WASHINGTON – Four peace and anti-torture activists will appear in court Monday, November 6 th in a jury trial stemming from a protest against a war with Iran, at Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's home in May.
The four nonviolent protestors were arrested on May 18th by the Secret Service when they entered the front yard of Rumsfeld's mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood of northwest Washington. They are charged with unlawful entry and face a maximum sentence of six months in prison, and $100 in fines.
Pete Perry and David Barrows of the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) will defend themselves, with Washington attorney Mark Goldstone serving as attorney advisor. Mari Blome and Katie Heald, affiliated with Code Pink are represented by Washington attorney Ann Wilcox.
"We were not breaking a law," Perry said. "We were peacefully delivering an anti-war and anti-torture message to a public official we hold responsible for the unlawful entry of Iraq and the sanctioning of torture of detainees held by our government."
In September, three of the four defendants were acquitted in a bench trial of disorderly conduct. One entered a plea agreement with the government and is performing community service at the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition.
This time the four activists will face a jury of their peers.
"We look forward to arguing our case," Blome said. "We want people to know that we find Rumsfeld's actions intolerable, and that we will defend our first amendment right to petition for a redress of grievances to our government."
The trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Moultrie Courthouse (Superior Court of the District of Columbia) at 500 Indiana Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C.
The arrests occurred following a peaceful march from the White House to Rumsfeld's house, which was attended by Cindy Sheehan, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and comedian and activist Dick Gregory.