BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - According to the Bangor Police Department, five protesters inside Senator Susan Collins' Bangor Office were arrested and charged with criminal trespass after refusing to leave the building.
The group gathered outside the Federal Building Monday afternoon to voice their concerns on the Senate Tax Bill. They say the bill will benefit only the wealthy and big corporations.
The Senator believes the amendments she added on property tax and medical expense deduction for retirement funding improved the bill, and that in time, it will lower the debt.
According to eyewitnesses, a smaller group of protesters then moved inside to the Senator's office around 3 pm, adding that they would not leave until Collins committed to oppose the tax bill.
When they refused to leave the building, Bangor Police responded.
"You are occupying these premises unlawfully and without permission and in violation of trespass. So I am ordering you to leave the premises," said Sgt. Myron Warner of the Bangor Police Department. "If you do not leave, you will be arrested. So you know we're going to take you into custody? Ok."
"Carol met with the protestors earlier this afternoon and took down their concerns and she will definitely pass those along to Senator Collins."
That was Annie Clark, Collins Communications Director. She is referencing a member of Collins' Bangor Office staff.
Senator Collins released a statement saying in part, "I always welcome hearing the views of my constituents... I look forward to letting my constituents know of my success in reversing a provision in the senate bill that would've made it more difficult for public employees, such as firefighters, school teachers, and police officers, to save more for their retirement."
The protesters arrested are being held at the Penboscot County Jail. No further information is available at this time.
33 year old Sarah Bigney of Hallowell
39 year old Nicholas Paquet of Benton
47 year old Tina Davidson of Portland
66 year old James Betts of Winthrop
37 year old Erin Oberton of Old Town