Protesters arrested outside Mitch McConnell's office
Posted July 13, 2017 4:47 p.m. EDT
Several protesters -- including religious leaders -- were arrested Thursday outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, following demonstrations against Republican legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.
According to a statement from Capitol Police, 11 people were arrested from the protests.
The protesters were speaking out against Senate Republicans' health care bill, which was re-introduced Thursday, following weeks of negotiation among Republicans as McConnnell tried to bridge the gap between conservatives and moderates in his conference.
"This is not a health care bill," said Rev. Jennifer Butler of the liberal religious group Faith in Public Life. "It is a death bill. And we are here to urge life. We stand for life, not death."
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CNN reached out to McConnell's office for comment on the protests and have not yet received a response.
The protest was organized at least in part by Repairers of the Breach, a progressive faith organization run by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, an activist and faith leader from North Carolina. Barber's organization was joined by several other religious groups, among them both Jews and Christians, who marched to the Capitol from the headquarters of The Friends Committee on National Legislation, a nonprofit political advocacy group that wants "to advance peace, justice, opportunity, and environmental stewardship."
Butler was joined by other religious leaders who took turns making remarks in front of supporters and media.
The Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon denounced McConnell for what she described as betraying his constituents.
"I happen to know that the people of Kentucky will suffer if this passes," Blackmon said.
"You will be okay, your friends will be okay, but the people who put you in office will suffer because of this bill," she said referring to the Kentucky Republican.
As members of the media and others were ushered away, protest organizers and supporters began to sing and chant and several were handcuffed and led away by Capitol Police.
Republican members of Congress have faced several protests recently related to health care. Capitol Police said 80 protesters were arrested in the Capitol on Monday.