Saturday, May 14, 2011

Disability activists shut down Minnesota Senate because Senators won't discuss health care budget cuts


ST. PAUL, Minn. — With less than two weeks left before the end of the session at the Minnesota Capitol, the budget is still up in the air. On May 11, a small group of people with disabilities came to protest the fact that state senators have been talking about a gay marriage ban instead of dollars and cents.

Wearing red T-shirts and waving homemade posters, protesters from a disability rights group called ADAPT shouted at senators debating the gay marriage bill.

Health care budget cuts, they say, will take away everything from their eyeglasses to their personal care attendants, and force some of them out of their homes into nursing homes.

The Senate president ordered the Sergeant at Arms and the State Patrol to forcibly remove the protesters, but it posed a problem: Some were blind and some paraplegic.

Members of the group were not arrested, but they were escorted from the building.

ADAPT has been known to use civil disobedience as a way to draw attention to their issues.