Total number who risked arrest yesterday: 73 in 10 cities
Yesterday 37 were arrested, although 73 staged a sit-in or blockade and were not arrested due to the entire building being put on lockdown. Tomorrow, several dozen more risk arrest, including Margaret Flowers, MD, a former pediatrician and mother of three teenagers. (More information on Flowers is below.) A growing number of doctors and nurses are joining in the events to risk arrest for real health care reform, reform that addresses the main cause of the health care crisis, the insurance companies. They are demanding that health insurance companies immediately redirect all lobbying funds to pay for doctor-requested lifesaving treatments. 78 people have been arrested so far as part of the national mobilization (17 in the first week, 7 in the second, and 54 in the third). In this next wave, over 100 people will risk arrest. In the first two weeks actions took place in just two cities, New York and Chicago. In the second day of national action, actions took place in nine cities. This week, actions happen in 19 cities.
Mobilization for Health Care for All has seen almost 900 people sign up to risk arrest at a health insurance office in the past four weeks. The mobilization itself was launched on September 29 in response to a growing sentiment among Americans that something had to be done to call for meaningful health care reform. Participants with the mobilization represent a new, more extreme tactic employed in the health care debate, targeting the insurance companies and demanding that lobbying dollars be redirected to providing care for the hundreds of people denied doctor-requested lifesaving treatments every day by an insurance company. The campaign continues to grow.
“This will be one of the largest campaigns of nonviolent civil disobedience since the civil rights movement. We’re seeing people coming out of the woodwork on this one,” stated Kai Newkirk, national coordinator of Mobilization for Health Care for All. “It’s just beginning and will continue and build until we win and the insurance companies no longer stand between us and the care we need.”
Chanting “patients not profits” and “insurance companies are killing us and killing democracy,” with signs that say “insurance companies are the real death panels,” participants in the sit-ins will walk into the offices and demand that insurance companies immediately route all the funding the currently pay for lobbyists to providing care to patients who need it. The participants will sit down and refuse to leave until their demands are met. Many of them expect to be arrested for trespassing, disturbing the peace, or another charge.
PRESS HITS – Mobilization for Health Care for All – 10/28/2009