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Healthcare reform advocate punched by opponent at Nelson event

A 65-year-old man rallying in favor of healthcare reform was knocked to the ground by a man who disagreed with the call for a government-run health plan outside of a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce meeting headlined by Sen. Bill Nelson.

Luis Perrero of Coral Gables was standing among about 40 Democratic activists and union workers when a man in a Ford pick-up truck pulled up to the rally at Jungle Island and began arguing with the crowd. The man, who only gave his first name as Raul, said Perrero called him a Spanish curse word. He punched Perrero in the face. Perrero fell to the ground and lay motionless for a few minutes.

"I'm amazed the way this has become such a politicized issue,'' Perrero said, while still sitting on the ground but sitting up. "It shows that people who are against the public option will resort to anything, including battery on a senior citizen to prevent healthcare reform.''

Wilhelmina Ford, another healthcare reform proponent at the rally, said, "It was totally uncalled for. The guy may have had words with him but he didn't have to hit him in the face.''

Fire rescue responded to the scene, where a Herald reporter was present.



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Involve the unions and things are sure to turn ugly...thugish.

Leon Lowry

If Luis Perrero doesn't have health insurance, he can always get Medicare - one of the biggest socialist programs on Earth.


Why don't they change the headline to what it should be?



The union members have what to do with this?

Good lord - here is how it goes...insurance industry PR specialists connect to right-wing radio and Republican Party Hacks with completely false talking points...they connect to uniformed people and scare the heck out of them...newly misinformed people then think they are fighting for their country when in reality they are fighting against their own family's interests...they get riled up and bring guns to rallies and hit people...back to insurance industry who laugh all the way to the bank while people continue to suffer...this is the simple dynamics of this issue.

Dave N

I just wish that people who tossed the word Socialist around bothered to learn the meaning first. Medicare is a government program, but not a socialist one. In Socialism the government owns the means of production. If you want to hate something at least bother to hate it for what it is, and not for what someone told you it is.

Whatta Joke

"Luis Perrero of Coral Gables was standing among about 40 Democratic activists and union workers when a man in a Ford pick-up truck pulled up to the rally at Jungle Island and began arguing with the crowd."

The assailant, identified only as "Rambo" escaped. Paramedics dusted off Mr. Perrero before allowing him to reboard the ACORN provided bus taking them to disrupt the next town hall meeting.


Robert NYC

I am always amazed that Cubans come to our nation to show us how democracy works... just throw a punch, beat someone up. That's why Fidel has owned their fatherland for so long.


This story should be front page!


Now that's classy - beating up on seniors! Is the GOP looking for more voters to alienate?


I'm just praying one of these Cuban Idiots lays a hand on My Father or Mother at a Healthcare Forum after the Beat down which would be nationally Televised people will be In Favor of Any Healthcare Plan after My foot is Removed from the Rear End Of one of these Idiots !


Peter you are truly clueless.

James Wilson

The INTEREST ALONE on the National Debt is so high that Passing the Government Option is purely a DEFENSIVE MOVE for the American People.

Maybe one day enough Americans can survive to reclaim our Country then kick out the Central Bankers and close the Federal Reseve. So the U.S. Government can once again print it's own INTEREST FREE money again!!!!!


Right wings kooks. Typical of the Sarah Palin crowd.




bill meyers, Santa Cruz, CA.

Knocking down a 65 year old man? Wow really brave. And I congratulate all the right wing intellectuals who think violence is the answer to our countries problems. My question would be, where were you when bush gave tax cuts to the rich and put the burden on the rest of us? When bush started an illegal war? When bush illegally broke international treaties? When bush bankrupted the economy on his way out the door? When he allowed the banks and wall street to rape our economy? When he lent 700 trillion dollars to wall street? When he took a surplus that Clinton left him and turned it into the largest deficit this country has seen since Raygun. Been pretty quiet until a black man became President. Why? Watch faux for the answer.


There we go again....a racist comment, all in caps, replete with spelling errors....from another yahoo with the word "patriot" in their username.

Why is it that people feel the need to use the word "patriot" when in fact they represent nothing of the historical values of this country in what they say?

I'm sure Freud would have something to say about it.....


what does the union have to do with this
man clobbering somebody?


The great white hope? Get a clue
you redneck.


Typical conservative thug resorting to violence because he is not smart enough to use his words. This violence will backfire on the far right as it is showing their true colors.

Jason Martin

I love the complete ignorance of the ReTHUGlicans. So much uninformed and unthinking rage bottled up in a racist party. Just keep moving further to the right please, away from the rest of your own country. Fools!


You can't generalize because a Hispanic
threw the punch. I'm Irish and I've seen
plenty of drunken Irish throw punches.
Are all Irish people drunks? That's just
ignorant Robert NYC


To Robert NYC ,Hey chico at least we are
fighting with our hands,you people are shooting
people off,OMG


Remember it is the INSURANCE COMPANIES that want to defeat health care reform. They are making billions by being the middleman while you struggle to pay their sky high premiums. So, all you right wingers who love Jesus but hate your fellow man who has a different skin color can be stirred up by the right wing noise machine. Just remember you are being played by the INSURANCE COMPANIES!


To the TruePatriot Hey you must leave now,
fix your spelling errors ,leave the white people out, you sound like a klan member come back later.


Time for an old fashioned rumble..a'la The Outsiders. The greasers can get their revenge against the soci's at thier stupid Teaparty on 9/12.


I support a robust public option without delay. I am going to a gathering tonight to join a candlelight vigil for all those who are suffering from lack of adequate health care. In my opinion the republican party is appealing to the very worst sides of people as they lobby to keep the status quo. My hope is that despite their obstructionism reform will pass and America can join the rest of the sensible developed countries that have addressed health care in more sustainable ways. I'll be holding my candle for that tonight but I'd never throw a punch at someone to force my opinion down their throat. Shame on the man who did.


Could people please READ a little bit about socialism?? And for that matter, read about the history of capitalism--otherwise SHUT UP!! Seriously!! I am amazed at the ignorance of right wing people.

Please explain this to me: Why was it NOT fascism or tyranny when the Bush administration was torturing people, setting up secret prisons, giving contracts to gun runners, and SPYING ON THE US PEOPLE? What exactly is the more tyrannical things that Obama is doing?

The logic fails here. It's clear that the GOP and the conservatives are RACIST DINOSAURS. They don't know what socialism is, they don't know the dynamics of capitalism, they have absolute collective amnesia about a government that LIED us into a war that most Americans agree we don't need.

RACIST DINOSAURS. As the so-called "TruePatriot" on this blog shows, they are a bunch of easily led, hateful, and terribly misguided white people who aren't strong enough to handle a changing world.

They would be laughable if they weren't attacking elderly people and brandishing firearms to protest the President.

Think about it right-wingers, and I mean THINK (don't just react!). Maybe read some books on economics? Democracy? Health care systems around the world? SCIENCE? Otherwise enjoy the being perpetually in the Dark Ages.

Average Joe

It amazes me that people have these insane views of the gov't and Obama and appear to want to deny their fellow citizens basic rights of health care. People it won't cost more, you already subsidize the poor with medicaid and public hospitals paid by your local property taxes. Get back in the reality based community and stop beating up old men who want to help you. Its a little scary now to hear and read some of these far out crazy comments about our president and reforming health insurance to make it more consumer friendly. Has our country become really stupid or just nuts?

M. Schwindt

The reminder that the real problem (enemy?) lies with the insurance companies is well taken. I hope Obama's speech next week to a joint session of Congress highlights this. Frankly, each time Obama ventures out, I am jittery and concerned that some fruit & nut job will assassinate him. Civil discussion died some time ago. Apparently, people have forgotten or never learned how to build a case & support it.


The puncher was a coward,punching a senior citizen in the face is disgusting, I'd like to have been there, I'd like this coward to have tried punching me in the face, he'd change his opinion about health care reform because he would need a life time worth of around the clock health care-NO BRAG JUST FACT


Keep it up: the right is clearly out of words.


My God, what is wrong with people? Are we so blind that we follow the ignorance given to us by those who do not wish for a better country? It time for healthcare reform, let’s find a common ground and find a better way to treat our elderly and young. Medicare is not doing the job. It time for insurance companies to be held responsible to us and not to their profits. It time that we get treatment for our illnesses regardless of our financial position. It may seem socialistic, but it works for a large portion of Europe. Research the facts before you go out punching someone in the face. This is the greatest country on earth, we need to get the capitalistic greedy pigs out of our healthcare decision making process, and it needs to happen soon before our kids get a mess that they can never fix.


Violence against anyone they disagree with seems to be a common theme with some flag-waving wingnut 'patriots'. I recall one such a 'patriot' dousing an eighty-year-old with a bucket of water in sub-zero weather in Alaska for daring to wave a placard at an anti-war protest. When arrested, the perp was then defended (for free) by the guy Sarah Palin later appointed as Alaska's new Attorney General. (His initials are 'WAR'!: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/news/politics/1081-war-breaks-out))

Thankfully, the Alaska legislature turned that misguided appointment down.

Such 'patriotic bravery' makes me sick.


Hope that the puncher is prosecuted and sued in Civil Court. Freedom of speech is a precious thing to Americans!


"Involve the unions and things are sure to turn ugly...thugish.
Posted by: Peter | September 02, 2009 at 01:17 PM"

Wasn't a union person that did the punching, was it?


Whenever you have a disagreement with a Rethuglican they start to act rabid and start foaming at the mouth. Their veins start to protrude and it's as if they are going to have a heart attack. Looks like what this guy Raul was experiencing.

Tom Blackmon

Raul committed assault and battery, he should be arrested and brought to trial for his actions.


Everything has to be white or black and latin, why can it be about the real issue? the truth is the republican's lost and lost bad, and they don't know what to do now for the next four years, and convicted felon Rush is laughing is a s s off and making millions a year while feeding people garbage wake up people sounds alot like senator Mccarthy back in the days.



Socialist is a complete government takeover of everything, every business and they keep the people poor but fed and with free healthcare. There is no private enterprise. Would NEVER happen in the USA.

Social is communities helping people. It's what used to make America great. Now it's everyone for themselves and unregulated markets. How's that workin' for ya?

Someone wrote below here that Repubs use the word SOCIALIAM but have no idea what it means.
Sheesh, you are so right!


hey True Patriot,
thanks for giving the perspective of the Great White Dope.

Kevin Schmidt

Freedom of speech does not give one freedom to lie.

The MSM and GOP are committing crimes that can indeed be prosecuted under the RICO Act and U.S. Patriot Act.

By encouraging violence against Democrats, Liberals and Progressives, they have become Domestic Terrorists and deserve to be locked up for many years into the future.

Plus the GOP should be ordered to break up for being a crime syndicate.


Judging from most comments, it is truly surprising how many rednecks there are still in South Florida.
Conservative hit man? Maybe but one thing is certain, ignorant conservatives are resorting to stupid reactions against people they disagree with.
"We'll punch you out if you don't agree with us." Sounds like Fidel tactics.
Enjoy your world conservatives.


Republicans have become truly unhinged. They've lost all sense of civility and common decency. They're brainless thugs following the liars like sheep. and in their next breaths they'll tell us all what great christians they are. Yeah, right.

They're sorry losers acting like animals. I'm embarrassed for them since they obviously don't have the sense to be embarrassed themselves.

J. Deane Waldman MD MBA

Two comments unrelated to each other but related directly to the 'event.'
1. The assailant and thousands of others who promote their cause – what ever it is – by trying to silence their opponents choose not to abide by democracies rules and the Bill of rights. The essence of our country should be (but often is not) dialogue to achieve some consensus. I happen to disagree with Mr. Perrero (see #2 below) but strongly support his right to have AND SPEAK ALOUD his opinions.
2. Why is anyone who opposes the proposed legislation a Republican, Nazi, money-grubber, capitalist, shill for big insurance, etc? I am none of these but oppose the Bill because it does not reform healthcare.
We need to stop substituting name-calling for substantive discussion and consider things on their merits.
I will support any legislation that gets at the root causes of why healthcare does not work. AAHCA does not do this and therefore, I oppose it.
For root causes and further explanations, see: wwwthesystemmd.com.


Peter- It's too bad that wusses like you have to mischaractarize unions like you do.
Then again, what could be expected from someone who can't hack it in a man's world.
Put your apron back on, go back to the kitchen, and leave the man's work to us union members who know how to work.


This IS what the repellicans are left with. No ideas, no plan, only violence and hate and "KILL, KILL, KILL!!!' They are truly demented and I hope AMERICANS start to get where they are coming from. Do you want WAR forever, killing innocent millions with no accountabuility? Then the pugs are YOUR party.

Kevin Schmidt

'Why don't they change the headline to what it should be?


Posted by: MiamiCitizen


Why? Don't you like the fact that the real title accurately portrays Rethuglicans and Neocon-Fascists as thugs?

Why do you want to sugar coat the truth?

Why do you want to support criminals and traitors in the GOP?

Why do you continue to vote against your own best interests?


Mental illness will always be with us. But......tanking them up with delusional talk is really criminal, I say we hold trials for those who are cranking up the crazy.

Certainly if the violence continues there will be no corner for the cheerleaders on the sides to encourage, and maybe they can deal with their own conscience, preferably when they have to say yes to a treatment that the Govt Paid system is now approving rather than being turned down by their profit motive friendly neighoborhood insurance company! Take that you dumbbells; better care, for all.

Kevin Schmidt

Hey BL,

Gay chefs like Peter deserve to be in unions too!

Also, I don't agree with Peter, having been a steelworker myself in Pittsburgh before they packed up everything and shipped it off to China. But it seems to me you are behaving exactly like the crazy guy in the truck.

If you don't like what Peter has to say, address the message, don't attack the messenger. The message always stands on its own, apart from the messenger.


Do not lump the current Republican party with conservatives. Most of the most vocal of the Republicans have no idea what a conservative is.

The Republican party needs to reclaim its party from the right-wing whackos. Or true conservatives need to start their own party.

As an aside for those who equate the Republican party with smaller government - every Republican President since Eisenhower has increased the size of the government.

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