Local News

Five protesters arrested at Legislative Building

Posted May 3, 2011 11:18 p.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2011 1:21 p.m. EDT

— General Assembly police charged five people who they say created a disturbance in the House gallery Tuesday night as lawmakers debated the budget for North Carolina state government.

House Speaker Thom Tillis initially warned the crowd watching overhead when they clapped in favor of comments about the budget by a Democratic member.

Seth Keel, a spokesman for a group called the North Carolina Defend Education Coalition, said five members of the group were arrested.

He said that as the House prepared to vote on the budget, four protesters – Monserrat Alvarez, 19, Raul Jimenez, Zan Caldwell and Luis Rangel – started chanting and unfurled a banner. Andy Koch was also arrested when "he tried to document their arrest," said Keel, who wasn't detained.

Police said five people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.