Healthcare reform backers plan rallies

Aug. 31, 2009 at 11:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Backers of U.S. President Obama's proposals say they're planning more than 2,000 rallies and other events to regain the momentum in the healthcare debate.

Groups supporting the president's priorities are also scheduling town hall meetings and house parties in the next two weeks, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The moves come as vehement opponents of the Democratic Party-backed healthcare reforms have grabbed the spotlight during the August Congressional recess by staging protests and drowning out supporters at town hall meetings. But pro-Obama groups such as Organizing for America, which is run by the Democratic National Committee, say they are hitting back, the newspaper reported.

"We think that change happens with neighbors talking to neighbors, and these rallies reflect that," DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan told the Post. "That's how we won the campaign in the fall, with grassroots organizing, and that's what we will see in these events going forward."

The group began its initiative last week with a rally at a Phoenix labor hall that featured the same placards used in Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

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