Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Seven Arrested at White House for War Protest


Holding a banner that read, “GOD FORGIVE AMERICA,” seven peace activists were arrested yesterday in front of the White House, in a civil disobedience protest against the war in Iraq.

Arrested by U.S. Park Police were Brian Terrell, Ed Bloomer, and Elton Davis, all from Catholic Worker communities in the Des Moines, Iowa area, David Goodner, University of Iowa student, Eileen Hansen, a Catholic Worker from the Winona, Minnesota, Jeff Leys, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV), and Bernie Meyer, a retired social services worker from Olympia, Washington.

The seven were charged with the federal misdemeanor of demonstrating without a permit, fined seventy-five dollars, and released yesterday evening. The action was part of VCNV’s “Winter of our Discontent” demonstratons in the month leading up to the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on March 20.

Terrell organized the group of 15 from Iowa that included students from Loras College, a hospital worker, and a farmer from Missouri who drove 140 miles to Des Moines to join them.

“If not now, when?” Terrell replied when asked why they drove 20 hours overnight to get arrested in the nation’s capital. “Some people consider civil disobedience an extreme measure for extreme times. If these aren’t extreme times I don’t know what are.”

The Maloy, Iowa farmer and Catholic Worker added, “We came here to use two complimentary methods to protest this war. Some of our group are visiting members of Congress, and some are putting our bodies on the line.”

Goodner, the 25 year-old Iowa Hawkeye, said his reason was “a deep concern for the plight of the world. I worry where the world is heading when I think of global warming and war. I believe the capitalist model of globalization is the root cause of the institutional problems facing us, and governments aren’t going to solve those problems, individuals are.”

Bloomer, 58, an Army draftee who served from 1966-68, is also a member of Veterans For Peace. He said he became a Catholic Worker in 1983 when he was active in the Nuclear Freeze movement to stop the spread of atomic weapons, because he agreed with the Worker’s approach. “They say if you see something that ain’t right, fix it. I see half the world starving without a crust of bread while are resources are going to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is the right thing to do and it’s good to show your colors.”

The entire group demonstrated on the sidewalk in front of the White House fence, walking slowly with placards and banners for about 30 minutes. The seven who were arrested took their signs to the portion of the fence ruled off-limits to protests where they stood, attracting the attention of Park Police who warned them they risked arrest.
When they refused to move, police called in a large team to make the arrests which included six officers on motorcycles, one on horseback, and over a dozen in patrol cars and unmarked vehicles including several command officers, with four Secret Service officers observing.

After police roped off a large, square area in front of the protesters, a lieutenant, speaking through a patrol car loudspeaker, warned the seven that “You must leave the enclosed portion of the White House sidewalk. All those not leaving will be arrested.” Three warnings later, officers approached the activists and began handcuffing and searching them one at a time. To cheers from supporters and under the eye of dozens of tourists, the arrestees were lead into a large police wagon and taken away. The whole operation took about 90 minutes.

Last night, Leys said they had been processed, fined, and released later in the day around 5:00 pm.

The former union representative from Milwaukee and three others are participating in a 34-day, liquids-only fast and vigil at the Capitol as part of the Winter of Our Discontent. He noted the fasters are observing the period between the February 15, 2003 when millions of people around the world protested the likely U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the date of the invasion, March 20. He added that VCNV plans additional protests in Washington and elsewhere in the country before March 20.

MIKE FERNER is a freelance writer from Ohio. He can be reached at:


Mike Ferner is a writer from Ohio and former president of Veterans For Peace.  You can reach him at

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 28, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Inside the Invisible Government: War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump
Andrew Levine
The Hillary Era is Coming: Worry!
Gary Leupp
Seven World-Historical Achievements of the Iraq Invasion of 2003
Paul Street
Standing Rock Water-Protectors Waterboarded While the Cleveland Indians Romped
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel: 1984 Everlasting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Comfortably Dumb
Michael Brenner
American Foreign Policy in the Post-Trump Era
Luciana Bohne
Crossing the Acheron: Back to Vietnam
Robert Hunziker
The Political Era of Climate Refugees
Stephen Cooper
Alabama’s Last Execution was an Atrocity
Michael Munk
Getting Away With Terrorism in Oregon
T.J. Coles
Confronting China: an Interview with John Pilger
Pete Dolack
Work Harder So Speculators Can Get More
Joyce Nelson
Canadians Launch Constitutional Challenge Against CETA
John Laforge
US Uranium Weapons Have Been Used in Syria
Paul Edwards
The Vision Thing ’16
Arshad Khan
Hillary, Trump and Sartre: How Existentialism Disrobes the Major Presidential Candidates
Peter Lee
It’s ON! Between Duterte and America
Chris Zinda
The Bundy Acquittal: Tazing of #oregonstandoff
Norman Pollack
America at the Crossroads: Abrogation of Democracy
Bill Quigley
Six Gulf Protectors Arrested Challenging Gulf Oil Drilling
Joseph Grosso
Starchitects in the City: Vanity Fair and Gentrification
Patrick Carr
Economic Racial Disparity in North Carolina
David Swanson
Public vs. Media on War
Chris Gilbert
Demo Derby in Venezuela: The Left’s New Freewheeling Politics
Ira Helfand
Nukes and the UN: a Historic Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
Brian Cloughley
The US, NATO and the Pope
Binoy Kampmark
Nobel Confusion: Ramos-Horta, Trump and World Disorder
Sam Albert
Kids on Their Own in Calais: the Tip of an Iceberg-Cold World
Russell Mokhiber
Lucifer’s Banker: Bradley Birkenfeld on Corporate Crime in America
Ron Jacobs
Death to the Fascist Insect! The SLA and the Cops
Cesar Chelala
Embargo on Cuba is an Embarrassment for the United States
Jack Smith
And the Winner Is….
Ken Knabb
Beyond Voting: the Limits of Electoral Politics
Matt Peppe
An Alternate Narrative on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Uri Avnery
The Israeli Trumpess
James Rothenberg
Water Under the Bridge
Louis Yako
Remembering Rasul Gamzatov: The Poet of the People
Dave Reilly
Complete the Sentence: an Exploration of Orin Langelle’s “If Voting Changed Things…”
Jonathan H. Martin
When Nobody Returns: Palestinians Show They are People, Too
Louis Proyect
The Outsider-Insider: Isaac Babel’s Big Mistake
Simon Jones
The Human Lacunae in Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake”
Martin Billheimer
Now and Then, Ancient Sorceries
Charles R. Larson
Review: Brit Bennett’s “The Mothers”
David Yearsley
Bach on the Election