Police Arrest 91 With Disabilities Demonstrating Outside White House
(Updated: April 27, 2009 at 6:25 PM CT)
U.S. Park Police arrested 91 people, many in wheelchairs, outside the White House Monday afternoon. Those arrested were part of a group demonstrating in support of legislation that would allow people with disabilities to use federal funding to pay for attendant services in the community rather than nursing home care.
The demonstration came after representatives of ADAPT, a disability rights group, met with officials at the White House Monday morning to request that the Community Choice Act be included in efforts to reform the health care system. When the group failed to get any such commitment from the administration, they began demonstrating outside the White House.
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Reports indicate that hundreds gathered, several of whom chained themselves to the White House fence. Ultimately 91 protesters were arrested and given tickets for demonstrating without a permit, which is required for groups of more than 25 people, according to Sgt. David Schlosser of the U.S. Park Police.
The Community Choice Act was introduced in Congress in March. During the campaign Obama did pledge his support for such legislation.
“The President has been clear in his support for the Community Choice Act and this was conveyed to representatives from ADAPT when they met with Nancy-Ann DeParle (director of the White House Office of Health Reform) today. We eagerly await Congress to act on this important issue,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told Disability Scoop.