Fourteen protesters were arrested at the North Carolina Legislative Building early Wednesday after sitting in House Speaker Thom Tillis' office for nearly 11 hours.
Nearly 20 protesters, described as "workers from McDonalds, Wendy's and Bojangles and clergy members" and dubbed the "Tillis 15," were removed from Tillis' office at about 1:45 a.m. They were handcuffed with plastic zip-ties and led out of the building one by one by General Assembly police.
All they wanted was to talk with Thom about how his policies are hurting them. Lobbyists "occupy" the NCGA building all the time, and we know Thom meets with them. Surely he could find a few minutes to meet with people who took the time to come to his office, right?
Tillis, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate this year, was not in his office when the sit-in started Tuesday afternoon. He presided over the House session just across the hall, but when the House adjourned, did not return to his office or answer protester calls to meet with him. He is in a heated Senate race this year, looking to unseat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. The outcome of North Carolina's seat could help decide the majority in the Senate.
Anna Roberts, a spokeswoman for Tillis, declined to comment on the demonstration in the speaker's office and Tillis didn't respond to a phone message Tuesday evening. Tillis regularly didn't comment last year when demonstrators against Republican policies protested in acts of civil disobedience and hundreds were arrested inside the Legislative Building.
What a coward Thom Tillis is. He pretends that his cruel laws don't hurt real people, and when those real people show up to tell him that, thanks to him, they have to choose between healthcare for themselves or their kids, he ducks out the back door and sends in the cops to arrest people.