17 single payer advocates arrested in civil disobedience at Aetna in Manhattan
[I]n Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday morning a different sort of health-care protest took place, led by left-leaning groups who accused insurers of greed ...
Why, the idea!
... and called for nationwide, single-payer health insurance.
The police said that 17 people were arrested after refusing to leave the lobby of an office building on Park Avenue where the insurance company Aetna has offices. They were charged with criminal trespass. In addition, the police said, three of those arrested were charged with obstructing governmental administration.
Organizers said it was the first step of a national campaign meant to publicize their views and challenge claims made by right-wing radio hosts and Republican officials.
About 50 people arrived at the Park Avenue building at 10 a.m., participants said, and sent a representative to the Aetna offices upstairs to demand that the company agree to immediately approve “lifesaving” health care requests made by doctors. When that person was turned away, organizers said, sixteen protesters entered the lobby of the building and sat on the floor.
“This is very much a dignified, non violent response to what some people call the howler movement that erupted in August,” said Katie Robbins, part of an advocacy group called Healthcare Now.
The groups have organized using a Web site and Twitter. So far, organizers said, 300 people have signed up to take part in additional protests using civil disobedience and aimed at insurance companies that are being planned for October, while legislators are expected to be working on health care issues.
“We’re going to be in Chicago next week and L.A. the week after that,” Ms. Robbins said. “We’re timing this around the legislative efforts of Congress.”
Good. Courage! Nice to see a little outside baseball for a change.