People With Disabilities Arrested Demanding Revenue Increases for CT Budget

Malloy enlists disabled in budget fight — gets protest at his office

MARK PAZNIOKAS / CTMIRROR.ORG
Elaine Kolb backs out of the governor’s outer office after her arrest for trespassing. Gary Gross is following.

A day after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy all but invited disabled recipients of state services to lobby for a new budget, some did: They targeted him in a demonstration that ended with the arrest of five protesters in his outer office at the Capitol.

State Capitol police issued summonses for third-degree trespassing to five protesters, three of whom arrived in either wheelchairs or a motorized scooter, after they refused to leave. Malloy, who was attending an event in Bridgeport celebrating the opening of an affordable housing development, missed the protest.

“Don’t break my chair. Please stop!” Elaine Kolb loudly told a police officer, who tried to move her chair. In a lower voice, she added, “I ask very nicely, please don’t break my chair.”

The officer left her blocking the doorway.

The incident ended amicably. Kolb, Melissa Marshall, Ellanah Sherman, Gary Gross and Molly Cole left smiling after police handed each a summons requiring them to appear in court on July 23 to answer the misdemeanor charge.

They were part of a larger crowd of mentally and physically disabled Connecticut residents, some accompanied by caretakers, and advocates, who demonstrated against cuts to services for the disabled. They wanted to urge Malloy to reconsider his opposition to raising taxes to close a $2.3 billion deficit this year.

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