These 5 Shocking Scenes of Disabled Protesters Being Attacked In DC May Doom Trumpcare
Imagery Matters, And The Republicans Look Bad
Remember when the rights of the disabled were a bipartisan matter? When taking care of those who needed our care the most was a matter of duty as Americans – when we, as a country, could measure our worth by the way we treated ‘the least of these’?
Yeah, I miss those days, too.
Because today’s Republicans don’t care about the poor, or the disabled, or the children, or the elderly. Oh, they’ll claim that those who “really need the help” will have access – although no one can really say who “really needs it” or how they will insure that those in need will receive aid. Others will say it isn’t the place of the government to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. That’s what charities and churches are for, they’ll argue – and forget to mention that, at one point in American history, the care of the poor, elderly and disabled was left to only churches and charities…and people starved to death.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans introduced legislation that will be, for many poor, disabled, or elderly Americans, a death sentence. Although the Senate bill delays the pullback of the Medicaid expansion to a later date than the bill passed by the House Republicans, in the long run, the cuts are deeper. Millions of Americans will be unable to get insurance. And those who can get it may find their coverage is spotty, or that treatments and costs related to their pre-existing condition isn’t covered at all.
And a group of disabled people organized a protest outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Capitol Hill office. These are the very people this bill affects the most. People who, perhaps, cannot work because of their disabilities, and so rely upon Medicaid. People who cannot otherwise afford the care and treatment their disability requires to live.
McConnell Cares More About Insurance Lobbyists Than The Disabled
And, true to form, McConnell refused to meet with them – although he had taken the time to meet with health insurance lobbyists on Wednesday afternoon. Instead, the group of around 60 disabled protesters were forcibly removed and arrested.
The protest didn’t last long. It was easy enough for the Capitol police to lift their bodies back into their wheelchairs and roll them out. They couldn’t put up much of a physical resistance. Instead, they raised their voices and continued to chant.
“No cuts to Medicaid — save our liberty!”
There was blood on the floor outside of McConnell’s office after the protesters were removed.
Blood on the floor outside of Leader Mcconnell's office as protestors are physically being removed. pic.twitter.com/z4gVd9t1qe
— Mariam Khan (@MKhan47) June 22, 2017
These Images Matter
And the images of those protesters may continue to resonate long after this day, as well. In fact, they may be the kind of images that doom the cruel Senate health care bill – as it should be. They are the kind of images that may become iconic, and signify the battle the disabled find themselves fighting again, years after the Americans with Disabilities Act passed, allowing them actual access to the Capitol building that is supposed to represent them.
Much like the so-called “Capitol Crawl,” where disabled people showed up and propelled themselves up the stairs of the Capitol to underscore their lack of access in order to gain protections under the ADA, these protesters may, too, become the visual catalyst needed to maintain Medicaid.
L/1990: "Capitol Crawl" protest that led to passage of the ADA
R/2017: Police drag out people w/ disabilities protesting Medicaid cuts pic.twitter.com/HGF5rnHJpP
— Ari (@aBigMess) June 22, 2017
And so here are a collection of those powerful images. Show them. It’s what needs to be done. Share them and ask why these people don’t deserve quality of life, or life itself? Because stripping them of their health care will strip them of that, as well.
Tense situation outside McConnell's Russell office as protesters gather. Capitol Police blocking off hallway pic.twitter.com/48H3KUipfK
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) June 22, 2017
That young lady is a patriot. Thank you for standing up for yourself and for others today.
Outside McConnell's office pic.twitter.com/pFvlulXb45
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) June 22, 2017
That’s bravery being forcibly removed from the place where it is needed the most.
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) June 22, 2017
Her face says it all. She is fighting for her life.
— TIME (@TIME) June 22, 2017
Please take note – this is what actually makes America great.
And this woman in the clip below? She is an advocate for herself and for others. And she raised her voice and made herself heard, and she is a hero.
Disability group advocates stage protest outside Sen. McConnell’s office Video – ABC News https://t.co/IZuvdlvGXl
— RevolutionResolved (@RevResolved) June 22, 2017
This bill is a monstrosity. These people, and millions like them, face suffering and actual death – all in the name of a massive tax break for the wealthy.
They are people. They are Americans. That it has to be said, in 2017, is heartbreaking.
Then again, this is the current president.
Featured Image via NBC News / Twitter
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