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Protesters arrested in State Capitol in Albany

Mar 02, 2011 5:03 pm
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Protesters sang before, and while being arrested in the State Capitol in Albany Wednesday afternoon, March 2, as seen in this striking image by the Times Union's Paul Buckowski."][/caption]Protests continuing from yesterday's Lobby Day activities in Albany resulted in 15 protesters being arrested Wednesday afternoon, March 2, and taken from the Capitol after a group blocked off some entrances and stairways during a midday protest against looming budget cuts to state health, education and social service budgets. According to reports by the staff of the Times Union, the progressive advocacy group Community Voices Heard used broad banners to block off the Capitol corridors that branch off from the State Street entrance to the building's south side. The group's members also blocked off the top of the escalators coming up from the Empire State Plaza concourse during the lunch hour. The group, and most lobbyists at yesterday's Lobby Day, opposes the budget cuts to programs for the poor and needy contained in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's fiscal plan, and are pressing for the extension of the state income tax surcharge on high-income New Yorkers. Chanting from the protest, which many described as one of the longest and loudest in recent history, could be heard throughout the first floor and as far away as Cuomo's second floor office, with participants chanting slogans like, "Tax the rich, not the poor" and "The people, united, will never be defeated." Afterwards, state troopers on the scene used video cameras and checked IDs of people using the public concourse leading towards the state capitol and adjacent state office buildings. Similar protests have been spreading in recent weeks throughout state capitols in the Midwest. Versions of this story have now gone global via wire services and television news.

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