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      Rev. Al Sharpton attacks Cooper Green Hospital Plan

      Al Sharpton with local leaders including Mayor William Bell and Rep. Terri Sewell. (

      Rev. Al Sharpton{}led a rally Friday at the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse to save inpatient care at Cooper Green Hospital. Sharpton described the decision by commissioners to end inpatient care as dirty politics. "It's a national example of those who would put partisan politics over people's health," Sharpton said.

      Early Friday morning, Sharpton and Congresswoman Terri Sewell hosted a community forum at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Hundreds of Cooper Green supporters were in attendance including Birmingham mayor William Bell and other officials. They discussed what caused the decision to close inpatient services.

      Jefferson County Commissioner George Bowman criticized the decision by his fellow commissioners and described the vote to end inpatient care as, "The height of arrogance and disregard for the poor."

      On Thursday, UAB Health Systems agreed to take in some of the people who need inpatient care.{} But Cooper Green Hospital supporters who attended Friday's forum criticized the Cooper Green Hospital/UAB arrangement as lacking specifics.