Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rep. Steve Driehaus at the Health Care Reform Forum in Cincinnati

A public forum on the topic of health care was held on Monday, August 3 at the First Unitarian Church in the neighborhood of Avondale in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) of Ohio's first Congressional District was slated to speak at the forum to answer the public's questions on health care reform and to also brief citizens on some of the conversations that have been taking place in Congress over the last few weeks.

Citizens were lined up outside the Church's entrance just after 6PM for the 7PM forum. When the doors were opened at 6:30PM, the crowd made their way into a small room that could only hold 90 people. As it quickly became clear that this room would not hold everyone, an announcement was made that the sanctuary would be the new location for this forum. The sanctuary was overflowing with people by the time that Congressman Driehaus arrived, many people had to sit in either the choir loft or outside in the hall.

One of the organizers of the event gave some introductory remarks which included special attention to notes that have been circulated by opponents of health care reform at various forums around the country. These notes encourage opponents to be disruptive of the forum, to engaging in yelling and outbursts, and to make it a point to not engage in constructive discussion. Opponents at the forum were warned to not engage in type of behavior, but it quickly became clear that these warnings would not be followed.

As Rep. Driehaus began his remarks, it became evident that the vast majority of those who had gathered for this event were planning on being disruptive and shouting both at and over Driehaus. Many people wore shirts with the web address of the Cincinnati Tea Party organization and some even brought signs which depicted slogans that showed opposition to socialized medicine. You will notice that Rep. Driehaus was interrupted throughout the majority of the forum. Below are several videos of the event which encompass Rep. Driehaus' entire participation in the forum. Sponsors of the forum were the Cincinnati Chapter of the National Organization of Women and the Cincinnati Women's Political Caucus:

There will be more videos posted in the coming days that will give you a glimpse of what happened after the conclusion of this forum, so check back soon.

This is crossposted here.

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