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Protesters arrested after occupying senators’ offices to protest health-care bill

UPDATED: Fri., July 7, 2017

John Erler, dressed as Moses, protests outside the site where Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, held a town hall meeting, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (Eric Gay / Associated Press)
John Erler, dressed as Moses, protests outside the site where Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, held a town hall meeting, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (Eric Gay / Associated Press)
By David Weigel Washington Post

WASHINGTON – Dozens of protesters were arrested nationwide after occupying the local offices of Republican senators, a protest against the Better Care Reconciliation Act organized by a coalition of left-wing groups.

The #SitInSaveLives protests took place in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, with slightly different missions. They were organized by chapters of Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Alternative, Indivisible, Our Revolution and the Working Families Party; all of those groups diligently promoted the activists’ work on social media.

In some cities, like in Denver’s protest of Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Phoenix’s protest of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., activists refused to leave and were detained by police.

In other cities, law enforcement stopped the occupations before they could start; in Philadelphia, Ultraviolet activist Melissa Byrne tweeted that the Department of Homeland Security had been used to keep protesters out of the office of Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa.

But in Ohio, activists found themselves able to stay overnight in the offices of Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

By midday Friday, many of the protesters were still camped out at Portman’s offices, suggesting they might leave only if he held a town hall meeting.

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