Monday, August 24, 2009

Report on the Pro-Health Care Demonstration in South Bend, Indiana – A Huge Success for Pro-Reformers

As I mentioned on Friday, there was a demonstration last Saturday in Downtown South Bend, Indiana.  It was actually a counter demonstration to a protest organized by the Northwest Indiana Patriots, who were coming in from LaPorte County.  LaPorte County is just West of St. Joseph County, which is home to South Bend.  They were to picket outside Congressman Joe Donnelly’s office to show their opposition to health care reform. 

For those scoring at home, it was a huge win for our team as we occupied three of the four corners and outnumbered them at least 3 to 1.  I didn’t get an accurate head count, but I would guess that nearly 100 people of all ages stood in what felt like a rainy October day.  I was certainly not a mid-August type of day by any stretch.

It was a friendly, festive atmosphere for the pro-reform side.  For me, it was reassuring to see such a great turnout, especially since it has felt like the only people who care are those who are trying to kill any kind of reform.  I managed to take some pictures and I have to say, they’re overwhelmingly positive:

It was a different story across the street.  I didn’t see any Nazi imagery, but I did see a guy with the “Obama as the Joker” shirt.  Lots of “vote no, or you will go!” threats, which were aimed at elected officials who were not present.  Judging from their numbers, they’re not going to sway any elections any time soon.  I also, to no surprise, found that their side was considerably older and their messages didn’t seem to make much sense.  One woman had this beautifully drawn cartoon that none of us could make out.  It looked like a doctor holding a syringe and somebody sitting on a chair.  I asked around if anybody got it.  Nobody did.  Here’s a representative sample of their side of the street:

I had a funny thought about the woman with the bullhorn.  As she was marching back and forth saying things like, “we are freedom fighters!” I couldn’t help but to think of the Blues Brothers.  Specifically, the scene where the Nazis are marching in Skokie and Jake and Elwood drive them off the bridge. 

Anyway, it was a great day for the pro-reform set.  I had an amusing/irritating conversation with one of them that deserves it’s own post.  Keep an eye out for that.  In all, it was an uplifting and reassuring day and I hope there are more.

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