Protesters chanting “Kill the bill! Don’t kill us!” and “Shame!” interrupted the Senate’s vote on a motion to proceed to debate on the GOP healthcare bill on Monday afternoon.
Hundreds of protesters, organised by activist groups including the Center for Popular Democracy, gathered inside the Hart Senate building as Republican lawmakers narrowly passed the motion, overcoming the first major hurdle in the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Vox’s Jeff Stein reported the demonstrators included physicians and Medicaid recipients, some in wheelchairs, chanting and waving signs in the lobby and hallways of the building.
Stein said that one group attempted to carry a coffin into the Senate building, but were blocked by security.
Another reporter on the scene, Jennifer Bendery of HuffPost, said that officials in the Senate were ordering protesters not to take photos and to delete photos that had been taken. Photography is prohibited in certain parts of the Senate.
Bendery also tweeted that reporters were blocked from the areas of the building where protesters were gathered.
Following the vote, Democratic senators gathered on the steps of the Capitol building to speak to a crowd of protesters.
“We came out here because we understand one thing,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren called out through a megaphone. “The power is not in there, the power is out here. It’s with the people.”
Reporters blocked from Senate halls where protesters being arrested, shouting, “Kill the bill!” Being told, “no photos. Delete your photos.”
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) July 25, 2017
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