Sixty protesters with the disability organization ADAPT arrested at White House

September 30, 2013

Despite the many signs of the historic, unique and uncommon in Washington on Monday, at least one event occurred that might have been unusual elsewhere, but was almost routine here.

Sixty people were arrested in a protest at the White House.

An organization called ADAPT went to the sidewalk in front of the White House late in the afternoon to call attention to its message in behalf of rights for people with disabilities.

ADAPT was described by an organizer as a “national grass-roots disability rights group that does direct action and civil disobedience to get people with disabilities the opportunity to live in the community like everybody else.”

The organizer, Bruce Darling, said the group had not been granted a promised visit with Vice President Biden.

The arrests were reportedly made for the group’s refusal to heed the strict rules that govern gatherings on the White House sidewalk.

The 60 were arrested for “disobeying a lawful order,” said Lt. Lori Panarello of the U.S. Park Police. The arrests began about 5:30 p.m., she said.

Perhaps Monday, with much of the city preoccupied with other matters, was not the best day for the group to gain notice.

But Darling said the group has become accustomed to a lack of attention.

“Usually we don’t get a lot of coverage,” he said.

However, earlier Monday group members were on Capitol Hill, where much of the day’s political maneuvering was focused, and they did not escape notice there, Darling said.

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