Update for Tuesday August 25th picket.
Picket number two was held on University and 13th right next to UF campus at peak afternoon traffic time. It is the regular spot for VFP to picket against the war for the last 6 years. A good crowd showed up with an changing cast of demonstrators before and after the afternoon rainstorm that came about half way through. More UUs showed up before the rain and after we saw students from UF representing Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) alongside the regulars from Veterans for peace and the labor party and assorted citizens including some UF faculty and Sierra Club members. Thanks to all of you who joined the picket. Great signs and great company! I chatted with the students, several of whom said they were uninsured, and we discussed the hazards for young people of having no health insurance as they try to make a start on their careers. As the sign on the web album shows young people make up 60% of the uninsured. We were well received again with lots of passers by responding positively to our presence and our signs. You will see some additional photos uploaded on the web album shown above. Thanks again! There will be another picket on Wednesday night supporting the public option organized by Code Pink and Move On. It will be held at the North Regional Medical Center across from Oaks Mall form 5:30to 7:30.
Important note to single payer supporters: Dennis Kucinich has an interesting amendment which passed and was added to House bill 3200 that includes the public option. That amendment would allow individual states to implement their own single payer systems. This is an important amendment to preserve because several states have already moved in this direction and this will enable them to proceed.
Over two dozen people braved the hot August temperatures and traffic to demonstrate for Health care reform and against War today at the intersection of 34th Street and Archer Road. Groups represented included Veterans for Peace Gainesville Chapter 14 who sponsored the "Health Care not Warfare" picket and displayed their Cost of War Signs which showed taxes paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how much health care those same taxes would buy for uninsured and under-insured Americans. The Vets were joined by the Alachua County labor party who support HRS 676 bill for single payer Universal health care, also known as Medicare for all. This bill will be debated and voted on in the House this Fall along with other proposals for health care reform. Various members of local groups including members of the Unitarian Fellowship also joined the demonstration to address the moral issues involved citing the golden rule and other biblical quotes as they pertain to health care.
Spirits were high and the demonstrators were for the most part well received with lots of motorists responding to the "Honk for Affordable Health Care" sign waved by one member of Vets for Peace. Look for the appearance of these demonstrators again on a street corner near you!