CHICAGO – Thursday evening hundreds gathered downtown at Federal Plaza to protest the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and celebrate its seventh birthday.
The protest was supposed to be in response to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Representative Peter Roskam’s (R-IL) planned $50,000 a plate fundraiser at the Chicago Club at Van Buren and Michigan Avenue. The fundraiser was rescheduled for Friday, and has now been postponed indefinitely because Ryan’s promised repeal of the bill isn’t going as smoothly as he hoped, especially considering he controls the lower chamber and has built his entire career on repealing the act.
Though the fundraiser was rescheduled, event organizers pushed forward with the demonstration, meeting in Federal Plaza and marching north on Dearborn Street to Wacker Drive where the group turned east to confront Trump at his symbolic front door, Trump International Hotel and Tower at 401 N. Wabash Ave.
The rally at Federal Plaza had a festival atmosphere. Demonstrators proudly exhibited their signs, warmed up with chants, and celebrated the delayed vote in the House of Representatives as a small victory of the resistance. Pickets were given to those that didn’t bring their own, literature and periodicals were distributed, volunteer lists were passed around on clipboards, a marching band played for the masses, and buttons and shirts were peddled.
Emotional and passionate speakers rallied the crowd to keep fighting for healthcare and the Affordable Care Act which provides insurance for 1.1 million Illinoisans.
After arriving at Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue across the Chicago river from Trump Tower, where traffic was completely blocked for about ten minutes, the chanting culminated in a round of “Happy Birthday” sung to Obamacare.
Though the Ryan and Roskam fundraiser isn’t taking place on Friday, the organizing groups still plan to meet on Wacker Drive across from Trump Tower at 4:00 p.m. in their continued efforts to save the Affordable Care Act.
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