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Balanced Budget Protestors Arrested Outside Statehouse

May 31, 2017
Originally published on May 31, 2017 8:37 am

Thirty-four activists were arrested outside Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Statehouse office last night.

They’d come to Springfield on foot, marching about 200 miles from Chicago. The protestors wanted to pass a so-called “People and Planet First Budget” — taxing the wealthy to pay for universal health care and free tuition at public universities.  Members zip-tied themselves to each other by the wrist to block access to Rauner’s offices.

Organizer Joe Padilla said his group originally intended to stay overnight.

 "We marched 200 miles over 15 days for this budget, in blistering heat, and heavy storms, 20- to 25-mile-an-hour winds," he said. "One more night is nothing."

Organizers say 34 people chose to be arrested and led away in handcuffs. They were given citations, escorted from the building, and let go.

Rauner did not address the demonstrators, but four Democratic lawmakers lingered until the last protester was arrested.

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