Rallies supporting different causes held outside debate site

October 9, 2007

By NIRAJ WARIKOO

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

From antiwar groups to Republicans to health insurance supporters, a motley crowd of demonstrators rallied outside the site of today’s Republican presidential debate in Dearborn.

The biggest group was for candidate Ron Paul, whose supporters lined Michigan Avenue urging drivers to honk their horns in support. His supporters were an electic bunch. One man wearing a bandana and a jacket with a picture of the punk-rock band, the Clash, used a megaphone to blare his support of Paul.
“I love Ron Paul,” said Marianne Giannosa of Mt. Clemens. “I love his message of freedom and limited government.”
Giannosa and other supporters said they liked Paul’s call for lower taxes and an end to the Iraq war.

“We want to be friends with the world,” she said. “We want our troops home.”

Supporters for candidates Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson also rallied, though in smaller numbers.

George Roberts of Madison Heights said he supports Romney because he “has excellent executive experience.” Dale Sirkle, of Plymouth Township, held up signs for Thompson.

“I like his conservative values,” Sirkle said.

In addition, there were anti-war demonstrators. One group walked around to the beat of a drum, carrying a mock coffin that symbolized U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

Others protested President George W. Bush’s veto of legislation that supporters said would give more children health insurance. Several local unions were the rally.

“We want more, not less, children to have health care coverage,” said Mark Gaffney, head of the Michigan branch of the AFL-CIO.

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