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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Handicapped Protesters' Charges Dropped

October 26, 1988

Charges were dropped Tuesday against three wheelchair-bound protesters who used their bodies to block busy traffic at the downtown Greyhound Bus Depot as a part of a nationwide Labor Day protest against alleged discrimination by the bus line.

More than 30 protesters delayed departing buses for up to an hour as they demanded an end to the bus company's policy requiring a doctor's permission and an attendant for passengers in wheelchairs.

"They stated that if we demonstrate again, we will be prosecuted," one of the three, Diane Coleman, said after a brief hearing with the Los Angeles city attorney's representatives. "We will demonstrate again."

The three protesters held placards and had their wheelchairs adorned with plastic chains and Styrofoam balls at the hearing conducted at the city prosecutor's Chinatown offices.

"The ball and chain of discrimination is heavier than any action the city can impose," Coleman said.

Calling the bus company's policies "apartheid against disabled people," the demonstrators urged people to divest themselves of Greyhound stock.

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