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protest.jpgAbout 20 people, including several in wheelchairs, are blocking L Street at 11 Street in front of the state Capitol to protest proposed cuts to in-home health care services.

Sacramento police said they had arrested two protesters for resisting arrest, and are trying to persuade other protesters to leave.

The street blockage began about 2:45 p.m.

The civil disobedience was an unplanned offshoot of a Capitol rally and march by a coalition of senior citizen, working parents and disability rights groups, among others, said Mary Ignatius, who helped coordinate the event.

"It's important for these people to be here because they need to remind our governor and our Legislature that real people's lives are at stake," said Ignatius, who said she is from the Health and Human Services Network, a coalition of advocacy groups.

Dozens of people participated in the march and rally, but only a fraction of them opted to risk arrest by blocking L Street.

Ignatius said the civil disobedience will send an urgent message about the desperation that protesters feel about the budget.

"The inconvenient truth is that these drastic cuts are going to hurt these people way more (than arrest)," she said. "And doing civil disobedience is a way to amplify what that really means."

The protest rally and march featured a 10-foot-tall effigy of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger raising a bloody ax.

Participating groups included the California Foundation of Independent Living Centers, Health Access, United Domestic Workers, California Immigrant Policy Center, California Hunger Action Coalition, Alzheimers Services of the East Bay, and the Alliance of Retired Americans, according to a flier distributed by Ignatius.

Photo by Hector Amezcua



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