Hundreds rally for health-care reform

August 29, 2009 

Hundreds of people gathered outside the state Capitol building in Raleigh on Saturday to voice support for President Barack Obama's health care plan.

The demonstrators carried signs and cheered as speakers talked up the need for reform, including a government public option for the uninsured.

The rally was one of a handful planned across the state. The Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter of the NAACP, called on those in attendance to challenge what he said were distortions of what the health care plan would do.

"Today we gather to say they have had their say," Barber said. "Now it is time for us who believe in a united America, a caring America, a compassionate America to speak up."

In quieter moments from the dais, a group of about 50 counter-demonstrators could be heard chanting, "Freedom," or No Obama Care."

"I can't afford this," said Larry Shug, 59, an unemployed construction worker from Zebulon who was among the counter-demonstrators. "They're going to destroy this country."

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