Originally posted August 12, 2009
Congresswoman Susan Davis spoke about health care at a town hall meeting last night (8/11/09) in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. Nearly 500 people showed up prior to the doors opening; the hall held maybe 300, lacked adequate ventilation and was supplied with a sound system that made it difficult to hear beyond the first few rows of seats. A couple of disruptors made it into the hall, but, for the most part, things ran smoothly inside.
I was there along with other associates of the OBRag.org community blog to cover the action. Some of us went inside. Other stayed outside. We all took pictures, made a video or two and will post our observations here over the next few hours. I took a a quick look at our web stats after getting back from the meeting, and discovered that we had been identified by a local right wing blog as being somehow responsible for the turnout. (I can’t wait to moderate those comments.)
Most of the real action was outside the Joyce Beers Community Center. The crowd outside was overwhelmingly pro health care reform and stayed to show their support of the cause to the assembled media. The handful of right wingers who showed up hoping to disrupt the event ended up across the street. They had a couple of bullhorns, a few signs, and no obvious leadership.
And the rest of crowd outside the hall was ready with a response to the wingers’ taunts. We laughed at them. Loud and hard. And we laughed some more, pointing at these clowns, and drowning out their pitiful pleas for attention.
When we got tired of laughing, the chants of “Yes We Can” and “Health Care Now” filled the air. For even more variety, there was a rousing chorus of “Racists Go Home” and then it was back to laughing and pointing. After the meeting was over, one of the right wingers was arrested by the police for disturbing the peace. Other goons attempted to bait the departing crowd, making comments like “go home to your mamas, faggots.” Their frustration was obvious. So was our victory in this skirmish.