Senate abortion vote bring potential violent protests

Jul 13, 2013 by

Liberal pro abortion protesters carrying ARF-15 rifles and handguns in vile threads against liberty

Update: DPS officials later said that jars with the suspected materials were not confiscated, rather discovered and disposed of.

AUSTIN — Department of Public Safety officers confirmed that “one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces and three bottles suspected to contain paint” were confiscated from people entering the Senate gallery Friday to watch the final debate on a controversial package of abortion restrictions.

Word spread on social media that DPS officers were confiscating tampons, sanitary napkins and other paper objects.

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, communicated with the Senate’s staff sergeant to stop the confiscation, but not before hashtags like #tamponcalypse began circulating with posts.

Several items weren’t allowed through the checkpoints, after it was reported that demonstrators planned to throw things onto the Senate floor.

DPS troopers check bags before admitting people into the Senate chamber on Friday. (Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News)

However, DPS officials said, people who hold concealed handgun licenses were expedited through and allowed to carry their firearms into the gallery, which is standing policy at the Capitol.

More than 40 state troopers are positioned in the gallery and working in shifts. The DPS confirmed one arrest had been made.

Carey Neal Dunn, 31, was arrested on charges of criminal trespass, failure to identify and resisting arrest and was taken to Travis County Jail.

The atmosphere in the Capitol was intense even before the Senate began debate on House Bill 2 about 2:30 p.m.

Danielle Wells, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood, called the large crowds in committee hearings and the viewing chambers over the past month “democracy in action.” She said the coalition of abortion-rights activists group — the people in orange — have worked closely with security.

For more info on the bill, check here. Senate rules can be found here.

Thousands of protesters who had packed the Texas Capitol for much of the day were herded out of the building early Saturday morning, about a half hour after the Senate approved a controversial bill further restricting abortion.

Amid shouts of “shame,” several people were hauled off by Department of Public Safety officers after the protesters had begun a sit-in in front of the Senate chamber. Details on how many people were arrested nor the size of the crowd were not immediately available.

The activist group Rise Up/Levanta Texas reported that 10 people had been arrested after the sit-in. There were also injuries that required hospitalization, according to the group’s news release.

A handful of people were also arrested earlier in the night after they chained themselves to the railing in the Senate gallery. A DPS officer was seen running up the stairs to the gallery with giant bolt cutters.

Pepper Cunningham, a 19-year-old college student, said she was among the protesters that the DPS officers picked up and carried into the foyer of the Senate chamber after they staged the sit-in. She and several others were then released without arrest.

“If I had gone to jail, I would have been OK with that,” Cunningham said, because she cares so deeply in the issue.

The crowd had assembled in front of the Senate chamber a few hours before the midnight vote and interrupted their chants only to boo whenever the outer door of the chamber opened. As the senators voted, the deafening shouts from outside the doors penetrated the chamber.

During the sit-in, a scuffle broke out after state troopers asked people to leave the building, then moved in to remove those who refused. One male protester was seen with blood on his face afterward. The extent of his injuries was not clear.

The crowd then moved outside and began dispersing.

Earlier in the evening, a man was seen carrying an AR-15 as part of the protest, though he met all the requirements to carry the weapon and was not arrested, Austin Police Department Lt. Ed Hughes said. Hughes did not have details, saying the Department of Public Safety handled the incident.

“There was nothing illegal about what he was doing,” Hughes said, adding that there had been protests throughout the week in which participants carried firearms.

via DPS arrests protestors after emotional Senate abortion vote |

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