Many have called to express concern about the ADAPT members who were arrested in Denver. ADAPT is monitoring the situation in Denver where our members remain in Police Custody more than 24 hours, following a 59-hour sit in. We are grateful for the sacrifice of these activists, and while we are focused on arranging their release, it is important to remember the reason they occupied Senator Gardner’s office: the healthcare bill being proposed by Senate Republicans is a grave threat to the life and liberty of Disabled Americans. If this bill or any legislation with the same devastating cuts to Medicaid should pass, Disabled Americans will die. We will either be forced into nursing facilities or we will have to attempt to survive without the services that keep us in our jobs, with our families and in the community, ultimately falling ill and ending up in an institution or dead.
We are happy to work with anyone who supports the rights of Disabled Americans. We have worked with Republicans and Democrats, however we are focused solely on protecting our rights and community. ADAPT went to Senator Gardner’s office to try and make him understand the terrible impact that Medicaid cuts will have on Disabled Americans. We went seeking dialogue, but got silence and apathy from Senator Gardner in return. He then had our people arrested. ADAPT wants to remind Senator Gardner that his refusal to support efforts to ensure Disabled Americans are not denied life and liberty is the reason ADAPT members are behind bars tonight. We hope the people of Colorado can drive this message home.
We also call on the entire Disability Community continue to publicly protest Republican Senators and the Republican Party who have made it clear that they expect Disabled Americans to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy with our health, freedom and lives. If we do not stop this bill, countless disabled people will find themselves locked away – just as these protesters are – but without the support of so many Americans holding vigil. Instead, they will die, unheralded, behind the walls of the institution.