Police will charge Sinema protesters who followed her into bathroom

Immigration reform advocates will allegedly be accused of disorderly conduct

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 21 October 2021 15:49
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Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema condemns activists over bathroom incident at ASU

Four protesters who recorded themselves following senator Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom are to be charged with misdemeanors for her ordeal.

The Arizona State University Police Department asked the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to file the charges against four activists on Wednesday, according toThe Arizona Republic.

In a recording from 3 October, the four individuals – who have not been named by authorities – followed Ms Sinema from a classroom at Arizona State University, where she had been teaching, and into a bathroom.

Ms Sinema was followed as the four activists from Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), an immigration reform advocacy group, challenged her on her voting record.

“We need to hold you accountable to what you promised us that you were going to pass when we knocked on doors for you,” one was heard telling Ms Sinema, a senator for Arizona, as toilets flushed.

Ms Sinema was also challenged on why she will not back Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislative agenda, which had been valued at $3.5trn (£2.5trn).

The bill, which is expected to be heavily scaled back, features a number of the US president’s biggest policy proposals from 2020, but is being blocked by Ms Sinema and another centrist Democrat, Joe Manchin.

A protester who identified herself as “Blanca” also told the senator that she was an undocumented youth who had no path to obtaining US citizenship, and whose Mexican grandparents had been deported.

LUCHA, the advocacy group, shared the activist’s footage to Twitter and told reporters shortly after that nobody “wants to meet with their senator in the restroom”.

“[Ms Sinema] denied our requests, ignored our phone calls, and closed her office to her constituents. She hasn’t had a public event or town hall in years,” the group alleged.

Ms Sinema described the protest as both “unlawful” and “not legitimate,” and said the four LUCHA activists had “deceptively entered a locked, secure building.”

According to The Arizona Republic, the four will face charges of disorderly conduct and disruption of an educational institution, which were both misdemeanors.

The Independent has approached Ms Sinema and LUCHA for comment.

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