Eleven taken into custody at 'Tuesdays with Toomey' protest in Center City

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Eleven protesters were to be cited with disorderly conduct Tuesday after staging a sit-in outside Sen. Pat Toomey’s office Tuesday in Center City.

Eleven people were taken into custody Tuesday and were to  be cited for disorderly conduct after staging a sit-in at the Center City office of Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) to demand that he schedule a public town-hall meeting, police said.

Seven women and four men were detained without incident and were issued civil citations and then released, said Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan, who oversees homeland security for the Philadelphia Police Department.

Toomey's office later issued a statement saying the protesters were told last week that the senator would be in Washington on Tuesday and his staff would be unavailable because they were preparing to move the office to a new location in Old City.

Protests known as "Tuesdays with Toomey" have become a regular feature at the Republican senator's office at 1600 Market St. since shortly after the election.

Those who were cited sat down in the building's lobby Tuesday when representatives from Toomey's office refused to come down to meet with them or to accept a box of constituent letters.

They were released after being issued citations. 

Police do not characterize the issuance of summary charges as arrests even though a person may be taken into custody while the paperwork is processed.

Toomey is moving his office to 200 Chestnut St. in the Customs House, a federal government building, on Wednesday.

"Senator Toomey believes that civility is a necessary part of a productive conversation. He does not support the actions of the protesters today who disobeyed the lawful requests from the Philadelphia Police Department," his office said.

Here is the full statement:

"Last week, Senator Toomey’s office informed the Philadelphia Tuesday protesters that Senator Toomey would be in Washington today, February 28th, and that staff would not be available to meet due to the impending office move that is scheduled for tomorrow. In an effort to ensure that a constructive dialogue was continuing, staff met with protesters last Thursday in Philadelphia.

 

"Senator Toomey’s current Philadelphia office is located in a privately owned building. Each week, building management, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Police Department, work to ensure protesters are able to organize in a safe and lawful environment. Today though, protesters decided to stage a sit-in in the lobby of the building where Senator Toomey’s Philadelphia office is located. After voicing their concerns, protesters were asked by building management to leave. This was followed up by multiple requests from the Philadelphia Police Department.

 

“Senator Toomey believes that civility is a necessary part of a productive conversation. He does not support the actions of the protesters today who disobeyed the lawful requests from the Philadelphia Police Department.”