ISP Arrest 43 Demonstrators At Idaho Senate Chambers


By Paul Johnson

UPDATE: From the Idaho State Police in Boise, the following release was made this afternoon:

Boise - On February 3, 2014, at approximately 8:13 a.m., Idaho State Police received reports that protesters intended to block the doors to the Senate Chambers in the Idaho State Capitol. Troopers from the Capitol Security detail, as well as, Troopers from the District 3 Office responded and found approximately forty-four protesters blocking the three entrances to the Senate floor.

The Senate's Sergeant of Arms and the Senate Pro Tempore requested the protesters move as the Senate prepared to convene. Protesters were informed that they would be arrested for trespassing if they refused to move. A representative of the protesters told Senate leadership and Troopers that they would not move and indicated that they wanted to be arrested as a form of civil disobedience.

Troopers arrested the protesters without incident and escorted them to a room in the Statehouse where each were cited for trespassing and released. Idaho State Police finished processing the citations at approximately 1:00 p.m. and released the last of the protesters. The protesters arrested included three juveniles.

Under Idaho law, a citation for trespassing is a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment of up to six (6) months, a fine not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both.

The Idaho State Police were assisted by the Ada County Sheriff's Office and the Boise Police Department.

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Idaho State Troopers arrested dozens of Add the Words protestors at the Idaho Statehouse Monday morning.

Add the Word demonstrators began blocking the entrance Monday morning, covering their mouths in a silent protest. Troopers led the protestors away five at a time from the chambers without handcuffs in a room away from the senate entrance.

Each protestor was eventually cited with trespassing and told not to return today.

The group is demanding the Idaho legislature to add four words including "sexual orientation and gender identity" to Idaho law, banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents in employment, housing and other business services.

"We are here to insist the Idaho Legislature finally add four words, "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," to Idaho's Human Rights Act to prevent the suicides, beatings, loss of jobs, evictions and the fear that too many gay and transgender Idahoans live with every day," the demonstrators said in a press release.

Bart Davis, (R-Idaho Falls), says he doesn't agree with group's method.

"I don't think this is the best method to get their message across," Davis said.

Organizers say the demonstrators are doing the "act of civil disobedience" because lawmakers have failed to add the words for eight years.

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