

  6. Thank you for the photos. I wish that I could have been there but I probably would have ended up in a brawl with some of these folks. It’s best that I stayed home and was productive.

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  8. Banksy… I am not an opponent to health care reform. I simply feel there is a better way. And since you mentioned the insurance companies; check the stock prices of the top 10 insurance companies, their stock prices have jumped nearly 30% in the last year alone. When Scott Brown was elected (a possible defeat for health care)the stock prices fell for brief period. Something doesn’t smell right.
    Follow the money. The insurance companies are expecting to make a lot of money on this bill.