ADAPT, “Capitol Crawl,” 1990
This is easily the most interesting, most amazing protest I’ve ever heard of. Fed up with the slow progress of Congress to push through the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), ADAPT (Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit) organized an unusual protest. To demonstrate how badly people with disabilities needed the law to pass, while also providing a clear image of how Americans with disabilities were currently being treated, dozens of protesters abandoned their wheelchairs and arduously crawled up the 82 enormous steps to the Washington Capitol building.
One protester later recalled, “Some people were really against it - they thought it would be really demeaning to see a bunch of disabled people crawling up steps…but my feeling was that it was really demeaning, the way the country was treating disabled people anyway.”
Click here for a quick background video on the protest.
Understandably, the media focused on Jennifer Keelan, the remarkable second grade girl with cerebral palsy (shown in the third picture above) who demanded to climb for her friend Kenny, who had died a few months prior. Here's an interview with Jennifer from a few years ago regarding her experience.