San Diego Town Hall – We Got The Last Laugh

by on August 18, 2009 · 14 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Health, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

Pro-health care reform demonstrators laugh at chants from small group of right-wingers, outside town hall meeting in Hillcrest with Rep Susan Davis.

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 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.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

mr fresh August 12, 2009 at 9:54 am

our local daily fish wrap completely missed the laughing aspect of the demonstration. and the comments there are simply amazing as usual.


doug porter August 12, 2009 at 9:56 am

this story was also published at the daily kos. we’d like to welcome all our visitors from that great orange blog. check us out!


Frank Gormlie August 12, 2009 at 10:01 am

Everyone who can should also join Susan Davis at her town hall meeting in Spring Valley on Aug 29th at 1pm, at the Spring Valley Branch Library, at 836 Kempton Street, SV.


Abby August 12, 2009 at 10:02 am

Nice going guys! Their misplaced anger is no match for laughter!

Perhaps they’ll begin to see how silly they sound.


Ron August 12, 2009 at 10:44 am

Thanks Doug & OB Rag for this report.

What did Davis say about single payer? She is NOT supporting HR 676 despite clear majority support for single payer in her own party in our state.

People wanting more perspective on the difference between the single payer bill, HR 676, and the other proposals, may browse content at Unions for Single Payer Health Care at and their links to related groups at

and also check out some of the many good articles (ZNET is one good place to start) such as “The Health Care Debate Has Only Just Begun” and “Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren’t Fighting For Health Care For Everybody”

The other big issue underlying these town hall meetings confrontations is the fact that the right wing disruptions are NOT spontaneous. A good summary of the origins of these events is recently published at AlterNet, “Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work”

These right wing groups will NOT go away, no matter what the outcome of health care reform turns out to be. They will target other issues and continue to build their movement. That is what they have been doing for decades already. Their movement is neo-fascist in that they have solid roots in Big Corporate interests and use irrational emotional agitation to recruit poorly educated followers to promote social divisions instead of social solidarities, AND, they OPPOSE democracy. They use racism, xenophobia, homophobia, religious differences, male chauvinism, regionalism — you name it, they exploit and inflame the differences, and will freely lie to invent differences if none are readily at hand.

We all need to get better at recognizing them (the right wingers and their connections). We all need to get better at defeating them.


Sue August 12, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Where is your liberal support for freedom of speech.
I’ve seen my share of protests. I bet you support them when you agree with the cause.


Doug Porter August 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm

nobody stopped anybody from speaking.


jon August 12, 2009 at 12:42 pm

You’re freedom of speech ends when you interrupt my freedom to listen, question, and ‘speak’ in a civil manner. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom to drown out your neighbors voice. You can’t even interrupt a local planning board meeting without being asked to quiet down or leave, out of respect for the others in attendance who want real discourse. Where were all these loud, angry protestors when we started invading other countries? Oh….that’s right, they were at home cleaning their guns and reading the bible.

“Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a fat white guy who is threatened by change.”-Peter Griffin


Vincent-Brian August 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I was at the event last night and I was lucky enough to be chosen to ask a question. Since the major media’s role as the fourth branch of government is to divide us, I decided that I would try to unite a crowd that (being in Hillcrest) would be predominantly liberal. The core issue that I don’t hear people talk about much is this: Why is there such high demand for health care today? Why is everybody so sick?

The answer is because the food supply is void of nutrition and full of toxins. Watch films like “The Future of Food” and “The World According to Monsanto” to see what is being sold as “food” these days. Read up on Louis Pasteur’s germ theory vs. Antoine Bechamp’s cellular theory. You will never want to eat pasteurized food again.

What many people need to realize is that the deterioration of the quality of our food supply can be directly traced back to a set of international mandates known as Codex Alimentarius. With that in mind, my question went something like this (I decided to direct it to the audience and then wait for Mrs. Davis’ response):

“How many of you in attendance eat organic foods?”

(90%+ of people in crowd raised hands)

“How many of you take vitamins and supplements?”

(90%+ raise hands again)

“How many of you shop at farmers markets?”

(90%+ raise hands again)

“How many of you know what Codex Alimentarius is?”

(about three people raise hands)

“Do you know that Codex will outlaw all three things I mentioned in my first question?”

(you could hear a pin drop)

“The mandates in this ‘health care’ bill are also based on Codex. Do you care to comment Ms. Davis?”

(mumble, mumble, obfuscation, next question please)

Like most of our “representatives”, Mrs. Davis is either ignorant or of or complicit with big picture issues like Codex, which is part of the World Trade Organization, and is also the driving force behind Big Pharma. It mandates allopathic care, which has killed millions since the days of Pasteur for the sake of profits. It is also the driving force behind mandatory microchipping of every farm animal (which huge companies like Tyson will be exempt from). It will even outlaw growing your own food!

Getting back to natural healthy foods and avoiding toxins will allow us all to live long, healthy, happy lives, and is the ONLY way to accomplish the goal of making health care affordable to all – because it will rarely be needed. Please research Codex. The importance of stopping this evil cannot be overstated.


The above articles are just two examples. Search these and other websites for more articles on Codex. Get educated, take control of you own health, and take action by spreading the word!


Ron August 12, 2009 at 6:40 pm


I can’t speak for anybody else here, but, hey, I am not a liberal. I am not a member of the Democratic Party either. Liberals support many of the social justice positions that I agree with, but they also support capitalism and all the legal falsehoods that grant a tiny minority the right to “own” and DICTATE how major economic institutions are governed. I advocate SOCIAL ownership of these big corporations and such, and DEMOCRATIC governance over them. That makes me a socialist, not a liberal.

I am also a libertarian, and strongly defend freedom of speach. And, maybe you’ll agree on this one, I am an ardent supporter of our Second Amendment. This country was born out of a revolution. The people’s right to keep and bear arms helps preserve our right to make revolution, if ever needed again. Liberals are wrong to oppose this right.

So, you and your friends want the right to compare Obama to Hitler? OK. You also have the right to be totally marginalized and ridiculed for knowing absolutely nothing about history. Do you know how many socialists and communists and anarchists and liberals were killed by Hitler, and Mussolini and Franco? Do you have any clue at all what separates any of these “left” groups from fascists? Do you have any clue at all how much our own government has spent and how much blood is on our hands because of U.S. support for fascists and militarists in Third World countries since World War II? Do you know what our “liberal” government is doing right now in Columbia? in Honduras?

Some of us may be laughing at you. But don’t be mistaken. Many of us are fighting mad and getting more so. And, guess what, we vastly outnumber your sorry asses.

For now, those of us paying attention to the health care reform issue have one basic message:



OB Joe August 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Way to go Doug! I hear this article has pulled in folks who read the Daily Kos. And folks who have a more right-wing perspective. Way to go. Thanks for making the blog a target. LOL.

Seriously, mucho congrats, dude! Rumor is that it’s a record day at the OB Rag office. Record in terms of daily visitors to the blog.


W.C. Varones August 13, 2009 at 5:32 am

Glad to help!

BTW, I’m not really a “right-wing” blog. More of an anarcho-libertarian. And a once and future OBcian to boot!

Keep up the good work.

W.C. Varones.


jettyboy August 13, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I don’t for a minute believe this anti-health care is motivated by anything other than racism. When all the rhetoric is stripped away they are just plain old racists. No one can be so stupid or selfish to be against healthcare for other Americans who need it. These people are motivated by anger that they lost the last election, and heaven forbid they lost to a black man. Ask them if they are christian, and if they believe Jesus would be against helping others. Look at their signs and websites, it’s not about healthcare, although it’s mentioned, it’s about hating Obama, abortion, gun ownership, hating liberals & democrats. No matter how much they deny it, and they always do, that’s what they are, white, republican, dittohead, racists & bigots. They give themselves away more and more at each town meeting.


jon August 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I’m paraphrasing here…

“If you’re a republican, you aren’t necessarily a racist, but if you’re a racist, you’re most definitely a republican.”
-Bill Maher


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