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Arrest, Demonstration Interrupt Brady Visit

March 8, 1991

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A man who tried to force his way into a meeting among Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady and local business leaders and politicians was arrested today and dragged bloodied from the building.

The unidentified man was part of a group of approximately 30 protesters outside the Chamber of Commerce building who greeted Brady with jeers and demanded federal government help to reopen Rhode Island’s closed credit unions and banks.

The demonstrators also booed all four members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation when they arrived for the luncheon meeting.

Brady was whisked into the building without incident. The man walked in about 10 minutes later carrying an American flag and demanding the location of the meeting.

When he was hustled into a side corridor by a uniformed police officer and another unidentified person, the man began using his flag to fend off the officer and shouted, ″You’re not going to keep me out of there.″

Chamber officials then quickly closed the corridor door, but through a glass side door, the man could be seen struggling with police as he was being handcuffed.

He was led out a side door a few minutes later to a waiting police car. Photographer Nancy Palmieri, working for The Associated Press, said the man had blood streaming down his face, and spots of blood could be seen on the sidewalk.

That brought threats of other civil disobedience from demonstrators who were ordered to keep marching in front of the building but refused. The crowd then rushed to the side door.

One shouted, ″Impeach the governor. He’s no good. He’s out to bleed us.″

Brady’s stop was the second on a three-city swing through New England to discuss what the federal government is doing to ease the credit crunch.

In prepared remarks, Gov. Bruce G. Sundlun also chastised Brady for a lack of federal help to reopen the dozen financial institutions that have been closed since Jan. 1 when their private deposit insurer failed.

Sundlun said federal regulators’ demand for $100 million in cash upfront from the state before they would allow Old Stone Bank to purchase six of the institutions was unreasonable.

″Unfortunately, the federal government today is not saving our economic life. Instead, the federal government is placing it in danger,″ Sundlun said.

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