Hundreds march in downtown Asheville in support of Obamacare
Asheville was on the nationwide Obamacare rally map with hundreds of people taking to the streets downtown on Sunday.
Congress passed a budget moving towards the repeal of "Obamacare," the healthcare law enacted in 2010, and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. The following week, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called for demonstrations in all 50 states, in opposition of the congressional vote.
Protestors started at New Mountain AVL with signs after Our Revolution Asheville, a group that supports Democratic candidates, called for the march.
"We can't block sidewalks and can't make it challenging for people to walk. We can't get out into the street and block the street and block traffic," Matt Coffay, a member of Our Revolution Asheville, told the crowd.
Twenty at a time the demonstrators made their way to Pack Square.
“[There’s] electioneering, profiteering from both parties. We need for both parties to repent, if you will, and serve the people—instead of themselves,” demonstrator Lawrence Williamson said.
Democratic State Sen. Terry Van Duyn was the keynote speaker at the rally.
"It is not OK for the rich to be taking everything and leaving the working class with the dregs," Sen. Van Duyn said.
Carl Mumpower, a local conservative activist and former Asheville city councilman, told News 13 he wanted to see Obamacare repealed and had faith in Republican members of Congress.
"They're going to look at that equation of cheap services that are accessible and of good quality and find a point of balance in there that's sustainable,” Mumpower said. “What we have now; you can't do all three of those things at the same time."
The march ended with organizers telling participants to contact their local congressional leaders and encourage them to keep Obamacare.