Tea Partiers Protest Pro-health Care Reform Votes

Local conservatives try to send a message to their congressional delegates during the state’s Democratic convention on March 27. The tea party rally lasted nearly three hours and protested the recent health care overhaul.
Photo by Tiffany Irving

Conservatives rally outside Civic Center to express disapproval

By Misty Irving
MSUM Mass Comm Major

Conservatives gathered outside the Fargo Civic Center during the Democrats’ state convention on March 27 to protest the pro-health care reform votes cast by North Dakota Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy.

“I came out to just watch and support,” Dennis Harsch said. “(I’m) not planning to say anything.”

While the Democratic-NPL Party gathered to endorse candidates for the 2010 election, protesters yielded signs claiming that “enough is enough” and asking Democrats to “stop stealing from my grandkids.”

“We woke up when it’s too late,” Harsch said. “My kids and your kids will be in a compromised situation (if the health care is government controlled).”

Health care overhaul angers many
Congressional delegates refuse to listen to constituents

The recent health care overhaul vote has infuriated and disappointed many citizens. The convention hired security for the first time because of the planned rally and threats to lawmakers. Four ushers and one police officer were positioned in the building.

“I’m very concerned about ObamaCare — the government care of education, health care, financial care,” Harsch said. “It isn’t at all what capitalism is supposed to be.”

The tea partiers peacefully protested in the rain from about 1 to 3 p.m. They gathered in hopes of making their voices heard by their congressional delegation. Some citizens have been trying unsuccessfully to contact their delegates for weeks.

“I haven’t been able to get in contact with (our senators or representatives),” David Tibbals said. “Their voicemails are always full.”

Protestors hoisted flags and signs to express their disappointment with the government.  Many people just want their voices to be heard and acknowledged by their senators and representatives.
Photo by Tiffany Irving

Health care system demands reform
Government takeover not the answer

While many agree that something needs to be done about the health care situation, some argue that government takeover is not the way to go.

“(Lawmakers) are focusing on health care, but there’s a bigger issue at hand: government takeover,” Harsch said. “I have a lot of relatives in California (where they have government health care). It’s a bad situation. My dad needed a quadruple bypass surgery; he got it, but my brother and brother-in-law had to wait 11 months for the same surgery.”

The protest continued after the tea party rally at the Comstock Memorial Union at Minnesota State University Moorhead from 3 to 7:30 p.m. during a “Win Back Washington” town hall and rally. A panel discussed issues from 3 to 5 p.m., and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota’s 6th District led the rally.

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