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Protests, Part 2: Assembly Proceedings Halted

Protester interviewed outside governor's office.

Protester interviewed outside governor's office. Credit: Yancey Roy

Just after 3 p.m., a few dozen members of ADAPT (a disability-rights group) slipped onto the Assembly floor and into the balcony, and began chanting and singing -- loudly enough to shut down proceedings.

Asked to quiet down, instead they began chanting, "I'd rather go to jail than die in a nursing home." Later, they began singing over and over and over and over again: "We who believe in freedom will not rest till we have our choice."

So, the Assembly called a time out.

Interestingly, the stoppage didn't occur during a vote on the state budget but a rather obscure bill dealing with the Episcopal Church.

The group wants its members (many of whom are wheelchair-bound) to be able to live in their own homes. Spokesman Bruce Darling said rather than specific budget cuts they are most concerned with some Medicaid changes they think will take away choices and force them into nursing homes.

During the time out, Assembly members met with aides, milled about, checked their Blackberries and waited. And waited. Several Democrats said they support ADAPT but that their tactics weren't helpful this day.

 UPDATE: The stoppage ended after about a half hour and the Assembly has moved on to budget bills. 

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