Longtime advocates being drowned out by 'Occupiers'



Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk


Posted on November 30, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 30 at 6:18 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Diana Stadden got permits and recruited hundreds to come to Olympia for the first day of the special session.  Stadden wasn't prepared for what she saw Monday and is afraid of the possible impact.

Stadden has a son with autism and works for "The ARC," a non-profit advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

She planned a rally and a candlelight vigil to demonstrate against budget cuts.  Stadden's events coincided with demonstrations that, at times, got violent.

A budget hearing she and others attended was postponed by loud protesters.  Three people were arrested and dozens got trespassing citations from the state patrol when demonstrators would not leave the Capitol building.

Stadden said some of the skirmishes with police happened in front of children with developmental disabilities.

"It was difficult," said Stadden, who is afraid some of the people who came to Olympia Monday will now be afraid to come to future events.  "There's some people that it won't be so easy for them to look at coming back."

Wednesday afternoon Governor Chris Gregoire, D-Washington, said she feels sorry for those who have been “drowned out” by demonstrators who have interrupted proceedings at the Capitol this week.


So far Wednesday no one has been arrested, but that's not because of a lack of security.  State Troopers have been at the Capital all week long and that extra presence has cost taxpayers approximately an extra $75,000 in overtime.