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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Protestor chains self to Capitol steps

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM

handcuffed.JPG

We got a call that an Occupy Little Rock follower had handcuffed himself to a Capitol steps handrail and gotten rid of the key. He vowed to stay chained up until a meeting with Gov. Mike Beebe, according to our caller.

We couldn't get there before David Goins of Fox 16, who captured the photo above of Capitol police cutting the man's bond.

David Koon is dropping by for further on the episode.

UPDATE FROM DAVID KOON: The protestor is Luke Flowers of Conway, who identified himself as founder of Occupy Conway. He said he wants to talk to the mayor and governor about a variety of issues, including development in the Lake Maumelle watershed. "I just want them to understand," he said. He says he won't further break the law but seemed intent on demonstrating for a time on the steps. Secretary of State Mark Martin's press spokesman, Alex Reed, reportedly emerged from the Capitol to ask Flowers to move along. But he said later that he'd merely supplied information about statutes that prohibited somebody from chaining oneself to Capitol structures.

The governor's office said it hadn't heard from Flowers, but noted Lake Maumelle and the Indian Removal Act apparently referenced in the sign are issues more the province of other governments. But the office has a staff of liaisons that work on various issues, spokesman Matt DeCample noted.

Flowers (with sign below) and three colleagues — from right, Justin Hippka, Amanda Stephens and Mike Jones — were arrayed later on the steps to greet the occasional person who arrives at the Capitol there. Reed said the secretary of state's police planned no arrests.

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