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Walden supporters mingle with weekly protesters


Rep. Greg Walden was in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning talking about the House bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act, while in Bend, a large group of protesters and supporters gathered outside his office.

One side continued their weekly protests, demanding a town hall, while the other side demonstrated their support for the congressman, and for President Donald Trump.

It’s the fifth straight week for protesters, who have been out on the corner of Northwest Bond Street and Greenwood Avenue demanding a Bend town hall from Walden, but they had some company this time — a large group showing support for Walden.

“I’m here to make sure it’s peaceful and protect the people who are out here standing up for President Trump, Greg Walden and all of our political officials,” Therese Henderson said.

One side chanted ‘Build the Wall!’ and the other side held signs that read “Save the ACA” (Affordable Care Act).

Retired Army veteran David Wood told NewsChannel 21 he was not representing any party or side, but that he showed up to support Walden for standing up for veterans across Central Oregon.

“I support him because he’s doing things that I like, and he’s supporting the president,” Wood said. “And I believe in my heart that these people, if they had a town hall, all they would do is disrupt it.”

Last month, the protesters marched up to Walden’s fourth-floor office, blocking the hallways and causing some disturbance in the building.

Compass Commercial, the management company that oversees the building, told NewsChannel 21 they hired a private security guard to help make sure the protesters didn’t violate fire codes or interrupt businesses for other companies that share the building.

One protester said she felt intimidated with the Trump supporters being present but understood that both sides had the right to speak.

Walden, who represents one of the nation’s largest congressional districts, held a town hall meeting in Redmond on May 14 of last year.

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