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Thousands protest in Washington over government spending


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WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands of protesters fed up with government spending marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, showing their disdain for the president's health care plan with slogans such as "Obamacare makes me sick" and "I'm not your ATM."


The line of protesters clogged several blocks near the Capitol, according to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. Demonstrators chanted "enough, enough" and "We the People." Others yelled "You lie, you lie!" and "Pelosi has to go," referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.


Throngs of people waved U.S. flags and held signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress" and "Obama Bin Lyin.'" Men wore colonial costumes as they listened to speakers who warned of "judgment day" — Election Day 2010.


Other signs — reflecting the growing intensity of the health care debate — depicted President Barack Obama with the signature mustache of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Many referred to Obama as a socialist or communist, and another imposed his face on that of the villainous Joker from "Batman."


Richard Brigle, 57, a Vietnam War veteran and former Teamster, came from Paw Paw, Mich. He said health care needs to be reformed — but not according to Obama's plan.


"My grandkids are going to be paying for this. It's going to cost too much money that we don't have," he said while marching, bracing himself with a wooden cane as he walked.


FreedomWorks Foundation, a conservative organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, organized several groups from across the country for what they billed as a "March on Washington."


Organizers say they built on momentum from the April "tea party" demonstrations held nationwide to protest tax policies, along with growing resentment over the economic stimulus packages and bank bailouts.


Armey and other speakers directed their ire at Pelosi — Armey took a photo, telling the crowd he wanted to be able to prove to her they were there.


"If it's necessary, we'll come back here next year," he said.


Many protesters said they paid their own way to the event — an ethic they believe should be applied to the government. They say unchecked spending on things like a government-run health insurance option could increase inflation and lead to economic ruin.


Terri Hall, 45, of Starke, Fla., said she felt compelled to become political for the first time this year because she was upset by government spending.


"Our government has lost sight of the powers they were granted," she said. She added that deficit spending is out of control, and said she thought it was putting the country at risk.


Race also became an issue when a black Republican leader denounced African-American politicians that she said had an "affinity" for socialism.


"I'm outraged prominent black politicians use the race card" to cover up their failed policies, said Deneen Borelli of New York.


One woman held a sign with images of Martin Luther King Jr. and Obama, with the words printed alongside: "He had a dream, we got a nightmare."


Lawmakers also supported the rally. Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said Americans want health care reform but they don't want a government takeover.


"Republicans, Democrats and independents are stepping up and demanding we put our fiscal house in order," Pence, of Indiana, told The Associated Press.


"I think the overriding message after years of borrowing, spending and bailouts is enough is enough," Pence said.


Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also spoke at the rally.


Other sponsors of the event include the Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform and the Ayn Rand Center for Individuals Rights.


Connie Castleton, 52, of Irving, Texas, said she drove 20 hours from her home to attend the rally. The nurse said she's motivated to try and get others involved in opposing Obama's health care plan.


"There's a lot more people mad about what's going on than I thought," she said.


Several protesters said they represented a "silent majority" or referred to themselves as "community organizers" — a phrase often associated with the president.


"This isn't some right-wing conservative agenda," said 30-year-old Adam Moore of Rochester, Mich. "This is a true grass-roots movement."


Erica Coyle, who's in her 50s and is from Louisville, Ky., said problems began before Obama took office, but she said the situation has worsened and people are "finally waking up."


"This is his Waterloo," Coyle said of Obama.

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The amount of Anti Obama literature that i got from people standing outside metro stations, in trains and buses was extraordinary. A couple actually had a picture of him photoshopped to be standing alongside Hitler and others which had absolutely no facts stated, simply rants with snide insults in the middle.

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Americans come across as me me me me me me me me me selfish knobends.


Surely any really caring country would give a s**** about its own population getting decent healthcare?


Andy, like many others, you are basing your views on the actions of a few thousand protestors. These people have been bought and paid for by right wing groups and the healthcare lobbyists, that are s*** scared tha ttheir profit margins will be affected by any changes to the current flawed system.


The overwhelming majority of people want to see healthcare made available to all at a reasonable price, yet their voices are not heard as they do not go on marches and put out lies to scare those people easily swayed by whay they see in the media.

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Funny how you didn't hear much of the same people moaning about the billions Bush spent invading Iraq, but when their taxes all of a sudden are going to go towards something worthwhile, for some reason they're up in arms. idiots.


Exactly. And unfortunately it's far easier to manipulate stupid people to protest against this than it was to get people to protest against the money wasted / given to Halliburton / Lockheed Martin for Iraq.


It's actually terrifying that so many people are falling for the same base level of lies and propaganda that made Joe the plumber a political star.



The overwhelming majority of people want to see healthcare made available to all at a reasonable price, yet their voices are not heard as they do not go on marches and put out lies to scare those people easily swayed by whay they see in the media.


I'm worried that the overwhelming majority of people are those in middle America that determine elections and don't seek an in-depth understanding of the issues, and can too easily be swayed by the right wing propaganda machine.


Seems that many of the people out protesting would actually benefit from healthcare reforms, so it really is like those people who during the election campaign were out protesting at Obama's 'Socialist' tax policies despite these policies seeing them pay less tax than they did under Bush.

Edited by Zoob
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The great tragedy of the American people is that it's most poor and desperate seem, by and large, to cling on to Republicanism as the defender of their values.


I don't whether that means they are immensely stupid or if the Republicans just have the best media machine in the world. If it's the latter it looks like the biggest mass con in history.

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I thought the twelve-year-old boy who died a couple of years ago, of a toothache when

a tooth extraction would have saved him, because the fact his parents could not afford private health insurance, would of been a tipping point, but clearly not, in some muppets views.

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there are kids who go to school with 2 sons who do not have family health insurance, they have coverage that is offered by the school district at a reduced rate to children of impoverished families without cover.


most of these kids have parents that both work, but have jobs that do not offer a group policy which is usually cheaper.


just before school started, our local Dental university offered free treatment to anybody who showed up. It was originally scheduled for 2 days, but they extended it to 5 days because of the numbers.


most of the people in the poorer parts of the USA are dyed in the wool Republicans and they are those most affected by the lack of health coverage and good healthcare, especially the African Americans. unfortuneately, these people are so distrustful of anything Democratic that they cannot get past their politicla views to consider these changes as being in their best interest.


the present system is so f***ed up, it is a joke. hospital groups, insurance companies, drug companies, politicians, lobbyists and doctors are bleeding people dry and there was nothing being done to stop this abuse until this reform was introduced.

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Has the US ever been as divided as this since the Civil War?


Not the one issue of healthcare but in the polarisation of everything. There seems so little middle ground and anyone in that middle ground seems afraid to speak up, even to friends and family, as so doing may incur wrath.


Perhaps it's just me.

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Been thinking along those lines myself. There's no sense of 'nation' here at all - nothing that everyone can pull together on with a view to progressing.

There is - it's the flag and "outside threats" - Osama and the like. But that is in itself proving to be fractious and increasingly divisive.

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