Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

March 18th, 2010 6:16 PM

‘Healthcare Not Warfare’ Brown Bag Vigils Spread to 89 Congressional Districts

It has been an odd week for those of us who believe in an end to war and also believe in a progressively financed single standard of high quality care for all.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio spearheaded an historic debate and vote on the House floor on Afghanistan war funding and then also announced he would vote “yes” on the current health reform bill he finds so flawed.  News reports on both issues are plentiful so no need to expound on the details again here, but the process in Washington, DC, is bruising and citizen activists are sometimes left confused.

But make no mistake, the deep convictions of those advocating “Healthcare Not Warfare” is growing in an ever-increasing wave of Brown Bag Vigils held on the third Wednesday of every month outside Congressional offices from coast-to-coast.  On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, the number of vigils swelled to 89.

In Washington, DC, the media turned out to film the Brown Bag team assembled across from the Rayburn House Office Building but seemed more interested in stirring anger toward Kucinich or toward the President or Congress or certainly toward the Tea Party efforts that the mainstream media has done so much to promote and encourage by its intense coverage since the dog days of summer when one right-wing screamer chased a Congressman across a parking lot following a town hall meeting.

But from Massachusetts to Ohio to Florida and on to Colorado and Washington State and California and many more, Brown Bag Vigil attendance grew and the voice for peace and healthcare justice grows ever louder.  At some vigils only one or two brave souls held their signs up, at others vigils included dialogue with Congressional staff members, and at still others, and dozens gathered and chanted or sang.

In Washington, DC, those assembled serenaded to tune of Oh, Danny Boy, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day:

Verse 1: Repubs and Dems, the people they are calling,
For Medicare, improved for one and all.
The bill you have is not healthcare justice;
It's a pot o' gold for profits not for us.

Verse 2: Around the globe, our US troops are fighting,
And lots of cash is causing lots of war,
It’s time to stop the killing and the war machine,
All we ask is more healthcare not more war.

Whether the current reform bill passes or not in the 111th Congress and whether or not the current troop surge in Afghanistan continues, those who advocate for real change and real hope for everyone in this country are continuing their grassroots work aimed at harnessing the anger many citizens feel for the current state of affairs and re-energizing the millions of people who worked so hard in the 2008 election cycle and who know that this nation spoke loudly and clearly for shared dreams of more peace and more healthcare and a distinct change of direction from the previous eight years.

The Brown Bag Vigils will continue, and it seems they will grow as word spreads to so many who have been frustrated by the lack of media attention beyond the vitriolic and staged Tea Party rantings for the concerns of the vast majority of people in the nation who continue to believe we can change this system for the better.  To do so we must be louder, larger and gather longer than those who feed on fear and hatred.

The vigils are hosted by members of Progressive Democrats of America and co-sponsored by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.  Other organizations supporting the vigils include members from Healthcare-NOW!, Physicians for a National Health Program, the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, After Downing Street, and many others.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? ...by Ray McGovern www.michaelmoore.com Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles