Chanting, "This is the people's house," hundreds of protesters disrupted action in the Missouri Senate on Tuesday as they called for expanded Medicaid eligibility.
The protest ended with the galleries being cleared and 23 clergy members from across the state facing possible trespassing charges.
Organized by a variety of groups including Missouri Faith Voices, Communities Creating Opportunities and the NAACP, the protest is just the beginning of a campaign of direct action to influence lawmakers and voters, said Andrew Kling, a spokesman for the protesters.
"To see direct action like this coming from the clergy really underscores the depth of their feelings," Kling said.
The campaign also will include a radio ad targeting Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia. Schaefer is an opponent of Medicaid expansion and has called it too expensive. His support for a tax cut undermines that argument, Kling said.