The Rayburn House was the scene of disability power today, April 30, 2007, in Washignton DC. ADAPT, a disability civil rights group, was in full effect. The group was calling on the House of Representative to have hearings on the Community Choice Act. This bill has sponsors in the US Senate, but has received a tepid reception in the House. The Community Choice Act would fund home based, consumed directed care, as a viabile alternative to nursing home placement. This alternative would save millions of dollars, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities stuck in nursing homes.
The House of Representative police offerred no dialogue or discussion-- three quick warnings, and they were arresting people in wheelchairs. Over one hundred people were taken into custody. (I found it interesting that they took more time to discuss using rubber gloves, in case of 'contact', than actual dialogue with the crowd or its representatives.)
The balance of the group-- about three hundred people- gathered in a park across from the detainment center, and cheered on those who were brave enough to stand up for freedom and be arrested. As the afternoon heated up, into the 80's, a small contingent braved the heat and humidity, to stand vigil.
The PD started to release group members at about 10:00pm, Supporters and well wishers were on hand to encourage and welcome them with cheers, whistles, and cold pizza! The last activists were released at 3:30pm...