Day 2 of legislative special session begins peacefully after chaotic first day

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by KING 5 News, Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 29 at 6:40 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Capitol was quiet Tuesday morning after demonstrations of the first day of the special session resulted in four arrests, three people stunned with a Taser and 30 trespassing citations.

More than 200 people marched from downtown Olympia to the Capitol for the second day of protests over proposed cuts to state programs. Carrying red balloons and chanting, "We are the 99 percent," the group first gathered on the Capitol steps Tuesday before heading into the building to continue their march.

On Monday, Bill Moyer was one of several people hauled away in handcuffs.

"I’m personally proud to have been carried out by the state patrol out of the capitol yesterday because I think it’s time to stand up,” he said.

He was one of hundreds who refused to leave the Capitol rotunda Monday night.

State troopers were forced to arrest four people during a rowdy protest against state budget cuts. Six troopers were injured in the demonstration - including two who were bitten.

Troopers used Tasers on three people and a demonstration caused a legislative hearing to be delayed.

The patrol estimated costs Monday at $96,000 -- $76,000 in straight time, $12,000 in overtime and $8,200 in travel costs for troopers from outside Olympia.

Incident Commander Lt. Mark Arras says it's important that the $76,000 in straight time not be written off lightly.

"The day to day work of troopers is important, or we wouldn't have them doing it," Arras said. "If your car broke down yesterday and you sat beside the freeway for an extended period, that soft cost suddenly has a very real impact."

Among those arrested - Jesse Hagopian - a teacher at Garfield High School in Seattle fed up with cuts to his classroom.

"I'm outraged that our state doesn't fund education... that pushes teachers to have to take these kinds of actions... to get attention to our schools and school funding,” he said.

Tuesday was a much quieter scene.

State troopers were still standing guard, but it was business as usual during the special session with no interruptions and no one protesting.

"It’s easier when they come one by one but that's not why we're here. We are here to hear what people have to say about the budget and the shouting and yelling was important to them and they did it for a while and then they were done," said Rep. Ross Hunter - (D) Medina

But there are still weeks left in the special session. Moyer was told not to return or he'd be arrested.

"Personally, I don't plan to go back,” he said.

 


 

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