Washington - A group of Wisconsinites with disabilities vowed Wednesday to keep protesting the Ryan budget after many of them were arrested this week demonstrating in congressional office buildings.
"Representative Ryan is going to be seeing us again sooner or later. . . . We aren't going away," said Jerome Holzbauer, a retired Milwaukee schoolteacher who has cerebral palsy.
Holzbauer was arrested Monday with 90 others from Wisconsin and other states while protesting Ryan's proposal to convert the Medicaid entitlement into block grants to the states. The group had occupied the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building.
UPDATE: At about 6:30 p.m. EST, Capitol police began arresting ADAPT members who refused to leave the rotunda. The organization released a brief statement as the arrests began:
Tonight, Capitol Police have begun arresting ADAPT members from all over the country, who have remained in the Cannon House Office Building since midday. The ADAPTers want Representatives Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Michelle Bachmann to publicly withdraw their support for Medicaid budget cuts and Medicaid state block grants. Without this commitment, ADAPT has decided to make a point that we are willing to do whatever it takes to defend the right of people with disabilities and seniors to live in our homes, not nursing homes and institutions. It is unacceptable for our own government to treat the 60 million Americans who rely on Medicaid like garbage.
[A]about 100 people have been arrested so far, many of them chanting “I’d rather be in jail than in a nursing home!” He said Ryan sent his chief of staff to speak wit the protesters but that Speaker of the House John Boehner refused to speak to the organization. Representatives who talked to the group and listened to their demands included: John Lewis (D-Ga.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Barney Frank (D-Mass.).