Protesters Greet Congressman Perlmutter as he Visits Constituents

If you want to get an idea of a population’s pulse, go to a local town hall meeting. This particular event was anything but normal.

Congressman Perlmutter (D-CO) was greeted with protesters expressing their support of and opposition to H.R.3200. The event took place on 08/08/2009 at a local grocery store and started at 1:00 PM in Brighton, Colorado.

Before Congressman Perlmutter arrived at the town hall meeting, he had a bunch of protesters outside ready to greet him. There was a sign near where he was going to sit that said “no videotaping.” When talking with Kevin, a local news photographer, he quipped “they can’t tell us not to shoot” video. As the crowd grew larger, the security seemed to acquiesce to the idea that physical security is more important than the prospect of a videographer shooting video and putting it on YouTube.

Right as the event was to start, one side of the crowd sang “God Bless America.” After the singing started, the Congressman’s supporters chanted “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! The status quo has got to go!” as the event progressed, skeptics of the bill chanted “Socialized medicine doesn’t work!” while supporters of the bill shouted, “Yes we can!” one of the protesters told me “Yes we can what?” and scoffed because she thought it sounded too vague.

In a normal town hall meeting with a Senator or Congressman/Congress woman, the lawmaker has a microphone and calls on people in the audience to ask question. In this scenario, Congressman Perlmutter sat at a desk behind a wall and there was a queue of people who reportedly had questions for him about the health care bill. Because it was crowded and noisy, it was impossible to hear what questions were being asked.

In America’s time honored tradition of protest, the citizens who attended today’s event were sending two messages. If they were for the bill, they were showing support by showing signs of “thank you” and other signs of support. If they were against the bill, they were essentially the Democrats in Washington that Congress really is the opposite of progress.. If Congress and the White House have observed YouTube and other outlets, there seems to be a significant number of skeptics.

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