Sixteen arrested after protesting racism, economic inequality

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Sixteen demonstrators were arrested on trespassing charges at the State House on Monday evening, after refusing to leave the building and telling State Police they wished to be arrested.

Thirteen women and three men from the Poor People's Campaign were demonstrating against "systemic racism, economic inequality, the war economy, and environmental devastation" at the State House as part of a national "wave of protests hitting 35 state capitals and Washington, D.C.," the group said.

The group said Monday's demonstration marked the second of six weeks of "nonviolent direct action" and said others, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, were also arrested around the country on Monday.

State Police said the group was "demonstrating in support of driver licenses for undocumented immigrants" and that those arrested had entered the building around 3 p.m.

"After they indicated they would not leave, we offered to summons them to court on trespassing charges in lieu of arresting them if they agreed to abide by Troopers' requests to leave. They refused the offer to be summonsed and maintained their desire to be arrested," State Police spokesman David Procopio said in an email Monday night. "The 16 were taken into custody on trespassing charges shortly before 7 p.m."

Procopio said the 16 arrestees were "orderly" and that all 16 were expected to be released Monday night and will each be given a date to appear in Boston Municipal Court.


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