34 People Arrested At Illinois State Capitol Demonstration

A protester being arrested at the Illinois state capitol on Tuesday evening

A protester being arrested at the Illinois state capitol on Tuesday evening.

Daisy Contreras/Illinois Issues

Nearly three-dozen activists were arrested during a sit-in last night at the Illinois State Capitol.

They’d come to Springfield on foot — marching about 200 miles from Chicago. Their goal: get lawmakers to pass a so called “People and Planet First Budget” — taxing the wealthy to pay for universal health care and free tuition at public universities.

After lobbying lawmakers and rallying, more than two-dozen demonstrators began a sit-in outside the governor’s office. They used cable ties to bind their wrists to each other.

Organizers say 34 people chose to be arrested and led away in handcuffs. They were given citations, escorted from the building, and let go.

Governor Bruce Rauner did not address the demonstrators, but four Democratic lawmakers lingered until the last protester had been arrested.

Earlier, protest spokesman Joe Padilla said they planned to stay overnight.

"We marched 200 miles over 15 days for this budget, in blistering heat, and heavy storms, 20-25 mile-an-hour winds," Padilla said. "One more night is nothing."

Organizers say their proposed budget would raise 23 billion dollars for state government by enacting a graduated income tax, closing corporate tax “loopholes," and taxing Chicago’s top financial players.​

Story source: Illinois Public Radio