Dozens of protestors gathered in downtown Providence yesterday to greet U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan, a Republican, was in the heavily Democratic state to meet with supporters and attend private events.
Police gated off large portions of Fountain St. and sidewalk around the building Ryan was expected to enter. There was no sight of Ryan, who may have entered through a side entrance, but that didn’t stop demonstrators from raising signs and chanting.
Rachael Jarosz of Lincoln was among those braving the whipping winds to protest the speaker. Jarosz said she’s worried Ryan won’t protect social services offered by the federal government.
“He wants to cut Medicare, he wants to cut Social Security, and he wants to get rid of the ACA, and those are all things that we as Americans need to protect our health and well-being,” said Jarosz.
Many of the protestors echoed the fear of losing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“He has a role to play in Congress to protect the American people, and he’s not doing it,” added Jarosz. “He’s not even having town halls with his constituents, and we want him to know that we are upset.”
Ryan has been under fire from constituents in his home state of Wisconsin. They accuse him of not meeting directly with them to hear their concerns about President Donald Trump’s administration.