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Protesters block stairs, halls in Albany

ALBANY — More than 100 protesters chanting opposition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to cut program funding for the poor coupled with tax breaks for the rich have vowed to return to Albany after their demonstration blocked central stairs and hallways in the Capitol for an hour.

State police say they arrested 17 people who would be charged with disorderly conduct, arraigned before a judge and released later Wednesday.

Protest organizer Wanda Hernandez, a board member from the activist group VOCAL New York, says Wednesday they oppose cutting social programs and closing hospitals and schools while letting an income tax surcharge on the wealthiest New Yorkers expire after this year.

Jennifer Flynn, an AIDS activist from Brooklyn taken out in handcuffs, says it’s unfair to target the most vulnerable New Yorkers.