Sit-in protesters at Sen. Marco Rubio's downtown Orlando office released from jail
Police called just 8 hours into sit-in
ORLANDO, Fla. – Joan Erwin doesn't regret getting arrested during the sit-in at Sen. Marco Rubio's office on Monday.
The 72-year-old said she's always been passionate about tougher gun laws, and decided it was time to take a stand.
"I knew that being arrested would make it more visible in the community and that is important," said Erwin.
She, along with nine other protesters, were arrested for staying in the building after it closed. Police charged them with trespassing. Tuesday, they were all released from jail. She said it was a strange feeling knowing this day marks one month since the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.
Erwin said they have more plans to protest, but nothing has been organized just yet.
"What really motivates me is this year every seat is up for election in the Florida Legislature thanks to the new districts, so we have a chance to make a real difference in the people representing us in Tallahassee," she said.
Rubio's office did issue a statement and said he welcomes input from across the political spectrum. They also wanted to point out that they were not the ones to call police and get these protesters kicked out of the building. It was the owners of the building. They added that they did invite these protesters up to Rubio's office to speak, but those protesters never took them up on that offer.
"Our Orlando office is one of many offices in an independently run building that closes at 7pm each night. The building management company asked the demonstrators to leave at that time, and almost all of them did. But when a small number of demonstrators refused to comply, the building's management had them removed," Rubio's office said in a statement. "Throughout the course of the day, we invited the demonstrators up to our Orlando office to meet, and they declined each time, so we spoke to them in the lobby. We would extend the invitation again today should demonstrators come to voice their concerns. None have returned so far today."
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