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Nine arrested in Hart Building ahead of health care protest

Updated 12:51 p.m.
By Philip Rucker
As thousands of activists converged on the lawn of the Capitol for a midday rally against Democrats' health-care reform legislation, Capitol Police arrested nine protesters Thursday morning in the Hart Senate Office Building.

The protesters were arrested about 10 a.m. on the seventh floor of the Hart Building and were charged with unlawful entry, a Capitol Police spokeswoman said.

"They were inside an office and didn't leave," Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said.

A noon rally was scheduled for the steps of the Capitol in protest of the health-reform bill that House Democrats plan to take up for a floor vote Saturday.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is leading the "Hands Off Our Health Care!" rally and has said she plans to lead protesters through congressional office buildings for a series of "House calls" orchestrated to intimidate members against voting for health-care reform.

Patients First activists from Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia are expected at the rally, and other activists across the country plan to visit their local congressional offices.

"Thousands of grass-roots Americans from across the country will make congressional house calls to their representatives today -- in both D.C. and at local district offices -- to urge them to vote no on a 2,000-plus-page health care bill that will take the decision-making power away from patients and put it into the hands of Washington bureaucrats," said Phil Kerpen, policy director of Patients First. "President Obama, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader [Harry] Reid refuse to listen to American taxpayers that have clearly demonstrated through rallies, phone calls, and congressional visits that they don't want to pay for a trillion dollar government-defined health care plan."

The congressional members expected to receive visits from protesters include:
-- Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)
-- Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
-- Sen. Kay Hagen (D-N.C.)
-- Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.)
-- Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)
-- Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.)
-- Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.)
-- Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.)
-- Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.)
-- Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
-- Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.)

By Philip Rucker  |  November 5, 2009; 11:53 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

In your article you state, "Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is leading the "Hands Off Our Health Care!" rally and has said she plans to lead protesters through congressional office buildings for a series of "House calls" orchestrated to intimidate members against voting for health-care reform." - I find your word choice interesting. You chose to use the word intimidate... a very loaded word, it suggests those visiting the offices of representatives may in some way threaten those individuals. Would not the word "convince" have been more accurate and less loaded? Words matter and your choice suggests a lack of objectivity and an agenda to paint those that are exercising their civil rights as dangerous. They are only dangerous in so far as they will work to unseat those in power that do not represent their beliefs; but you and I both know that was not the idea you were trying rather subtlety to suggest.

Posted by: jwalkerconcrete | November 5, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The American Taliban on the march. Who needs enemys in other countrys? These corporate shills are more dangerous to the republic than any foreign enemy will ever be.....just my 2 cents

Posted by: scon101 | November 5, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Michele Bachmann is an embarrassment to her party and to the human race as a whole. She puts the WING in WINGNUT quite well.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | November 5, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Bureacrats...they all have one thing in common. They think that what's mine is theirs.

Posted by: jhr1 | November 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Jwalkerconcrete, I think the Post got the wording exactly right. This mob is not intent on civil dialogue or an open exchange of ideas. Their sole intent is to intimidate public officials and bring discourse down to the lowest common denominator. I would expect nothing less from a Michelle Bachmann "led" campaign.

Posted by: dcroligan | November 5, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Leave Health Care alone! Keep the Government out of my Healthcare! We don't need no socialism here!!!
What's next? The Government taking over my foodstamps?

Posted by: Krazijoe | November 5, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

This article is misleading by insinuating that the people arrested were part of the tea party protest. They were not. They were members of Code Pink and demanding the inclusion of the Public Option.

Posted by: 6smile | November 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Bachmann. Gets these people so far into the vapors that they get arrested. Wonder if she'll post bail?

It's kind of a shame those for health care reform are better behaved. A counter-demonstration and a little shout down in the halls might be just what is needed if it is to be that the loudest mouth wins.

Posted by: SarahBB | November 5, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

When liberals or members of the radical left demonstrate - using nonviolent or even violent actions - it is a "grassroots protest."

When moderates or conservatives demonstrate - using nonviolent actions - it is "intimidation."

The reason for this distinction is that moderates and conservatives have nothing valuable to contribute to the public debate. They are racists full of hate and anger, they are selfish people concerned only about their own interests.

So of course the Washington Post chooses the word "intimidate." This is merely printing the truth, as everyone already knows ...

Posted by: Quitaque1 | November 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Right wing nuts are too stupid to understand they are making things worse for the average AMerican by not adopting a single payer plan. It is not marxism - it is Christian to care that your neighbor has the healthcare they need and not some insurance executive getting rich on the backs of AMerica. Wake up! Michele B. is a looney tune!

Posted by: TimeforChange | November 5, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but wonder how many of those protesters are on Medicare (or Medicaid) -- big benefit assistance from the Fed government. As Cokie Roberts said on 'This Week' after the Tea Party march some weeks ago, "I saw a woman with a sign that said, 'No government health care!' And Cokie thought, "Honey, you are ON MEDICARE!" Enuf said...

Posted by: DRFJR | November 5, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Let them march. Most Americans who are responsible taxpayers are AT work. Those are the ones they need to pay attention to.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | November 5, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Were the "protestors" protesting H.C. reform? Or were they Code Pinkos protesting something else? Where are they from? Did they issue a statement? Who said they were protestors? Maybe they were just lost. How did they gain entry all the way up to the seventh floor if they weren't supposed to be in there?

Posted by: chatard | November 5, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

What a disgraceful piece of "journalism."

The protesters who were arrested were not only unrelated to the larger protest, they were on the other side -- they're liberals, Code Pink people, who were protesting the lack of a public option.

But the WashPost wants people to think it was the conservatives who got out of hand and arrested. Good Lord.

Posted by: mdeup | November 5, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

jwalkerconcrete is absolutely correct when he/she says that "words matter". The correct words to describe what Bachmann has asked her wingnut army to do is to "SCARE" legislators into "killing" reform. IMO "intimidate" is actually a bit milder of a descriptive but I'm sure you would have been just as angry if Mr. Rucker would have used Bachmann's exact word "scare" instead. When you talk about words mattering I would like to address the Right's use of words like "death panels" and "pulling the plug on granny". "Tyrany" comes to mind as does "fascism", "nazis" and "communism". All words used by the Right with the full intention of terrorizing low information citizens and working them into a frenzy while having no shred of truth to them. So if words matter as you claim jwalkerconcrete, then why not hold your teabagging brethren to the same standard?
As to the poster who defends today's Ignorance Parade as being a "grass roots" effort, I guess the millions spent daily by the front groups and lobbyists, not to mention the 24/7 wingnut Right Wing infommercial of a cable network known as FOX, the buses provided by the front groups as well as all the major organizing done by millionaires with a huge stake in blocking reform are all just "grass roots" organizers. For sure there are plenty of "regular" old American citizens marching, but they have been organized and mobilized by the HC industry without which there would be no movement (pathetic as it is anyway).

Posted by: APatriotActing | November 5, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating. What planet do people like Michelle Backmann live on, if she thinks healthcare decisions are being made by "patients" now?

Posted by: corbinb | November 5, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Post is not quite clear in their reporting. If the Post digs a little deeper and slants a little less, they will find that those arrested outside Sen. Liebermann's office were left of center comrades upset that Sen. Liebermann was not in lockstep with the Socialist now ruling D.C. Infact the protestors arrested were not from a Rep. Bachmann group. Their demonstration was organized by the Mobilization for Health Care for All, definately not a Tea Party type. Report the Truth.

Posted by: quiscustodietipsoscustodes | November 5, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course the only ones available to walk on the hallowed hall are those ELDERLY who already have HEALTHCARE
and those who are probably NOT WORKING A REAL JOB - SO PROBABLY have HEALTHCARE through those of us WORKING STIFFS who cannot afford healthcare ourselves.

MS BACHMAN _ BURN YOUR FEDERAL CHOICE INSURANCE OPTION IF YOU ARE SOOO AGAINST CHOICE FOR US

Posted by: kare1 | November 5, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Break out the Pepper Spray and let the Police have at it, these protesters should get what they deserved all along, a big spray right in the face.

An Independent.

Posted by: nonneocon | November 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

See, when it's liberals protesting they're bravely "speaking truth to power". When it's conservatives they're corporate shills trying to intimidate.

Posted by: Jeff08 | November 5, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

isnt it illegal to incite a riot? which is basically what this is? you have a congresswoman, as well as a major news network, telling people from all over the nation to head to the capital and storm into offices of congressmen and women and yell and scream and refuse to budge. Sad reality is that this bill could actually help more than 60 percent of the people who are protesting it and most likely wont affect the other 40 percent. It goes to show how uneducated and stupid a majority of people are if they are fooled by the "health care boogie man". Jesus would endorse health care for every man, woman, and child no matter what their preexisting condition is. Im pretty sure if you frame it that way they wont have a leg to stand on when they argue its bad for business and "capitalism". Rational thinking in this country has been replaced with fear and stupidity. Come on people. We need to rise up for common sense and good will, for hope and humanity, for life and enviornment. Dont listen to those who say we need to rise up to protect the heath care industry and big business. We cant let those who are fools control the argument. Instead, we have to educate them and bring the fight to those who would exploit stupidity.

Posted by: Ish123 | November 5, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nitwits. They don’t even realize that the “revolt” is funded by the huge corporations and used by right-wingnut politicians to gain their 15 minutes of fame. How pathetic!

Michelle Bachmann isn't even worth comtempt. She's just a fool.

Posted by: mybandy | November 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nitwits. They don’t even realize that the “revolt” is funded by the huge corporations and used by right-wingnut politicians to gain their 15 minutes of fame. How pathetic!

Michelle Bachmann isn't even worth comtempt. She's just a fool.

Posted by: mybandy | November 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nitwits. They don’t even realize that the “revolt” is funded by the huge corporations and used by right-wingnut politicians to gain their 15 minutes of fame. How pathetic!

Michelle Bachmann isn't even worth comtempt. She's just a fool.

Posted by: mybandy | November 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nitwits. They don’t even realize that the “revolt” is funded by the huge corporations and used by right-wingnut politicians to gain their 15 minutes of fame. How pathetic!

Michelle Bachmann isn't even worth comtempt. She's just a fool.

Posted by: mybandy | November 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nitwits. They don’t even realize that the “revolt” is funded by the huge corporations and used by right-wingnut politicians to gain their 15 minutes of fame. How pathetic!

Michelle Bachmann isn't even worth comtempt. She's just a fool.

Posted by: mybandy | November 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/philip+rucker/

Those with the facts should email Rucker.

Posted by: Melly1 | November 5, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"In your article you state, "Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is leading the "Hands Off Our Health Care!" rally and has said she plans to lead protesters through congressional office buildings for a series of "House calls" orchestrated to intimidate members against voting for health-care reform." - I find your word choice interesting. You chose to use the word intimidate... a very loaded word, it suggests those visiting the offices of representatives may in some way threaten those individuals. Would not the word "convince" have been more accurate and less loaded? Words matter and your choice suggests a lack of objectivity and an agenda to paint those that are exercising their civil rights as dangerous. They are only dangerous in so far as they will work to unseat those in power that do not represent their beliefs; but you and I both know that was not the idea you were trying rather subtlety to suggest."

Intimidate was the perfect word. That's what mobs try to do.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 5, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

How many Medicare enrollees are demanding "No Socialistic Medicine?" The hypocrisy of these people is breathtaking.

Posted by: pghbil | November 5, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

If those arrested were indeed leftist code pink members as others have written here, then that shows how slanted the Post's coverage is. It would have in the public interest and a simple matter to note what organization those arrested belong to. Another example of why I haven't bought a paper post in 5 years.

Posted by: hit4cycle | November 5, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I mean really. TPM has the right story. Roll Call has the right story. Freaking Huffington Post has the right story. Where are you Washington Post?

They were Code Pinkers protesting in favor of Universal Health Care in Lieberman's office.

Posted by: Melly1 | November 5, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

pghbil: The medicare enrollees you disparage never had the option of opting out of the system. The payroll deductions were taken for decades whether they liked it or not. They're simply using what they were forced to purchase. I would gladly not sign up for medicare and social security if I could get back all my contributions and those made by my employer with 4% interest compouded quarterly and adjusted for inflation. My health care and retirement security are my responsibility.

Posted by: hit4cycle | November 5, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to add a little something to those who say we need to "give a little" and "help our neighbor" because it's the Christian thing to do. We DO give, but it's big! We are paying for those who don't have health insurance, for the people on welfare, etc. Do you not get it? We, the people working hard to feed our own families, pay for those who don't. Well guess what, like the US as a whole, I'm tired of taking care of everyone else. I would like to be selfish and take care of MY family. I pay for my own insurance for my family and it IS pricey, but I don't want the govt. option, the single payor, etc. I want the govt to work with insurance companies to lower costs. As I shopped around looking for health insurance - after I was laid off in January - I found that there is basic health insurance that is affordable. There are people out there that CAN afford a basic plan, but choose not to. They would rather spend their money on other stuff. I've seen it people! Think about it. We will be paying more money out of our pockets for everyone else's health insurance, we won't have the money for our own. This plan is a bad idea. It's ripping apart this country and will divide America. This is not a good thing.

Posted by: leavehcalone | November 5, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Some here presume to know that Jesus would be for health care. While I think he would urge believers to care for and love one another, I doubt he'd want Caesar to administer health care. Nothing in his life that I know of suggests that he was a big government guy.

Posted by: hit4cycle | November 5, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

one last thing...if the govt passes a bill forcing Americans to have health insurance, thus forcing us to a single payor plan, then EVERYONE - even the government should be have the SAME health care. If this health care reform is so great, then they should be on it too.

Posted by: leavehcalone | November 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

You couldn't bother to tell your readers (how few you have) that it was Code Pink the angry leftist tramps who were arrested? REALLY? That could not be the headline...you....let me show you how its done Washington Post

Nine Code Pink members arrested in Hart Building and NO Tea Party members arrested even though there were 10K!

You all just continue to be JERKS!

Posted by: Jaded2 | November 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

leavehcalone | November 5, 2009 3:02 PM
"one last thing...if the govt passes a bill forcing Americans to have health insurance, thus forcing us to a single payor plan, ...."

----
You are confused on your facts.

Single Payer is not in any legislation that has passed House or Senate. In my opinion, it should be, as it would enable us to use the same doctors but would eliminate 20-30% of the overhead paid to insurers.

Requiring us to have health insurance is a subterfuge that will benefit insurers more than patients.

Posted by: boscobobb | November 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

True, Jesus doesnt have much love for big government nor taxes. But this is also to include Big Business. Anyone with half a brain knows insurance companies are screwing people everyday. And I hardly think the correct argument to have on the issue is whether or not this is a step towards Nazism or not. Thats just a scare tactic. Argue it on the basis of taxes. And once that issue is addressed move on. Im sick if this "i dont want to pay my taxes for other people to have healthcare" nonsence. We pay taxes for schools, for cops, for firemen, all things the educate us and protect us. Health care should be on that list just the same. You sleep well at night mister. i-want-to-be-selfish when some poor woman is dying from a prevenative disease all because her health insurance company decided to drop her coverage. Or a wife has to sell everything she and her husband has to pay for his cancer treatment. Think about that and then imagine what it would be like for you to have to go through that same ordeal. Which side would you be on then. Universal Health Care will help everyone! Everyone American. Now thats something to be proud of. This is about life people, not about money, or nazis, or taxes. Taxes are a means to an end. Wouldnt you rather them towards a persons healthcare rather then, say, private contractors in Iraq who throw our money around like rappers in strip clubs? Think about it.

Posted by: Ish123 | November 5, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Why don,t the HOMO Rights Activists get pissed off when the Tea Party Protestors are referred to as teabaggers. After all, teabagging is a sex act (putting ones testicles in anothers mouth)popular with HOMOS. Most HOMOS are libs, so who is doing all of the teabagging?

Posted by: melbarras | November 5, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

These Democrats are a joke and the Obama Post (washington post)is a disgrace. First they have a moron writer on staff. He can't research the truth and instead tries to persuade the internet readers of lies.

Democrats have great civil protests, I mean all the beatings and riots that usually accompany them , now thats civil. Yet Americans ( guess what there were democrats at the steps today also) expressing their concerns is now called mobs. Democrats with comments of most of us have jobs and can't do things like that. Well thats why there were people at Obama rally's huh? During the day when most of us work? yep!! So I guess democrats = Hypocrite. Its really simple just watch how they blast others when they do the same thing and call it other things .
enough said :)

Posted by: danny_kent74 | November 5, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

sigh... It never ceases to amaze me that so many people don't let a lack of understanding or knowledge hinder them from issuing a blistering opinion full of hate and invective.

I was there. Nice people. Families. Young and old. Didn't attack anyone. No pepper spray needed.

Some of you libs need to get a life.

Skiritae

Posted by: Skiritae | November 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

As we can see from town halls, marches, and the thousands at the Capitol today, the only Americans who support the Obamacare SCAM (in all its Orwellian, manipulative versions) are Obama's accomplices and those who have been dumbed down by a substandard and politicized education as per the warnings of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov.

In 1985, Bezmenov told us that our enemies were working hard at brainwashing us (dumbing us down) and would succeed if we did not defend our principles: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwlBt1

The dumbed down are obviously unable to understand that the "public option" will further contribute to “the American descent into Marxism," which “is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple…" http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0

Fortunately, as we can see from town halls, marches, and the thousands at the Capitol today, most Americans have not been dumbed down. Most Americans are not sheeple and prefer to be FREE.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 5, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Democrat Harry Mitchell ought to be a target for protest and votes. He represents a district whose registration favors Republicans. President Obama has visited his district twice and now Pelosi is pressuring Mitchell to vote for the federal takeover of the healthcare industry. If Harry Mitchell votes for this bill, his political career will be over! Of course, you can always read more on www.MitchellTruth.com

Posted by: harrymitchellwatch | November 7, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

harrymitchellwatch - you are so wrong! Harry is taking a progressive stand on health care because of his constituents and all the folks that got him elected. He heard loud and clear from all his supporters and now they will make sure that he defeats whatever wingnut opposes him. AZ is turning blue.

Posted by: tillie630 | November 7, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

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