April 21, 2018

Dozens arrested after disability advocates protest at McConnell's office

25 June 2017, 03:26 | Latoya Patrick

According to the United States Capitol Police, the group was "obstructing passage through the hallway and into nearby offices".

Approximately 60 protesters - many of them in wheelchairs - flooded Mr McConnell's office around 11 am on Thursday.

The protesters, some of whom were in wheelchairs, were there to voice their opposition to health care legislation that would make deep cuts to Medicaid. Members of ADAPT were also involved in the protest.

Mr Oxford said Capitol Police began following the protesters soon after they entered the Capitol.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Capitol Police said they were still processing the arrests.

The people protesting that effect were physically removed from the area, and footage of the protests and their aftermath shows Capitol Police removing one woman from her wheelchair as they took her away.

McConnell's office referred to Capitol Police for comment.

Alison Barkoff - director of advocacy for the Center for Public Representation - helped organize the protest. "Many of the people with disabilities were forcible removed". When the protestors did not comply, officers began wheeling them out of the area. "Forty-three people (15 males and 28 females) did not cease their demonstration activities and were arrested".

One of the protesters who was arrested, Mike Oxford, told CNN that the police acted professionally and used accessible paddy wagons with wheelchair lifts to transport the protesters with mobility disabilities.

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