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Florida Confronts Tea Party Reactionaries

By Fernando Figueroa |
November 17, 2009
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Daytona, FL - On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, a group of students, workers and community activists protested against a reactionary Tea Party rally in Daytona. The Tea Party organizers are racist, right-wing extremists and supporters of the Republican Party. The Tea Party rallied against health care reform, opposing the public option for insurance. Counter-demonstrators supported health care for all and promoted the single-payer option, which would create a viable system for years to come. Many of the protesters present were members of Gainesville Area Students for a Democratic Society.

When the counter-protesters arrived, the Tea Party reactionaries quickly turned nasty, making vicious and racist remarks. “Speak English!” several Tea Party reactionaries shouted at protester Jose Soto, a PhD candidate at the University of Florida. Soto commented on why he was there: “Private insurance corporations have an obvious conflict of interest between providing health care and maximizing profits. The problem comes from the inherent selective bias built into these companies, where it's not lucrative for them to provide health care for people who really need it, but to instead pick and choose those who are healthy and will pay for it and not use it.”

However, the pro-health care activists stood their ground, to put out another message, chanting, “Funding for health care, not warfare!” Many said, “We are here to demand health care for homeless veterans in honor of Veterans Day.” It was clear at the protest who stood for the interests of most Americans and who stood for the interest of the few rich health care profiteers.

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