FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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@sbcglobal.net

 

More articles by:

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

September 20, 2018
Michael Hudson
Wasting the Lehman Crisis: What Was Not Saved Was the Economy
John Pilger
Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing
Kenn Orphan
The Power of Language in the Anthropocene
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
Puerto Rico’s Unnatural Disaster Rolls on Into Year Two
Rajan Menon
Yemen’s Descent Into Hell: a Saudi-American War of Terror
Russell Mokhiber
Nick Brana Says Dems Will Again Deny Sanders Presidential Nomination
Nicholas Levis
Three Lessons of Occupy Wall Street, With a Fair Dose of Memory
Steve Martinot
The Constitutionality of Homeless Encampments
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The Aftershocks of the Economic Collapse Are Still Being Felt
Jesse Jackson
By Enforcing Climate Change Denial, Trump Puts Us All in Peril
George Wuerthner
Coyote Killing is Counter Productive
Mel Gurtov
On Dealing with China
Dean Baker
How to Reduce Corruption in Medicine: Remove the Money
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail