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Demonstrators Hang Tough as Urgency Builds for Schiavo

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

Dozens of demonstrators assembled at the Capitol, making signs beseeching lawmakers to save Terri Schiavo and making sure nobody missed their message.

"People who don’t want to hear what we’re saying are ducking us and they’re going in another building, so we need to go there too."

The tone here has changed. Protests are less prayerful and more pointed. One sign reads “starve Michael Schiavo;” another compares him to convicted murderer Scott Peterson.

The demonstrators are now taking Jeb Bush personally to task. They want him to intervene directly in the case.

Randall Terry of the Society for Truth and Justice says, "He has the executive authority as chief executive of this state to intervene and take custody of her and save her life."

Inside the Capitol, extra security kept watch as the demonstrators fanned out.

"We’re going to divide up into three groups, and each group is going to take three senators."

They’re targeting nine Republicans who voted against the bill that would have kept the feeding tube in place. Others appear tired of being polite.

Donna Kuntz lets her frustration boil over.

Donna says, "For a judge to say you cannot put food or water in anybody’s mouth is a crime, and it’s forced murder of a disabled person, and we should be outraged as a nation."

Lawmakers can expect the anger to grow the longer Schiavo goes without nutrition and hydration. The question is whether that anger will change anyone’s mind.

Contrary to what the demonstrators say, Jeb Bush denies he has the authority to take custody of Terri Schiavo, whether through executive powers or any other law.

The earliest the Senate could take the bill back up that could reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tube is Tuesday morning when the Senate reconvenes. The governor has promised to sign it into law if it passes.


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