Arizona State Senate Republicans joined the cleanup effort Monday after a recent violent pro-abortion protest caused damage at the Arizona State Capitol.
“Starting around 6:30 a.m. today, Senator Paul Boyer (R-20), Senator Kelly Townsend (R-16) and Senator Sine Kerr (R-13) joined a team of about 30, consisting of state groundskeepers and inmate work crews, to remove graffiti from more than a dozen areas around the plaza,” according to a press release from the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus.
The press release outlined that historical and sacred monuments on the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza ground were vandalized Friday during the demonstration. Additionally, protestors broke the windows of three buildings on the Capitol Complex.
Cleaners used a paint removal solvent and pressure washers to try and eliminate the graffiti, although they could not take off all markings. The state will reportedly look into other treatments to finish the job in the coming days. Damage costs are estimated to be upwards of $10,000.
Pro-Abortion Demonstrators’ Destruction Cleaned Up with the Help of Arizona Senate Republicans ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/zWO4mtI50s
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) June 27, 2022
Townsend also shared that she worked on cleaning up the capitol, calling the vandalism disrespectful.
“This morning we went down to clean the monuments. So disrespectful! Jim Clary, President of the Mesa Fraternal Order of Police was there with some guys, & Sen. Paul Boyer & Sine Kerr were there, too,” tweeted Townsend.
This morning we went down to clean the monuments. So disrespectful! Jim Clary, President of the Mesa Fraternal Order of Police was there with some guys,
& Sen. Paul Boyer & Sine Kerr were there, too. pic.twitter.com/uGfNZIzidh
— Senator Kelly Townsend 🇺🇸 (@AZKellyT) June 27, 2022
The Arizona Sun Times previously reported that protests erupted across the country on Friday after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) reversal of Roe v. Wade, including at the Arizona State Capitol.
The State Senate Republican Caucus released a statement calling the demonstration an insurrection. Allegedly, while senators were still in session, protestors arrived at the Senate building and tried to enter by force.
Law enforcement officers were quick to action and called for backup, dispersing the crowd with tear gas before anyone could enter the building. However, the Senate building’s ventilation system pulled in tear gas from outside, making it unsafe for anyone to remain in the Senate chamber, although senators, staff, and public observers were evacuated from the room before this issue began. Senate proceedings were moved to another room to finish the session.
“We are incredibly thankful for our local law enforcement who quickly intervened during what could have been a destructive and dangerous situation for our members, staff and public inside the Senate,” State Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) said in the statement. “Violence is never the answer, and we will not camouflage what was a blatant attempt at an insurrection as a ‘rally’ or ‘peaceful protest.’ We are calling on all state lawmakers to condemn these acts. There is a way to make your voice heard and violence is never the answer.”
The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) documented the evening of the riot, mentioning that children were present at the demonstration. AZDPS provided pictures of vandalized monuments with “about the court” and expletives aimed at Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and SCOTUS spray-painted on them.
After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Arizona enforces pre-Roe law, ARS 13-3603, according to the Arizona Senate Republican Caucus. This law bans most abortions, except when the procedure will save the mother’s life. Only the physicians who perform abortions are held accountable, and the punishment can include jail time for up to five years; however, the mother involved will not face any penalty.
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