More than 100 protesters converged outside U. S. Senator Marco Rubio’s downtown Orlando office Tuesday for a Healthcare Funeral called a “Die In.”

The cast of characters included a grim reaper, men and women wearing pink pussy hats and seniors holding umbrellas to shield them from the high noon sun. The group chanted sayings and sang a healthcare version of “Hallelujah” with lyrics like, “In secret, they rushed things along, while knowing what they did was wrong.”

Melanie Gold, spokesman for Challenge Politics, one of the sponsors of the event, said they have been holding protests every Tuesday outside of Rubio’s office for the past 108 days. Rubio has yet to attend, she said. Gold said Tuesday’s event was being held to “make sure Rubio understands that none of this is about politics. It’s about people’s lives.”

Nicole Cooper drove an hour from The Villages to attend the funeral. Cooper, her husband and two neighbors said the drive, toll and parking fees are worth “taking a stand against corruptness.”

“We come because it’s the right thing to do,” said Cooper, who wore a homemade pussy hat and a sign that read, ‘24 Million People are Watching You.’

“Hopefully, none of this insanity will impact us, but it will definitely impact our children and grandchildren,” Cooper said.

Retired Nurse Sarah Wolfe said she has seen a lot during her 50 years in healthcare.

“I know what happens if you don’t have money for care,” said Wolfe, who lives in Winter Garden. “At some point, the money is gone and you are left in a room with three other people with three drawers for all your belongings.”

The protestors stood at the corner of Church Street and Orange Avenue, chanting and singing before marching around the block. Downtown workers stopped to join in while some drivers beeped their horns in cadence with the music.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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