Two Pennsylvania women chained themselves to the entrance of a downtown Pittsburgh building that houses a Senate office for Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) over the weekend. They released themselves from the revolving door around 8:40 local time on Monday morning.
Toomey was not in this office at any time during the protest. The women’s presence obstructed the main door for the 40-story downtown skyscraper that housed Toomey’s Pittsburgh field office. The protesters told building employees and visitors to use the side entrance and to blame any delay on Toomey.
Toomey’s field office, which is located on the 14th floor, is one of dozens of offices housed in the Grant building.
One of the protesters, Lindsey Disler, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that she had chained herself to the door because “Pat Toomey has basically betrayed his constituents by pushing forward on this tax bill that will hurt a ton of his constituents. It’s really just helping his donors.”
The other protester, Chelsey Engel, defended her obstruction of the office building, telling the Post-Gazette, “Us blocking this entrance is nothing compared to the havoc Republicans have just decided to unleash on the economy. This bill will have negative impacts for decades and is an absolute slap in the face to every single working-class and middle-class American.”
Protesters also hung an anti-Toomey banner over another pair of entrance doors.
Pittsburgh police allowed the women to stay all weekend. This morning at around 8:30, they approached the protesters and held a brief discussion with them. The protesters then peacefully removed themselves from the doorway as a small group of onlookers cheered.
A version of the tax bill was passed through the Senate, with Toomey’s support, early Saturday morning. The protesters explained that they continued their protest because the bill now must go to conference committee to iron out some differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Afterward, both chambers of Congress will have to vote on the measure again.
It is extremely unlikely that Toomey’s vote will change regardless of what occurs in the conference committee, since he was one of the bill’s most vocal supporters in the Senate.