By Marion Kirkpatrick
WSMV-TV (Nashville), July 18, 2017
Dr. Carol Paris, one of several protesters arrested at President Donald Trump’s rally in Nashville in March, was arrested again on Monday a protest in Washington D.C.
“I don’t engage [in protests] for the fun of it,” she explained in a phone interview on Tuesday. “I truly believe it’s part of my job as a physician to not only take care of patients individually but also to do anything I can to help fix our healthcare system.”
Paris is president of Physicians for a National Health Program, a single issue advocacy group pushing for a national health program. She was one of the leaders of a protest against the GOP health care bill in Washington D.C. on Monday, and one of 80 people arrested there.
This isn’t her first brush with the law – the Nashville physician was arrested during at a protest before the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009. They hoped to “get a seat at the table for a single-payer system.”
“Here were are in 2017, still debating this issue. It goes back to that famous Churchill quote, ‘Americans will do the right thing, but only when we exhaust all the other possibilities,’” Paris said.
Her arrest on Monday was part of a planned event, and participants went through training with advocates and a lawyer, knowing that they could face arrest if they refused to disband when confronted by Capitol law enforcement.
Paris said all their actions were non-violent in nature, and, as she described, “being disruptive in service of the greater good.”
On Wednesday, Paris said she will be back in Washington D.C. to participate in another protest at the Senate office building and participate in a national town hall on health care. She knows there’s a likely possibility she could be arrested again.
“I agree with Republican [leaders], ACA is not a good piece of legislation,” Paris said. “But we can’t go back, we need to go forward, and the only solution is a national health program.”
When asked if she was paying for her arrest-related expenses out-of-pocket, she said yes.
“It’s only a $50 fee, which is not an amount that’s prohibitive to me,” she said. “Some people go and buy shoes. I post bail.”