When do we want it? NOW!
I just got home to see this outside my apartment on 22nd street:
A group of labor unions is joining together today for a protest/rally organized by HCAN (Health Care for America, Now) to support a strong health care bill. The rally is taking place outside of the Ritz Carlton on 22nd street, where insurance companies are gathering for a meeting on how to kill health care reform. The message from HCAN is that they're here to arrest the insurance industry! I saw shirts for AFT (American Federation of Teachers), AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and SEIU (Service Employees Industry Union).
While labor is often a strong demographic for Democrats and progressive issues such as health care reform, this particular policy debate has been problematic in terms of gaining labor support. Obama's proposed "Cadillac Tax" on the most expensive health care plans would be a hard hit on some well negotiated labor health care plans. Labor is out here showing support for passing reform, and pressing the congress to make it as strong as possible.
If you don't have classes or midterms to study for, come up to 22nd and L and work on your rally cries!
Updated 2:31pm:Protest has cleared out but it was pretty rowdy. The protesters announced a citizens arrest on the insurance companies meeting inside. We had a pretty good view from above and our estimate was at least 800 people came out. They left a pretty powerful trail of rally signs and chalk drawings behind them: