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US Capitol Police Arrest AIDS Activists

U.S. Capitol Police say they arrested 26 AIDS activists for unlawfully demonstrating in the rotunda of the Capitol building.

Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said Thursday that 11 men and 15 women were charged with unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct.

Police say the protesters entered the rotunda, located beneath the Capitol's dome, and linked themselves together with a white chain.

The Capitol rotunda is normally crowded with tourists, but police restricted access to the area while they made the arrests.

The activists are part of a coalition of five AIDS groups.

One of the groups, the Health Global Access Project, says it was protesting the government's failure to lift the ban on funding syringe exchange. The group also wants the government to increase funding for housing for AIDS patients and increase international AIDS contributions.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.