This just came in from Florida. Apparently teabaggers began to riot after they couldn't get into a town hall. The town hall was for Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL).
There appeared to be some sort of confrontation with SEIU folks inside.
Tampa, Florida - Angry protesters and strong supporters are clashing inside and all around a health care reform town hall meeting in Downtown Tampa. The meeting which was scheduled to begin at 6:00 at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County drew hundreds of people who quickly began to overwhelm staff and event organizers at the front entrance.
As the building filled to capacity, angry protesters stuck outside began to scream, yell, and chant. At one point, those trying to get inside began banging on windows as Tampa Police officers quickly spread out guarding all entrances.
Here is another account of the same incident with more information.
There were at least two scuffles between protestors trying to enter and organizers manning the doors.
One of those involved in a scuffle, Randy Arthur, of Oldsmar said he was injured by those manning the doors and said he would file a police report.
He and his wife, Kathy, were outside the meeting room when organizers tried to close the doors. Randy Arthur and others tried to stop them "and he didn't give up,'' Kathy Arthur said.
Randy Arthur, who owns an air conditioning service company, later talked to police officers, his knit shirt ripped and a few scratches visible on his chest. "They slammed him into the wall,'' Kathy Arthur said.
A minority of the crowd, perhaps a third, were health care reform advocates, some associated with the local Democratic party or the staffs of Castor or Betty Reed, and some with Organizing For America, an organization that grew out of the Obama campaign.
After her short talk, Castor left at about 6:40 p.m., sparking much of the rest of the crowd to leave as well. Some jeered Castor as she left.
"They're hiding from their constituents. She works for us and needs to listen,'' said Karen Jaroch, a Tampa homemaker and organizer for the 9-12 Project, set up by rightist TV commentator Glenn Beck.
Ellen Gedalius, a Castor spokeswoman, said the Congresswoman left the meeting because she had accomplished what she came for.
"We said all along our role was to come and give an update on the bill in Congress,'' Gedalius said. "That's what Betty Reed asked us to do. It's her meeting and that's what she did.''
Gedalius noted that Castor will have an telephonic town hall on Aug. 13 and that her office has been receiving hundreds of comments on the health care issue.
As noted above, Glenn Beck appears to be collecting these protesters, this is getting ugly fast. Someone needs to calm these folks down. This would be strike three for Glenn Beck now. He calls the President of the United States a "racist". He threatens Pelosi LIVE ON AIR, and then his organizers do this at a town hall.
Here's account number 3: Account 3
"There is more consensus than there is disagreement when you get right down to it,'' Castor offered, immediately drowned out by groans and boos.
She pressed on, mostly unheard among the screams from the audience of more than 200.
"Tell the truth! Tell the truth!"
"Read the bill!"
"Forty-million illegals! Forty million illegals!"
The spectacle at the Children's Board in Ybor City sounded more like a wrestling cage match than a panel discussion on national policy, and it was just the latest example of a health care meeting disrupted by livid protesters. Similar scenes are likely to be repeated across the country as lawmakers head back to their home districts for the summer recess.
I highlighted the part about "forty-million illegals" to stamp out something. Undocumented migrants are NOT going to be covered by any healthcare proposal in Congress. These individuals are flailing around on bullshit and they need someone to speak to them honestly.