The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Police arrest 155 health care protesters at U.S. Capitol

Protesters against the Republic health care proposals sit outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

U.S. Capitol Police officers arrested at least 155 demonstrators Wednesday at Senate office buildings, as health care advocates continued to pressure lawmakers two days after a Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed.

Police officials said in a statement that officers responded to “demonstration activity” at 45 separate locations in Senate office buildings beginning about 2:15 p.m. Authorities said demonstrators were warned “to cease and desist with their unlawful demonstration activities” before police made arrests, the statement said.

Officials reported that the 155 people had been charged with crowding, obstructing, or incommoding. Five demonstrators also were charged with resisting arrest.

That statement said demonstrations in Capitol buildings violate D.C. code.

The demonstrations were to follow a meeting described as at National Town Hall Meeting on Health Care at St. Mark’s Church in Southeast Washington, according to a statement released by several protest groups. Organizers included the Center for Popular Democracy, Housing Works, National Nurses United and Health Care for America Now, among others.

Activists said they sought to have more than 500 people occupy offices of 52 Republicans.

U.S. Capitol Police arrest 80 at House and Senate offices

On July 10, Capitol police arrested at least 80 people on the same charge in the hallways of both House and Senate buildings.