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Citizens ‘Arrest’ Insurance Reps

Two weeks before the March passage of health care reform, hundreds of AFSCME members joined thousands of demonstrators for a “mass citizens’ arrest” of health insurance executives.

Rally
(Photo credit: Evy Mages)

Two weeks before the March passage of health care reform, hundreds of AFSCME members joined thousands of demonstrators for a “mass citizens’ arrest” of health insurance executives. The charge: spreading lies and misinformation in an effort to defeat health care reform legislation.

“We’re arresting the CEOs of Big Insurance because they are devastating our families and businesses and getting away with it,” AFSCME International Pres. Gerald W. McEntee declared at the rally, sponsored by Health Care for America NOW! (HCAN).

AFSCME is a founding member of HCAN, a national grassroots campaign organized in 2008, which helped lead the fight for health care reform.

AFSCME activists from Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania joined others from Washington, DC, to protest outside a meeting of the health insurance lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans.

“We will not allow the big corporations and their lobbyists to bully Congress to a standstill,” said Dorothy Bryant, a phlebotomist with Baltimore’s health department and vice president of Baltimore City Municipal Employees Local 44 (AFSCME Council 67). “I’ve decided that if Congress can’t hear me from Baltimore, then I’m going to DC and make my voice heard.”

“The insurance companies and their cronies in Congress have done everything they can to muddy the issue and drag down reform,” added New Yorker Jackie Rowe-Adams, president of AFSCME Local 299 (DC 37). Members of Congress “can stand with us and support real change, or they can side with the insurance industry.”

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