March on Harrisburg demonstrators completed their 100-mile march from Philadelphia to Harrisburg this morning, and the civil disobedience began immediately. Their demands are simple: get big money out of our political system and end the systematic assault on voting rights. One protester was arrested for yelling at House State Government Committee Daryl Metcalfe during a gun rights rally and more were arrested outside of his office doors. They were chanting for and pleading for the State Government Chair to hold a vote on House Bill 39, a bill that would ban all cash gifts from lobbyists to politicians.
About a dozen more protesters were arrested outside of the House State Government committee hearing for chanting. Most of the demonstrators were walking freely in the hallway until police officers started making forceful arrests. The reason from officers? Because the chants were so loud Representative Metcalfe was unable to conduct the hearing, but what happened before everyone arrived was more intriguing. As I was setting up inside the committee room a half hour before the actions were set to occur, a capitol police officer entered the room and told a House Republican staffer that the March on Harrisburg protesters were not going to be allowed inside the hearing room. Police officers were only allowing those with state-issued credentials into the public committee hearing; thus closing the meeting to the general public. Some protesters made it inside the hearing room anyway. They were eventually dragged out by police and thrown into the hallways as they started demanding a hearing on House Bill 39. Interestingly enough, Representative Metcalfe had police officers guarding his office door for most of the day and had an officer escorting his main staffer around the capitol building.