Published July 26, 2017
Since the beginning of June, U.S. Capitol police have made nearly 500 arrests of protesters rallying against cuts to the Affordable Health Care Act.
Each round of mass arrests might have earned significant coverage in a different time, but they have registered as barely a blip in the frenetic news cycle. Still, a prominent disability rights group says they’ve won Herculean battles before, and they’re nowhere near giving up this fight.
Yesterday afternoon, following the Republican vote to advance their repeal and replace health care bill to a debate, Capitol Police arrested 95 people. Sixty-four of them were members of ADAPT, a formidable grassroots coalition that has been fighting for disability rights since the 1970’s. While a variety of protesters and activists groups have been showing up at the Capitol, ADAPT members have made up the vast majority of the arrests for protesting health care repeal over the past two months.
“I’m here all week, I’m going to spend my time making my voice as loud as possible,” says ADAPT member Daniel Kleinmann who was among the most recent round of arrestees. “It was very distressing to hear John McCain come back from receiving exceptional medical care, which he requires to live, to then deny fellow Americans exceptional medial care, which they also require to live.”
Since Sunday, undeterred by the rain, ADAPT members have been camped out in front of the Russell Senate Office Building.
On Tuesday, DCist found them holding signs and chanting, “Save our liberty, don’t cut Medicaid” and “don’t kill us, kill the bill.” A few protesters carrying mock gravestones straggled in from a nearby die-in in front of the Capitol building, organized by the progressive lobbying group MoveOn. Drivers honked in support of the activists, and Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr. came by with stacks of pizzas in a gesture of solidarity….read the rest here.