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Entire Berkshire legislative delegation joins healthcare protest at Park Square

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By Sunday, Sep 24, 2017 News 1

Pittsfield — In concert with hundreds of other protests across the United States, the Berkshire Democratic Brigades, Berkshire County’s official Democratic organization, has organized a standout to protest the Senate Graham-Cassidy bill, which could result in more than 30 million Americans losing healthcare coverage if it passes this week.

The standout will be held on Monday, September 25, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Park Square, located at the corner of South, West and North Streets in downtown Pittsfield, and is open to all. The protest is co-sponsored by the Four Freedoms Coalition, a non-partisan coalition of more than 140 local organizations, and the Berkshire County branch of the NAACP. Musicians from the Hoping Machine will lead songs of social change, and the entire Berkshire legislative delegation will be in attendance.

Attendees are encouraged to wear black, dress as zombies, and bring headstone shaped signs to emphasize the danger the proposed healthcare bill embodies. Per Pittsfield law, signs should not have sticks attached to them. The Berkshire Theatre Group will open the Colonial Theatre lobby at 111 South Street to attendees before and after the protest for respite and conversation.

State Sen. Adams Hinds encouraged residents to attend, stating, “quality healthcare is a right for every American and should never be threatened for short-term political maneuvering. The current approach to developing health care policy at the national level is appalling. So we must stand to protect our basic right to health care.”

State Rep. William ‘Smitty’ Pignatelli emphasized, “I’m urging everyone to pay attention to this debate in Washington. This will have serious consequences for the Commonwealth. We were the first state in the country to have ‘health care for all’ and have continued to be leaders on a national stage for research and development. If Graham-Cassidy passes it will have an $8 billion impact over the next 10 years for the taxpayers of Massachusetts. Penalizing progressive states like ours for the benefit of less interested states sends the wrong message to the world. I hope that Congress will put politics aside and choose to stand for healthcare for all.”

When asked why the Brigades were organizing the protest, Sherwood Guernsey, co-founder of the Berkshire Democratic Brigades, said, “Over 20 million people lose health care. Millions cut for nursing home, disabled and pre-existing condition coverage. No hearings. People will die. It’s an outrage. Shame on the Republicans.”

For more information on the Berkshire Democratic Brigades, visit www.berkshirebrigades.com.

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One Comment   Add Comment

  1. Michelle Loubert says:

    I’m so there!

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