Self-Advocates Arrested At White House
Dozens of disability rights activists have been arrested outside the White House while calling for President Donald Trump to support community-based living.
The U.S. Park Police arrested 83 protesters late Monday who were among some 300 demonstrators with the disability rights group ADAPT, according to organizers.
Many of those arrested were in wheelchairs. They were cited for incommoding — or blocking the sidewalk — and will face a $50 fine. All were immediately released, ADAPT said.
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Protesters spent several hours Monday afternoon outside the president’s home calling on the Trump administration to support the Disability Integration Act, a bill that would ensure that people with disabilities have access to community-based alternatives to institutions, in addition to other programs that promote community integration.
ADAPT is also asking for a meeting with top administration officials to discuss efforts to end institutionalization and indicated that they would like the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, designated as an ambassador to the disability community.
“He’s the president and we want him to work with us to secure our rights. Right now, though, he’s acting like any small-time politician. He says he is all about the people until it’s time to actually serve the people. Then he has you arrested,” said Gregg Beratan, who was cited by police during the action.
ADAPT organizers said they did not receive any response from the Trump administration.
“Our goal is to get a commitment from the Trump administration to respect our civil rights, particularly the right to live in our own homes and not nursing facilities,” said Jerry Costley. “If we don’t get a meeting or a commitment, at least we have raised consciousness for our cause.”
The U.S. Park Police did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the incident.