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Overflow crowd at Maryland town hall

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 10, 2009 10:51 PM

Reports from Democrat Rep. Ben Cardin’s town hall meeting tonight. Overflow crowd. Conservatives in the blue state turned out in force:

Towson Maryland)-After the office of Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin admitted to receiving over 1,600 RSVP’s for its health care Town Hall, they must have been surprised at the more than 2,000 citizens that showed up according to witnesses and University Police.

An urgent request to the AFL-CIO for forces to “counter” those opposed to healthcare was able to result in the a large group of supporters in line hours before the doors opened but was not able to counter the voices of those locked out of the meeting.

Sign carrying protesters both for and against the health care bill took up positions on both sides of the road in front of the event with a core group of about 50 supporters being opposed by nearly 300.

The supporters were approximately 15 red shirt wearing “Progressives of Maryland” and another group of about 15 yellow shirt wearing union members. The remainder of the group was made up of aging hippie types and young college students.

For Maryland, an extremely liberal state, the turnout was amazing for the conservative movement. They countered the typical 2-4-6-8 cheers of the union members (read from script sheets) with “All we are saying, is pay your own bills” sung to the tune of the Beatles “All we are saying is give peace a chance” while the crowd swayed back and forth.

Viva free speech:

Protesters and counter-protesters at a town hall meeting tonight at Towson University on proposed federal health care reform will not be allowed to bring their signs into the building and will be restricted to sidewalks away from the building, according to organizers.

Susan Sullam, a spokeswoman for Sen. Ben Cardin, said about 1,600 people have indicated their interest in attending.

She said she expects a number of those attendees will be there to express opposition to health care legislation under consideration in Congress.

Other groups, such as one organized by Silver Spring-based Progressive Maryland, will attend to “rally against health reform opponents and for health reform now,” according to an e-mail sent out this morning by Matthew Weinstein, state coordinator for Health Care for America Now and Baltimore regional director for Progressive Maryland.

Protesters on either side of the issue will be restricted to sidewalks near the university’s Center for the Arts.

They will not be allowed to bring in signs or placards, Sullam said.

“Towson University will not allow that at any of their facilities,” Sullam said. “This is a town hall meeting. It’s not a rally and it is not a protest.”

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