PHOENIX – Five arrests were made at a militant protest led by Arizona AFL-CIO leadership in response to ultra-right Senator Jon Kyl’s support for legislation to privatize Medicare.

Part of a creative, three-pronged strategy devised by the labor movement and community activists, the group entered the senator’s office here on July 23 and announced they would stay put until Kyl agreed to come home to Arizona and hold a town hall meeting on the Medicare issue.

Meanwhile, a second group of about 100 protesters picketed in front of Kyl’s office, while a third contingent decorated their cars with signs opposing Medicare privatization and proceeded to circle the neighborhood.

Charlie Salaz, vice chair of Tucson’s Steelworker Organization of Active Retirees, told the World that he traveled 120 miles to fight for Medicare, and that he and the other protesters will be back again until Kyl responds to peoples’ needs.

Salaz was happy to hear the vote on the Medicare plan was postponed, saying, “This gives us time to plan more actions here in Phoenix, and in Tucson.” The Republican senator serves on the Congressional Conference Committee, where the Medicare legislation is pending.

The author can be reached at stelnik@webtv.net

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