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Police issue citations to dozens of protesters at nursing group’s Silver Spring headquarters

Dozens of protesters were issued citations Monday night for blocking traffic during demonstrations outside a Silver Spring nursing trade association, Montgomery County police and activists said.

Police cited at least 40 demonstrators for disorderly conduct after they blocked the intersection of Georgia and Wayne avenues just before 10 p.m., said Capt. Paul Starks, a county police spokesman. No arrests were made, and the intersection was reopened around 10:45 p.m.

Protesters had spent Monday afternoon and night outside the American Nurses Association building, trying to meet with association leaders to urge them to support changes in home-health care legislation across the country, said Jerry Costley, a spokesman for ADAPT, a group of activists with disabilities.

Costley said ADAPT wants to change laws to allow nurses’ aides and attendants to handle many routine health care tasks such as catheterization and routine ventilator maintenance. Currently, many states restrict such tasks to licensed nurses, Costley said.

The American Nurses Association issued a statement saying they would be willing to meet with the demonstrators, but only after they disperse from outside their building. Costley said the activists plan to continue demonstrations until talks begin.

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Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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