Activists Arrested At Texas Capitol
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 11, 2003
AUSTIN, TEXAS--Twenty-five disability rights activists, many from the grassroots advocacy group ADAPT, were arrested when they refused to leave the Capitol at closing time Thursday. Six were protesters in wheelchairs who refused to leave the Capitol office of Governor Rick Perry.
All were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing, which could mean up to $2,000 in fines and a 180-day jail sentence each.
"It beats dying in a nursing home," protester Danny Saenz told the Associated Press.
The demonstrators demanded the governor, along with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick, sign a pledge to protect services for Texans with disabilities. Under the budget proposed by the House, nearly 60,000 people would lose in-home services, and would be at risk of placement in nursing homes or other institutions.
The lawmakers said they were willing to work with the group, but none would sign the pledge.