Notifications

The latest attempt by groups to stop Donald Trump’s political agenda involves protesting in the streets and at town hall gatherings put on by Republican lawmakers.

The town hall protests were inspired by Tea Party groups in 2009 and 2010 that packed town halls to stop the stimulus and ObamaCare programs. Now, people on the other side of the political aisle are advertising town halls, and as The Daily Courier reports, busing in friendlies in hopes of retaining Obamacare.

The Huffington Post reports that activist Michael Moore has touted the town hall protests and proclaimed:

“This makes the Tea Party look like pre-school. I mean seriously.”

Moore has even set up a website to highlight the meetings so people can show up and pack the halls:

Screenshot/ResistanceCalendar

The Daily Courier reports that some lawmakers, fearing a videotaped political ambush or violence, have canceled their open town halls. Gant News reports that Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert canceled his town hall due to fears that he’d be shot.

But CNN reports that Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton held his town hall on Wednesday before a packed house.

Screenshot/CNN

The senator, whose website explains that he is a decorated Army Ranger who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has actually been under enemy fire before. But the combat vet showed up to take questions.

Screenshot/TomCotton.com

CNN reports that the raucous audience members jeered, cheered, and screamed for the various questions Cotton was asked, but the senator got some applause of his own when one woman stepped up to the microphone and announced, “I'm from Fayetteville, and I'm not a paid protester.”

As you can see from the video from CNN above, the woman even wore a t-shirt saying, “I’m a tax payer, not a paid protester."

Cotton told her:

"I don't care if anybody here is paid or not. You're all Arkansans.

I know there’s been some talk of that in the media. Politicians have said that.

But I just want to say, thank you for everyone coming out whether you agree with me or disagree with me. This is part of what our country is all about."

We see from Facebook that the group that helped set up the town hall opposition to Cotton, Ozark Indivisible, actually thanked Cotton for not ditching them. Here’s part of their message:

Thank you to Senator Cotton for agreeing to hold this town hall. It is apparent the issues that are important to Arkansans are urgent enough to come out on a Wednesday afternoon to make appeals.

CNN reports that Cotton “kept his cool throughout, though he did not answer every question fully or to the approval of the crowd, which was largely – and vocally – opposed to major Republican initiatives.”