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Pro-Obamacare Protest in Auburn: Postings ripped down, police called out

By: Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal
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Demonstrators gathered outside U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s Auburn office Wednesday to demand that the Republican lawmaker support Obamacare in the face of attempts to dismantle it.

While the congressman was not in and the office was not staffed, a spirited protest went on outside, with participants like Nevada City’s Erin Minett taping messages to the exterior wall in support of the Affordable Care Act and other health measures established during past administrations.

“If (House Leader Paul) Ryan gets his way and privatizes Medicare, we’re all screwed,” Minett said.

Mark Rosen, president of the Auburn Area Democratic Club and co-leader of the new Indivisible Auburn group, said that while the protest message didn’t immediately reach LaMalfa, R-Richvale, the demonstration was a success and organizers were happy with a turnout of about 60 people.

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“People wanted to make a statement,” Rosen said. “It looks like they were successful in doing so. We feel like our lives are under assault with the Affordable Care Act being turned around.”

The main message the demonstration hoped to amplify is that demonstrators are on the front lines for many more people in LaMalfa’s District 1 and across the nation who don’t want to return to the way it was before the Affordable Care Act was introduced, Rosen said.

Demonstrators were confronted with just how divisive issues like healthcare have become during the new Trump presidential term when a man approached and ripped down some of the pieces of paper taped to the LaMalfa office’s exterior wall and window. He retreated as demonstrators chanted in unison “The whole world is watching.”

After the man had departed, three Auburn Police patrol cars arrived and parked at the end of Rickenbacker Way at the Auburn Airport, near the LaMalfa office. An officer briefly chatted with demonstrators, explaining that posting notes on the outside wall of a congressman’s office was not going to trigger any police response.

As the demonstration started to break up after about 30 minutes, the notes were taken down by organizers. Rosen said that they will be delivered to LaMalfa at a later date.

Indivisible Auburn will be joining with others in a coalition of what Rosen described as resistance groups to attend 5th District U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock’s Roseville town hall meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday. The meeting is to take place at the Tower Theater, 417 Vernon St. in Roseville.

Social Security and Medicare issues will also be the keynote topic today at the monthly meeting of the Auburn Area Democratic Club. The club will meet in the Auburn Library’s Beecher Room starting at 7 p.m.