Eleven activists, including a retired Methodist minister, were arrested on Tuesday for blocking the entrance to the South Carolina State House with a banner that said “Enough!” to protest lawmakers who are obstructing the implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.
The demonstrators have organized a series of “Truthful Tuesday” protests modeled after North Carolina’s “Moral Monday” events to call out legislators for refusing to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. Tuesday’s arrests mark the first so far during “Truthful Tuesday” demonstrations.
“It’s a mean vindictive kind of thing that they’ve done,” Rev. Tom Summers explained to WIS-TV following his arrest. “And I think it’s a matter that the money is there. It’s the taxable money that we have paid to come back to this state so that proper health care can be offered to people. And here we are turning down those funds.”
A Columbia police officer reportedly advised the 11 protesters that they were blocking the entrance to the State House parking garage, and would be arrested if they did not move. But by being arrested outside the State House, the protester avoided a 1960s-era law that allows judges to sentence demonstrators to 3 years in prison and a $5,000 fine if they are convicted of demonstrating inside the capitol.
According to The Post and Courier, lawmakers spent part of the afternoon debating a bill that aims to nullify the Affordable Care Act.
Watch the video below from WIS-TV, broadcast March 4, 2014.
Watch the video below from YouTube, broadcast March 4, 2014.