Group rallies against health care legislation

Demonstrators who didn’t want to be identified wave signs as they protest against the federal health care bill with others along Fifth Street outside of the Alpine Bank building during the lunch hour on Friday.

About 60 people took to the streets midday Friday to wave yellow Don’t-Tread-On-Me flags and gin up opposition to health care changes before Congress.

Opponents, many of them from tea party and other conservative movements, chose the intersection of Fifth Street and Rood Avenue because of its proximity to the offices of U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., whose 3rd Congressional District includes most of the Western Slope.

Participants yelled, “Kill the bill,” and one waved a sign declaring, “Custer did not listen either.”

Larry and Joy Fencel drove from Cedaredge to attend the rally after learning about it Thursday.

The legislation amounts to socialized medicine, and “socialism has never worked,” Larry Fencel said. “If this passes, it will destroy America.”

Another protester, Joseph Salazar, said he opposes the measure because he fears it is a step toward socialized medicine and it contains inadequate protections against using tax money for abortions.

“I hope enough people stand up” to defeat it, Joseph Salazar said.

Jake Segrest of Fruita, an independent candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, said he was frustrated that health care legislation as proposed by the Democrats would expand the size of government, and there had been no opposite efforts under Republicans to reduce government’s size.

Although many participants were connected to local organizations, Jennifer Bailey, president of the Two Rivers 9.12 Project, said the rally was a grass-roots effort that took place without the backing of any organization.


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