Chicago U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez made good on his pledge to get arrested at today’s immigration rally outside the White House.
The congressman was among 35 activists detained for failing to move from a sidewalk outside the White House.
“They were asked to move by park police and they did not and they were asked again a couple more times, then they started arresting folks,” said Douglas Rivlin, a Gutierrez spokesman.
Rivlin said the protesters were taken in plastic handcuffs by U.S. Park Police and transported by bus to a processing center, where they were booked. Gutierrez was released around 7pm Eastern, Rivlin said.
Gutierrez was charged with a misdemeanor for “failure to obey a lawful order from a U.S. Park policeman” and was ordered to pay a small fine of between $50 and $100, Rivlin said.
Rivlin said Gutierrez had given U.S. Park Police a “heads-up” earlier in the week that he planned to join the demonstrators “as a courtesy.” He said Gutierrez expected to get arrested and at the time of the arrest was wearing a shirt that said “Arrest Me Not My Friends.”
Rivlin described the arrests “as very peaceful” and said Gutierrez “was very excited” about being arrested.
“He think it’s very important to keep escalating the pressure to deal with our immigration problem in this country and to keep pressure on both parties and the White House to make immigration reform a priority this year,” Rivlin said.
It was not the first time the congressman has been arrested during a demonstration. In 2001, Gutierrez was one of about 180 people arrested for trespassing on restricted Navy grounds during bombing exercises inon the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.
The D.C. march was one of 80 or so nationwide, including Chicago. Angered by a controversial Arizona immigration law, tens of thousands of protesters — including 50,000 alone in Los Angeles — rallied in cities across America demanding that President Barack Obama tackle immigration reform immediately..
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