Disability rights activists protest at DHHS building, blocking exits and risking arrest

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Disability rights activists protest at DHHS building, blocking exits
About 20 officers were on the scene by mid-afternoon.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Activists from across the country gathered in Raleigh Monday, calling on North Carolina lawmakers to prioritize care and secure more funding for people who are disabled.

50 protesters in wheelchairs and on crutches made their way from Glenwood South to the State Department of Health and Human Services near Dix Park.

According to our newsgathering partners at the News and Observer, at one point, they blocked the exits of the DHHS' Adams building, preventing workers from leaving.

The demonstration comes on the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision which prohibited unnecessary segregation of people living with a disability.

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State Capital Police officers escorted employees out of the building to their cars, the News and Observer reported. About 20 officers were on the scene by mid-afternoon.

If they did not move, the police threatened to arrest the protesters, according to the News and Observer, and charge them with kidnapping, false imprisonment and disorderly conduct.

Only one able-bodied protester was arrested, the News and Observer reported.

All officers convened and then left the scene by 5:45 p.m. The activists then left 15 minutes later.

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