Updated 3:13 p.m.
Police arrested six redistricting reform protesters outside the home of House Speaker Mike Turzai on Friday.
Northern Regional Police Department Chief Robert Amann told The Incline that six people were charged with defiant trespass. As of about 2 p.m., the protesters were being transported to a magistrate’s office for arraignment.
The protest was organized by March on Harrisburg, which traveled to Turzai’s Marshall Township home Friday to demand he call a vote on an amendment to Senate Bill 22. The legislation, which would create a citizens commission to draw legislative and congressional boundaries, stalled in the House after passing the Senate with a judicial elections amendment some Democrats considered a “poison pill.”
Emmie DiCicco of March on Harrisburg said the protesters were on Turzai’s porch.
“We knocked on the door and requested to speak with Turzai,” she said via email, adding that the group went to his district office Thursday to request a meeting. “When that was denied, we said we would wait until he was back to speak with him.”
March on Harrisburg last week protested outside the York County home of Gov. Tom Wolf. After securing a promise from the governor to call a special session on redistricting if leadership from both chambers can compromise, the group turned its attention to other elected officials including House Minority Leader Frank Dermody.
Fair Districts PA, a separate grassroots group pushing redistricting reform, is also targeting leadership, as well as asking Wolf to call a special session even if no compromise is in place.
As protesters targeted House leadership, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati released a letter Friday reiterating their willingness to compromise on redistricting legislation.
A representative for Turzai declined to comment on the arrests or the senators’ letter.
Editor’s note: This story is developing and will be updated.