Sunday, July 06, 2008

Civil resistance intensifies to evil policies so far this year

In honor of Independence Day, I was originally going to write a piece talking about the loss of our republic to the military-corporate empire we live in now, but I thought I would just save myself the additional frustration and post Max from Baltimore's report on civil resistance actions and trials thus far this year! Thanks Max...

Thanks to all of you who were able to risk arrest or to support such protests against the Iraq War. Let us continue to take the risks of peace. This list of appeals, arrests and legal cases is not all-inclusive. Please send additions, corrections and updates to mobuszewski at verizon.net. Included are arrests and pending cases in 2008.

JULY

20—[WDC] The government was to file a brief in response to the one filed on Dec. 29, 2007 by Mark Goldstone on behalf of Beth Adams, Ellen Barfield, Michelle Grise, Sherrill Hogen, Kathryn McClanen, Joan Nicholson, Max Obuszewski & Eve Tetaz with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. They are appealing convictions related to protests on Sept. 26 or 27, 2006. However the government has requested sixty additional days arguing this is a complicated case.

On Feb. 16, 2007 some 30 defendants who appear before D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Rufus King III are convicted and ordered to pay a $50 assessment fee. One defendant was found not guilty. On Mar. 14, 2007 20 defendants who appear before Judge King facing charges from either Sept. 26 or 27 are convicted and ordered to pay the $50 fee.

16 - [WDC] Ten members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance are to appear for a status hearing set a trial date for a jury trial before Judge Robert Morin in Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The original judge, Wendell Gardner, had to step down after realizing he is not allowed to handle a jury trial.

These activists, Maria Allwine, Ellen Barfield, Tim Chadwick, Joy First, Judith Kelly, Art Landis, Linda Letendre, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba and Eve Tetaz, were arrested on Mar. 12 in the gallery of the U.S. Senate. They acted as the Ghosts of the Iraq War and stood up individually to announce "I am a ghost from the Iraq War. While I died needlessly, I am here to demand an end to the funding of the war so that others do not have to die." The defendants are facing a charge of disorderly conduct/disruptive conduct, which carries a possible sentence of six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

4 - [Charlottesville, VA] Protesters disrupted George W. Bush's July 4th address at Monticello before a naturalization ceremony for new citizens at Thomas Jefferson's home. The protesters called out "war criminal" and "impeach Bush." Six of the protesters were removed, handcuffed and released without charge. Desiree Fairooz, Linda Lisanti, Gael Murphy and David Swanson were all removed.


JUNE

30 - [WDC] Paul Zulkowitz was granted a dismissal before judgment. Ann Wilcox, the attorney, called it a victory because the government decided against expending the time and resources for a jury trial. Also she opined that the government may not have wanted to grant the peace activist a forum to condemn the war.

Zulkowitz voiced opposition during a public hearing where Gen. David Petraeus testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), on Apr. 8. Zool stood and chanted “Bring them home, bring them home! . . . ,” was arrested and charged with one misdemeanor count of “disruption of Congress.” The maximum sentence was six months imprisonment.

28 – [Des Moines IA] In solidarity with the eleventh annual 24-hour vigil hosted by Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition in Washington D.C., ten people gathered outside the federal courthouse in a solidarity vigil. Eventually vigilers decided to walk through a farmers market and an arts festival. Taylor Hays, Christine Gaunt, Halsey Reynolds and Kirk Brown intended to return to the courthouse.

A police officer escorted them through the market. However, security stopped them from walking through the arts festival. During a dialogue, a police officer cuffed Reynolds. Brown and Gaunt were also arrested. In the squad car, the police decided to charge them with "harassing a public official." They were held overnight. While Reynolds was released on personal recognizance, the other two had to post a $300 bond.

24 – [Berkeley, CA] Four CODEPink women, including Toby Blome & Zanne Joi, were scheduled to begin their jury trial for a protest they held inside the Berkeley Recruiting Station commemorating the death of the 4000th US soldier killed in Iraq. The women were arrested on Mar. 24 and charged with trespassing and intimidating the Marines. They faced up to 6 months in jail & a $1,000 fine.

Judge Morris Jacobson from the Alameda County Superior Court reduced the charges to an infraction that will be dismissed in six months time. In addition, he dismissed all other pending charges against the women, including several charges for obstructing the sidewalk, an arrest for public nudity during a Breasts Not Bombs protest, and numerous parking tickets incurred during many months of protests.

23 – [Des Moines, IA] Trespassing charges against Catholic Worker Kirk Brown were dropped at the Polk County Courthouse. The charges stemmed from Brown's involvement in an occupation of the Armed Forces Career Center in Des Moines on Mar. 19. The prosecutor confirmed the witnesses could not state with complete certainty that the protesters had blocked the entry. Eleven protesters occupied and briefly shut down the center. Brown and Ed Bloomer refused to leave. Bloomer pleaded guilty to trespassing at the arraignment and was give a fine and a suspended sentence.

20 - [Alexandria, VA] Faith and Resistance Retreat participants arrested at the Pentagon on Mar. 21 appeared for trial in federal court. The group entered the Pentagon grounds in solemn, silent procession. Tim Fryett, Peter Pedemonti, Peter DeMott, Susan Crane and Steve Miller sought to block the entrance and were quickly arrested; Claire Grady and Eve Tetaz knelt on the grass and were also arrested. All were charged with "disobeying a lawful order.” Two others were arrested, one as a result of a mistake, the other in solidarity so his brother would not be alone. However, charges were dismissed for all but Susan Crane and Peter DeMott. They were found guilty and ordered to pay a $100 fine. They will not pay.

19- [WDC] An activist was arrested in the gallery of the House of Representatives when he threw down “bloody” money during the vote for more funding of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

18 – [WDC] The government dismissed charges against Steve Baggarly, Kristin Sadler, Bill Streit and Eve Tetaz who were arrested at the White House on Mar. 22. The anti-torture activists were arrested for holding signs in the forbidden area.

16—[Portland, OR] Jesse Laird, Rhoda Moore and Tom Hastings are scheduled to appear in court, as a result of their arrests in Sen. Gordon Smith's office on May 16. Smith's Oregon Chief of Staff made it known that no peace people were going to be welcome ever at Senator Smith's office. Moore, who attempted to make an appointment, asked why the scheduler had promised to call her back but never did. They explained the House just voted to defund this war and the Senate will soon vote. They promised to leave if Smith agreed to vote against any more war funding. Instead, they were cuffed and stuffed. In less than two hours they were given a citation release.

9 – [Portland, OR] Two anti-war protesters who stood in front of a rose-laden tank during last year’s Grand Floral Parade had their legal troubles wiped away. Bonnie Tinker and Sara Graham, members of the “Seriously P.O.’d Grannies,” were charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with police after they held up anti-war signs in front of the tank in the middle of the parade.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Alicia Fuchs dismissed the case after Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Puskar asked for an additional day. Puskar said police officers scheduled to testify didn’t show up because they mistakenly thought the trial was set for June 10.

9 – [Madison, WI] Bonnie Block, David Nordstrom and Joy First appeared for trial before Judge Dan Koval in municipal court. However, charges against the three were dismissed by Madison City Attorney Marcie Paulson when the military officer who had been subpoenaed for the trial failed to appear.

On Mar. 19, the antiwar activists were arrested at a military recruiting station in Madison. While other activists read names of the war dead on the sidewalk outside the recruiting station, the three went inside to talk to recruiters. They were arrested and charged with trespassing, which carried a $424 fine.

2 – [WDC] Three members of the Christian Peace Witness, who were arrested in the Hart Senate Office Bldg on Mar. 7, were convicted in D.C. Superior Court. Joan Nicholson of Kennett Square, PA, Ellen Arginteneau of State College, PA and Vicky Andrews of Duluth, MN were found guilty of unlawful assembly. During the Interfaith Witness for Peace for Iraq, forty four members of various faith groups were arrested while appealing to Congress to shut off the funding.


MAY

30 – [WDC] Thirty four Witness Against Torture advocates were convicted in D.C. Superior Court by Judge Wendell Gardner. David Barrows had his case dismissed, but the others were convicted after a four-day trial. Eleven of them were jailed, four for one day. Susan Crane received the longest sentence—15 days.

Eighty WAT activists were arrested either inside or outside the Supreme Court on Jan. 11, the sixth anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Most defendants only provided the police with a name of a Guantanamo detainee and remained in jail until the evening of Jan. 12. Those arrested outside the Supreme Court were charged with disorderly conduct making parades illegal, while those arrested inside faced an additional disorderly conduct charge against objectionable language. These are federal charges. At trial, though, all defendants faced only a charge of disorderly conduct making parades illegal.

The government offered a stet to the arrestees which would place the case in an inactive file for six months. If the defendant was not arrested in the next six months, s/he would have the case dismissed. It was an obvious attempt to quell the resistance movement in D.C. At least two arrestees who did not accept the stet had their cases dismissed. On May 8, the government dismissed the charges against Frida Berrigan, Joy First, Mike Foley, Lindsay Hagerman, Judith Kelly, Chris Knestrick and Max Obuszewski. All were arrested inside the Supreme Court.

22 – [WDC] Four CODE Pink women were arrested and charged with "unlawful conduct on Capitol grounds" at Gen. Petraeus’ confirmation hearings. Three of them spent the night in jail.

15—[Madison, WI] In Municipal Court, Bonnie Block, Joy First and Janet Parker were found guilty of trespassing during a bench trial in front of Judge Daniel Koval. During sentencing, Marcie Palmer, Madison City Attorney, requested the minimum fine of $109, which was granted by Judge Koval and commuted to 11 hours of community service for each of the defendants. Block, First and Parker were arrested on Feb. 15 at the Hilldale Mall during a peaceful and solemn vigil speaking out against the devastating occupation of Iraq. The three women were lying on the floor and were covered with a white sheet, calling attention to the death and human suffering of the war. They were joined by about seven other activists reading names of the war dead and holding banners calling for an end to the war. When the three women lying on the floor were asked by the police to leave, they declined noting that they were not blocking or disrupting anyone, and that they needed to continue the vigil against the war and occupation of Iraq.

In his sentencing, Judge Koval said that the heartfelt arguments were compelling and that he was sympathetic to the cause of the defendants, but that was not the issue. He took an oath to uphold the constitution and follow the law.

13 – [WDC] Liz Hurican was arrested outside the Cannon House Office Building for loudly lobbying representatives about war funding.

2—[WDC] Desiree Fairooz was convicted of disorderly conduct by Judge Richard Ringell in Superior Court. This conviction resulted from an incident on Oct. 24, 2007, when Fairooz called Secretary of State Condi Rice a war criminal at a Congressional hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Scott Shapiro asked for a sentence of 90 days incarceration. While the judge said there is a price to be paid for civil disobedience that included jail time, he suspended a five-day sentence, gave her three months of unsupervised probation and ordered the payment of $50 to the victims of violent crime fund.

1—[Burlington, VT] Ten activists, including Jen Berger, Hillary Martin and Rachel Ruggles, locked themselves together in the lobby of weapons manufacturer General Dynamics. The activists demanded “General Dynamics stop giving campaign contributions to the politicians responsible for regulating it, stop making Gatling guns, missiles and other weapons of mass destruction and give back the $3.6 million in Vermont tax breaks General Dynamics received in 2007.”


APRIL

30—[Bangor, ME] Six longtime anti-war activists arrested on Mar. 7, 2007 for refusing to leave the federal building when it closed for the day were found not guilty of criminal trespass by a Penobscot County Superior Court jury after 2 ½ hours of deliberation in a two-day trial. The defendants and six others were inside U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office demanding that she vote against further funding of the Iraq War and against the Bush proposal to increase the number of U.S. combat troops.

Jonathan Kreps, Henry Braun, James Freeman, Dud Hendrick, Douglas Rawlings and Robert Shetterly chose to go to trial. The six others arrested in Collins’ office, Maureen Block, Diane Fitzgerald, Nancy Hill, Judy Robbins, Peter Robbins & Pat Wheeler pled no contest and paid a fine.

Freeman, Hendrick and Shetterly represented themselves. Philip Worden represented Rawlings, and Lynne Williams represented Kreps and Braun. Hendrick outlined their legal strategy during the trial: "intercede against a greater crime in an act of civil resistance, not civil disobedience.” Freeman said after the verdict. "The fact that this was a not-guilty verdict says something about the way the wind is blowing in this state.”

Brendan Trainer, assistant district attorney, prosecuted the case. District Attorney R. Christopher Almy offered this observation: "I think that the public in Maine is so disgusted with the war in Iraq that they demonstrated their disgust with this verdict. And, that they are upset with [Sen. Olympia] Snowe and Collins for getting us involved in this debacle." He also indicated he would no longer prosecute such cases.

23—[WDC] In D.C. Superior Court, David Barrows was sentenced to 18 months supervised probation, six months imprisonment suspended, 100 hours of community service and a $1,100 fine with $500 suspended. The judge rejected the prosecutor’s request for imprisonment. Barrows was convicted on Apr. 2 for unlawful conduct in Congress on Sept. 11, 2007 during testimony given by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Prior to his sentencing, he said “Our voices must be heard - not the silence of apathy or the silence of cowardice; not the silence of selfish profiteering but the tears of families of young Americans who volunteered for war under false information.”

18—[Chicopee, MA] Eight activists were to appear for a pre-trial hearing after being arrested on Mar. 19 at a gate to the Westover Air Force Base. Five years ago, anticipating the start of Bush's war in Iraq, Rev. Andrea Ayvasian, Frances Crowe, Gene Grossholtz, Rev. Peter Kakos, Claudia Lefko, Paki Weiland, Kathleen Winkworth and Carl Doerner went to the same gate. While they were convicted for that action, the case is on appeal. On the fifth anniversary of this illegal war, the eight returned to block the main Westover gate for 90 minutes, were arrested and charged again with "disturbing the peace." Over the years, there have been 72 arrests at this gate.

10 – [New Brunswick, NJ] Suzan Sanal (Rutgers Against the War/Campus Antiwar Network), Erik Straub (Tent State/SDS), and Arwa Ibrahim received a summons from the state of New Jersey for activities during the Walk Out, which took place Mar. 27. They were the only ones to receive a summons as a result of the protest despite the fact that the Walk Out was organized by a coalition of a dozen student groups and gathered several hundred participants. Arwa was not even a member of the Walk Out coalition and never attended an organizers' meeting.

All three are being charged with disorderly conduct, and if convicted they could face up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. The complaint states, "Did engage in conduct which caused a physically dangerous or hazardous condition, specifically by organizing and participating

in a protest march onto Route 18 disrupting traffic in violation of N.J.S. 2c: 33-2A(2)"

Defend the Rutgers 3 who charged belatedly after a walk out of hundreds of Rutgers students and supporters protesting the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Students walked out of classes, rallied on campus, marched through downtown New Brunswick, and spontaneously walked on to Route 18, a state highway. During the action, the police did not complain to student organizers, issue warnings to the crowd, or attempt to stop any of the actions. The nonviolent protest ended without incident.

8—[WDC] David Barrows was sentenced today by Superior Court Judge John Bayly, Jr. to 14 days imprisonment suspended, six months of unsupervised probation, $200 for court costs and $200 to the victims of violent crime fund. The prosecutor suggested a sentence of 180 days in jail with all but 20 days suspended. Barrows was convicted of simple assault on Feb. 26. The accuser, Karen Testerman, a pro-war right-wing homophobe, and the police witnesses failed to tell the truth at trial. Testerman accused Barrows of assaulting her on Sept. 18, 2007 during a pro-war rally in Upper Senate Park. Sens. Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Lindsey Graham were among the featured speakers.

2--[WDC] Rev. Lennox Yearwood, president of the Hip Hop Caucus, was charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly. These charges are based on Yearwood’s participation in a protest against global warming and the war on Oct. 22, 2007. He was not arrested at that time.

Rev. Yearwood had been charged with assault on a police officer and disorderly conduct when he attempted to attend a Sept. 11, 2007 House hearing during which Gen. David Petraeus was scheduled to testify about the Iraq War. The assault charge was eventually dismissed, but Yearwood was scheduled for trial on a charge of disorderly conduct on Feb. 25, 2008. When he appeared for trial, the case was dismissed.

2—{Omaha, NE] A federal magistrate judge sentenced Dagmar Hoxsie to pay a $200 fine and do two years probation and John Bach a $100 fine and two years of probation. They crossed the line at Offutt Air Force Base, the home of STRATCom, on Dec. 28, 2007 and were charged with trespass. In court, Hoxsie pled no contest and Bach guilty. The action was part of the annual Feast of the Holy Innocents, the day the Catholic Church remembers the children killed by King Herod in the Gospel of Matthew story of the birth of Jesus.

1—[Rochester, NY] Seven advocates arrested on Mar. 19 for placing a coffin in front of the IRS office were scheduled to appear in court. Charged with disorderly conduct were Eli Yewdall, Sister Grace Miller, Rita Lewis, Mike Connelly, Kathy Castania, Jake Allen and Harry Murray.


MARCH

31—[NYC] A judge was to decide on a motion for dismissal in the case of the UN witness against crimes perpetuated by Bush, Cheney & Co. against humanity here and abroad. The motion argues that no crime was committed and that the arrest was illegal. The judge waived the requirement for any defendant, including Linda Letendre, to be present.

31—[Chicago] Six Iraq War protesters were scheduled for a hearing, after being arrested during an Easter mass, Mar. 23, and charged with one count of felony criminal damage to property and two counts of simple battery. All defendants had to post bonds before being released from jail.

Angela Haban, Regan Maher, Mercedes Phinaih, Ephran Ramirez, Donte Smith and Ryane Ziemba, a few seconds into Cardinal Francis George’s homily, rose from their seats, turned to address the hundreds of parishioners in the auditorium, and talked about the continuing deaths in Iraq. The group also decried George's failure to speak out against the war during a Jan. 7 meeting with Mayor Richard Daley and George Bush. They then squirted themselves with stage blood and collapsed to the floor.

Leaving the auditorium, they chanted "Even the Pope calls for peace!" "And so should we all call for peace," said George from the alter as the last protester was led out. The group, which calls itself Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, said in a statement after being arrested they targeted the Holy Name Cathedral to reach a large audience, including Chicago's most prominent Catholic citizens and the press, which usually covers the services. Speaking after the service, George said, "We should all work for peace, but not by interrupting the worship of God."

29—[Long Island, NY] Don Zirkel was removed from the Smith Haven Mall in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War. Police said that Zirkel was disturbing shoppers at the mall and now faces charges of criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

21 - [Alexandria, VA] Sr. Margaret McKenna and Elizabeth McAlister were found guilty and fined $100 in federal court. Aaron Weiss, Tom Lewis and Marcus Melder had their cases dismissed. This would be the last court appearance for Lewis before his untimely death. The five were taken into custody after doing a die-in at the Pentagon, as part of the Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat in Dec. 2007.

21—[Groton, CT] Forty people marked the Stations of the Cross along the south perimeter of the Naval Submarine Base. Sponsored by the Hartford Catholic Worker, this was the most recent witness in a tradition of over twenty years. The police refused to make arrests.

19—[Boston, MA] Boston police arrested five people blocking the entrance to the Armed Forces Career Center. The protesters were enacting a scene of destruction from Iraq.

19—[Memphis, TN] Seven people were arrested during a sit-in at Sen. Bob Corker's office and charged with trespass--Peter Gathje, Jacob Flowers, George Grider, Dennis Paden, Ceylon Mooney, Kathleen Kruczek and Jessica Buttimore. They activists refused to leave the office as the senator refused to agree to hold a town meeting that would address the Iraq war.

19—[San Francisco] Police arrested 143 protesters, included Daniel Ellsberg, in the central business district. Charges included trespassing, resisting arrest and obstructing traffic. Four women were detained for hanging a large banner off the city’s famous Golden Gate Bridge and then released.

19—[WDC] Activists targeted the American Petroleum Institute. Around 200 people were outside the building at 9 AM. Despite acts of resistance, the metropolitan Police were not arresting protesters. With but two exceptions, despite the many acts of resistance at various sites in Washington, the police would clear an area but not take anyone into custody.

By early evening, several hundred people gathered at the reflecting pool by the U.S. Capitol, 100 or more wearing March of the Dead white masks and marching single file up Independence Ave. to a major intersection by the Cannon House Office Building. Around twenty people gathered in the middle of the street and were arrested by the Capitol Police. Manijeh Saba is the only one who is going to trial.

19—[WDC] The War Resisters League organized an early morning march to the Internal Revenue Service to highlight the three trillion dollar Iraq War. Affinity groups then blocked the three entrances to the building. The Federal Protective Service arrested thirty two of the blockers, including Clark Field. Most of the activists, if not all, paid the $50 citation release.

19—[Worcester, MA] After attending mass, antiwar activists proceeded to the federal courthouse. Mike Benedetti, Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, Sandra McSweeney, Scott Schaeffer-Duffy and Roger Stanley entered the pre-lobby, knelt, prayed for an end to the war in Iraq and said a rosary. Officers allowed them to complete the prayers, before arresting them. They were charged in federal court with the “petty offenses” of not obeying a federal officer and blocking an entrance. They all pled “not guilty” and said they would represent themselves. They are facing a possible $5,000 fine. A 30-day jail sentence is also possible for each charge, but the U.S. attorney and the judge said there was no risk of jail. Trial is set for June.

12—[WDC] Led by students and youth, STOP-LOSS CONGRESS, a nationwide grass-roots coalition of more than fifty broadly diverse organizations including OurSpringBreak, CodePink, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, was joined by veterans who have endured involuntary extensions (Stop-Losses) of their tours of duty. Members of Stop-Loss Congress blocked the parking lot exits at the Hart Senate Office Building and the Rayburn House Office Building. Thirty people were arrested by the Capitol Police.

All members of Congress received a Stop-Loss order to remain on duty until the troops are brought home. The only member of Congress who agreed with the order was Rep. Dennis Kucinich. All others were on vacation from Mar. 15 to Mar. 30, ignoring the killing and suffering they have enabled, supported, and financed.

9—[Iowa City, IA] Des Moines Catholic Workers Kirk Brown and Mona Shaw attempted to make a citizen's arrest on Karl Rove at the opening of his talk at the Univ. of Iowa. Shaw and Brown stood before an audience that included about 200 protesters decrying Rove's appearance. Both began to read a written "Citizen's Arrest Complaint" that cited Federal Criminal statutes and the Iowa Code. Before they could finish reading the complaint, they were taken into custody by University Police, informed they were under arrest, and removed from the hall. Both were released in the foyer leading to the hall and not allowed to return to the talk.

6—[WDC] After reconsideration, a D.C. Superior Court Judge Raphael Diaz acquitted the Polar Bear 7. On Oct. 22, 2007, during the "No War, No Warming" demonstration, people dressed up as polar bears sang and danced their way on sidewalks outside of the Cannon House Office Building to remind Congress of the connection between war and global warming. The US Capitol Police insisted they disperse, but the "Polar Bear 7" were arrested as they attempted to leave, less than 30 seconds after the first warning to disperse. The arrested were Paul “zool” Zulkowitz, Alexis Baden-Mayer, Adam Eidinger, Robert Levitt, Cesar Maxit, journalist William Jordan and Anna Duncun.

At a beginning of a six-day trial in February, Jordan and Duncun had their charges dropped. Ariel Vegosen was also arrested, but her case was dismissed before the trial began. Diaz found the others innocent of unlawful assembly, but guilty of "a lesser included" charge, failure to obey a police order. At that time, the seven were ordered to return to court on Mar. 7 for reconsideration and/or sentencing. It is still mystifying why the judge failed to acquit during the trial. While there was no finding of any basis for the arrest, and the judge discredited the prosecutorial theory of "transferred intent," he left open the question of selective arrest. The defendants now plan to file a civil suit against the Capitol Police.

4--[Wausau, WI] Roberta Thurstin and Don Timmerman were convicted of disorderly conduct stemming from a visit to Rep. David Obey's office on Feb. 26, 2007. The citizens along with Susanna Gilk went to the office seeking information as to how he was going to vote on funding for the Iraqi invasion and occupation. Gilk pled guilty and agreed to do community service.

Thurstin and Timmerman, though, went to trial and were convicted despite the lack of any disorderly conduct and the fact that they were arrested before the office was closed. They were fined $5 and ordered to pay court costs and service costs. It seems that if you convicted in Wisconsin, you must pay a fee to reimburse those who filed the charges as well as court costs. The defendants were ordered to pay $190 despite the fact they are paupers.

2--[Santa Barbara, CA] Larry Purcell, Ed Ehmke and Mary Jane Parrine were arrested protesting Stars Wars testing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. They're expected to be charged with trespassing and go through the federal court system. In 1983 the first nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was tested at Vandenberg and since then the base's mission has expanded to launching and monitoring orbiting satellites, and managing space surveillance operations.

More than 150 people commemorated the 25th anniversary of antiwar demonstrations at Vandenberg. The group pleaded with members of the Air Force to abandon their posts and join the protest against nuclear weapons.


FEBRUARY

28--[Wheaton, IL] Jeff Zurawski and Sarah Hartfield were to appear at a motions hearing to quash two separate disorderly conduct charges resulting from their May 6, 2007 display of a sign reading “Impeach Bush and Cheney — Liars” and an upside-down U.S. flag on the Great Western Trail Bridge over Interstate 355. They originally faced one count of disorderly conduct, but the state’s attorney added charges of reckless conduct and un-authorized display of a sign. The government then dropped two of the charges when the activists refused any plea bargain. However, the state’s attorney added a new disorderly conduct charge. So they are facing two disorderly conduct charges. If their motion to quash, on the basis of a false arrest, is denied, they would be scheduled for a trial date.

13 - [WDC] Desiree Fairooz is arrested at the conclusion of a congressional hearing on the 2009 war budget.

11—[Tacoma, WA] Peter Ryan, Sky Ogawa Cohen, Jesus Lopez, Jesse Schultz III and Fiona Thompson were scheduled for trial on a charge of failure to disperse while blocking arms shipments going to the port.

11—[WDC] Don Muller, Max Obuszewski, Perry Reeve and Lynn Robinson were to file an appeals brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. However, the federal public defender’s office filed a motion for a 60 day extension. The activists were arrested on the White House sidewalk on Sept. 26, 2005, and later convicted of demonstrating without a permit in three separate trials. The convictions were affirmed by Chief Judge Thomas Hogan.

6--[Duluth, MN] Trespass charges against nine antiwar activists were dismissed. The activists had an appointment in the office of Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) on Sept. 21, 2007, but were denied entry. They were then arrested and jailed for refusing to leave the doorway of the Duluth Federal Building. At the start of their St. Louis County Court trial, a motion for dismissal was filed by the defendants, Jay Newcomb, Joel Kilgour, Emily Gaarder, Ozone Bhaguan,

Kristofer Dubbels, David Boulton, Peter Krause, all of Duluth, Lori Seele of Finland and Nukewatch staffer John LaForge, arguing the police had violated their Constitutional rights to free speech and association, peaceful assembly and the redress of grievances. Judge Gerald Maher granted the motion. A tenth defendant, Bonnie Urfer, also of Nukewatch, ignored court orders and had a warrant issued for her arrest Oct. 31, 2007. The defendants are considering filing a civil suit against the City.

4—[Tucson, AZ] Three anti-torture advocates appeared for trial in federal court facing charges for a Nov. 18, 2007 protest at Ft. Huachuca in Sierra Vista, AZ. Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada and Betsy Lamb had been incarcerated since the arrest because of outstanding legal matters in other jurisdictions. They appeared in court in handcuffs. Lamb is awaiting trial for a September anti-war protest outside the office of Rep. Greg Walden, in Bend, Oregon. Zawada has an outstanding bench warrant for failure to appear for a court date in Washington, D.C. The third defendant, Mary Burton Riseley, who was weak with the flu, came to court in a wheelchair.

They faced charges of criminal trespass on a military installation, conspiracy and failure to comply with a police officer. They were arrested outside the gate of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca during a solidarity demonstration with the annual protest at Fort Benning.

A plea agreement was reached in which the military prosecutor agreed to drop the conspiracy charge in return for the defendants agreeing to stipulate to the facts. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Marshall found Zawada, Lamb and Riseley guilty of trespass and failure to obey an officer. Each defendant received a sentence of two years of supervised probation, a $5000 fine or 500 hours of community service. She told the defendants that they could do their community service by participating in demonstrations, handing out leaflets and other legal forms of protest. She also advised them that they could ask for an early end to their probation as soon as they either paid the fine or completed their community service.

1—[Portland, OR] A motions hearing was scheduled to consolidate all the cases relating to an action on Oct. 5, 2006 during a World Can't Wait march. Ten people were arrested, but Ryan Dunn would later be found not guilty. The others awaiting trial are as follows: Adriane Ackerman, Alex Tinker, Bonnie Tinker, Brent Georgeson, Chris Knudtsen, Colin Jones, Crystal, Paul Forester & Victor Phillips.


JANUARY

29—[Columbus, GA] Eleven activists were convicted of "trespassing on a military base.” On Nov. 18, 2007 they crossed the line unto Fort Benning, the military base which houses the SOA/WHINSEC.

Federal Magistrate G. Malon Faircloth sentenced Ed Lewinson, who is blind, to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. Tiel Rainelli received the same sentence. The other sentences are as follows: Joan Anderson, 30 days and a $500 fine; Ozone Bhaguan, 90 days and no fine; Le Anne Clausen, 30 days and no fine; Art Landis, 30 days and no fine, Chris Lieberman, 60 days and no fine; Diane Lopez Hughes, 45 days and a $500 fine; Gus Roddy, 30 days and a $500 fine; Stephen Schweitzer, 60 days and a $500 fine; and Michelle Yipe, 30 days and a $500 fine.

25—[Madison, WI] Municipal Court Judge Daniel Koval found Bonnie Block, Conor Murphy, Jean McElhaney, Jamie Haack and Joy First guilty of unlawful trespassing at the East Towne Mall. On Nov. 2, 2007 a group of about 25 concerned citizens went to the mall for a die-in organized by Madison Pledge of Resistance. As the names of US soldiers and Iraqis killed in the carnage were read aloud, seven activists were moved to lie down on the floor. Those lying on the floor were covered with a white shroud, and a red rose was placed on top of each body. Two of the arrestees had their case resolved. The other five went to trial.

The judge was sympathetic to the cause, but had an obligation to follow the law noting a 1987 decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which determined shopping malls were private property where speech is limited to what is acceptable to the mall owner. The judge reduced the fine from $424 to $109 and offered 10 hours of community service as an option in lieu of paying the fine.

24—[Albuquerque, NM] The Rev. John Dear was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Don Svet to 40 hours of community service and $510 in fines and court costs to be paid immediately. The judge was quoted at sentencing: "I'm not interested in making a martyr out of you." Dear and eight others were arrested in the Joseph M. Montoya Federal Building in Santa Fe on Sept. 26, 2006. On Sept. 6, 2007 Dear, Philip Balcombe, Sansi Coonan, Michella Marusa, Martin "Bud" Ryan and Eleanore Vouselas were convicted of failure to comply with official signs and directions. The activists, who had been denied access to Sen. Pete Domenici's office, wanted to present him with a "Declaration of Peace" to end the war.

Jan Lustig and Bruno Keller offered Alford pleas and were ordered to pay $25 in court processing fees. Jordan McKittrick is a minor, and his case was dismissed. Dear's co-defendants received varying sentences in Oct. 2007, including suspended prison time, fines and community service. All five are appealing their sentences. Dear received the highest fine and most hours of community service, but he will not appeal. At sentencing, Svet was also quoted as saying, "Mr. Dear, you frankly are a phony. You preach nonviolence but you are the same man who took a hammer and a can of paint against a U.S. aircraft."

24—[Moyock, NC] Steve Baggarly, Beth Brockman, Mark Colville, Peter DeMott, Mary Grace, Laura Marks and Bill Streit were sentenced after being convicted on Jan. 23 in a jury trial. On Oct. 20, 2007, they were charged with resisting arrest, trespassing and destruction of property at the headquarters of Blackwater USA when they reenacted the Nisoor Square massacre, which happened on Sept. 16, 2007 when Blackwater contractors killed 17 Iraqis. Six of the protesters were found guilty of second-degree trespassing and of resisting, obstructing and delaying a law enforcement officer. Grace was only found guilty of trespass.

The judge sentenced them to time served. Five of the protestors served five days in jail after their arrest. Marks and Brockman were only in jail one day, but the judge suspended the other four days as long as they stay away from Blackwater property.

In non-jury trials in December, the seven were convicted. However, the trials were closed to the public. The second trial was a result of an appeal of the earlier convictions. A formal complaint from the North Carolina chapter of the ACLU to the N.C. Judicial Standards Commission claims the judge violated the protesters' constitutional right to a public trial.

23—[Tacoma, WA] Wally Cuddeford was scheduled for trial. He was arrested on Mar. 6, 2007 during public comment time in City Council chambers after he condemned police brutality against war protesters.

22—[WDC] Patrick O’Neil and Eve Tetaz were scheduled to be arraigned on charges relating to an arrest at the White House on Dec. 30, 2007 during the Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat. That day, the Jonah House donkey joined Mary, Joseph and the Jesus in a walk through Lafayette Park to the White House. There they set up a “Refugee Camp” tent. The donkey was given a ban and bar letter from the District of Columbia.

17—[WDC] Tina Richards, Adam Kokesh and Ian Thompson are scheduled for trial. On Sept. 6, 2007 a police officer rode a horse into the middle of a press conference in Lafayette Park. Several activists were speaking to the media about the urgency of coming out to protest the war on Sept. 15. When Richards and Kokesh pasted up a poster advertising the demonstration, they were arrested. Also arrested was Thompson, an attorney.

17-18—[WDC] On Jan. 17, thirty one antiwar activists were convicted in Superior Court of unlawful assembly. Over a two-day period, the defendants were given suspended jail sentences ranging from three to ten days and six months of unsupervised probation. All were ordered to pay at least $50, though for some it is $100, by April 30 to the victims of violent crime fund. Some defendants also received stay-away orders for the Capitol Crypt. A number of defendants had no previous criminal record, yet received suspended jail sentences. This is very unusual in Superior Court. However, there is an attempt underway in D.C. to quell the antiwar resistance. More than half of the defendants have appealed the conviction.

Thirty four people, calling themselves Rivers of Blood, were arrested on Sept. 20, 2007 during a die-in at the crypt of the U.S. Capitol. The police made the mistake of not charging all of the defendants with the same disorderly conduct charge. After both sides rested their cases, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Shapiro realized the discrepancy in the disorderly conduct charges.

The only witness for the government was the “arresting officer.” She was not present for the entire die-in, nor did she individually ask all defendants to leave. She never identified what a single defendant did. Instead her testimony targeted the group. She repeatedly said “many” of them or “some” of them. The defense did not bother to cross examine her, as it assumed her testimony was lacking. While Judge Ann O’Regan Keary dismissed the disorderly conduct charges, her rationale for a guilty verdict for unlawful assembly was that the painted tee shirts worn by the defendants and the Rivers of Blood banner were provocative and a breach of peace. She claimed that the die-in could have caused others to engage in violence. Of course, the government never presented any such evidence.

14—[Tacoma, WA] Wally Cuddeford, Jeff Berryhill and Caitlan Esworthy were scheduled for trial on a charge of resisting arrest during a blockade of arms shipments going to the port. Berryhill and Cuddeford face the additional charge of assaulting police.

11—[WDC] The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a conviction for Cindy Sheehan, relating to her arrest during a demonstration on the Pennsylvania Ave. sidewalk outside the White House on Sept. 26, 2005. Three hundred and seventy one activists were arrested that day and charged with demonstrating without a permit. Sheehan and forty-one others appeared for the first trial on Nov. 16, 2005 before Judge Alan Kay. Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Hartzenbusch was the prosecutor.

When the activist, who lost her son Casey in the Iraq War, tried to explain her intent on being on the White House sidewalk, the prosecutor objected and the judge sustained the objection, claiming that the charge imposed strict liability. After a two-day trial, Kay convicted Sheehan and the other defendants.

Sheehan v. United States, No. 05-MJ-00649, 2006 WL 3756349, was argued on Oct. 16, 2007. The appellant contested the district court’s judgment on five grounds: “1] The First Amendment challenge to the National Park Service Regulations was preserved at trial; 2] the NPS permit requirement is facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment, because it imposes strict liability on protective expressive conduct; 3] there is no evidence of appellant’s mens rea, because the Government prosecuted the case on the premise that strict liability applied and the Magistrate Judge excluded evidence that addressed appellant’s mens rea; 4] the evidence does not show that appellant was ‘demonstrating’ within the meaning of the NPS regulations; and 5] the evidence does not show that appellant knowingly demonstrated without a permit.”

The court rejected the challenge to the constitutionality of the regulations. But it acknowledged the unfairness of the trial: “We reverse and remand for a new trial, however, because appellant was convicted of a crime that does not exist and prevented from offering a viable defense.”

10--[Montpelier, VT] A small group of war protesters briefly took over center stage at Gov. James Douglas’ State of the State address. Minutes into the speech, the activists, including high school students, unfurled banners bearing anti-war slogans. Approximately ten protesters were escorted out by Capitol Police from the House chambers, but not before winning the attention of the overflow audience.

10—[WDC] Mike Ferner, a national officer with Veterans for Peace, was convicted of disorderly disturbing Congress in a jury trial in Superior Court. On Sept. 20, 2007, he and Linda Weiner stood up in the gallery of the House of Representatives and shouted "Congress! Congress! Funding the war is killing our troops. Please stop." The disposition of Weiner’s case is unknown.

Ferner was fined $100, which he refused to pay. Sent to the D.C. Jail, he was released after serving less than 24 hours.

3—[WDC] In Superior Court, Judge Henry Greene dismissed all charges against activists arrested on Sept. 15, 2007 on the west side of the U.S. Capitol. Close to 200 people were arrested, but most paid a citation fine. Only Elliot Adams, Ellen Barfield, Brian Becker, Carla Boccella, Rodney Centeno, Jay Gillen, Sholom Keller, Adam Kokesh, Polly Miller, Shawn Peterson and Rich Reinhart appeared for trial facing a charge of crossing a police line. In trial opening statements, the defendants argued that the police line was unconstitutionally set up, since it was formed to prevent protected speech with no sufficient cause for a time and place restriction, and no crimes were committed as the police helped or pulled protesters across the line.

The government's case collapsed during the testimony of a Capitol Police officer when it became evident that the government failed to provide adequate discovery to the defense. One of the documents which was withheld included a "police sensitive document related to terrorism." A motion for judgment of acquittal was granted.

3—-[Des Moines, IA] Twenty five activists intended to occupy Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters until the senator agreed to pledge to bring an immediate end to the war in Iraq and to veto further funding of that war if she is elected president. When Clinton staff saw the group approaching the office, the door to the building was locked. A demonstration was held outside for several hours. When the headquarters staff left to go to the caucuses, the protesters decided to leave. No arrests were made.

2—[Des Moines, IA] Twelve people were arrested during occupations of the campaign headquarters of Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. Four were arrested in Romney’s office: Chris Gaunt, Ed Bloomer, Janice Sevre-Duszynska and Suzanne Sheridan. The eight arrested in Obama’s office were as follows: Vicki Andrews, Diane Haugesag, David Hovde, Dan Pearson, Tom Roddy, Brian Terrell, John Tuzcu and Kathy Kelly.

2—[Arlington, VA] Nine individuals braved 30 degree weather and 20 mph winds to visit Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in solidarity with Voices for Creative Nonviolence’s SoDa POP (Season of Discontent, a Presidential Occupation Project) campaign. Participants carried signs and a mock coffin, and there was a costumed Hillary Clinton as Lady McDeath. Clinton staffers kept the doors closed and put up cardboard along the windows in order to avoid seeing the protesters. There were no arrests.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski@verizon.net

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