DENVER (CBS4)– Nine out of the 10 protesters arrested Thursday night in the Denver office of Republican Sen. Cory Gardner remained behind bars on Friday night on charges including trespassing and interference with a police officer.
They were taken into custody Thursday evening after three days of protesting inside Gardner’s office.
“Rather go to jail than to die without Medicaid,” they chanted during hour 60 of the protest.
It was an effort to get the Republican Senator to vote against his own party’s health care bill.
Denver police say the senator’s office asked for the protestors to be removed. After repeated warnings given at intervals, 10 were arrested.
A spokesman for the senator told CBS4 that they did not call for the police, but had to sign a statement to have them removed or that they would be in violation of their building lease.
Many of those taken into custody were from the Adapt disabled community. Among those facing charges is Carrie Ann Lucas.
“They bent the bars when they were figuring out to operate my chair, pulling on my ventilator,” said Lucas.
She and others gathered for a vigil outside the jail while they waited for others to be released.
Meanwhile, back at the senator’s office the protest continued on a much smaller scale to pressure Gardner to vote “no.”
Nancy Nixon, one of the protesters outside claims the legislation is detrimental to the lives of the disabled people.
“A bill that would take away their housing, their food t heir medical care and their home health care,” Nixon said.
She carried a petition into the building to deliver to the senator’s office, but didn’t get very far. The elevator button would not light up for the senator’s office floor and a man told her she couldn’t go in.
Nixon replied, “You’re saying we can’t exercise our constitutional rights to deliver a petition.”
“His office is closed there’s nobody there to accept a petition,” the man told her.
Colleagues in wheelchairs and others spent the day outside the jail waiting for those arrested to be released on bond.
The protesters promised they will be back to Sen. Gardner’s office soon.
The group stayed outside the jail on Friday night, rallying for those protesters detained inside to be released.