Friday, December 17, 2010

protest war at the gate

WASHINGTON -- Hoping to spark the country's silent majority into action, 131 antiwar protesters got themselves arrested Thursday, in one of the larger acts of civil disobedience in front of the White House in some time.

Carrying signs that frequently included question marks -- "Peace on earth?" and "How is the war economy working for you?" -- protesters organized by a Missouri-based veterans group marched up to the White House gates and refused to disperse, holding their ground for several hours on a snowy and blustery day.

Among those arrested was Daniel Ellsberg, the Vietnam-era whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers as an act of protest in 1971. Thursday's arrest was his 80th.

All the arrests were appropriately peaceful although some protesters went limp, forcing police to carry them to the loaned Metrobuses waiting to take them to a booking facility. Only one protester actually attached himself to the gate with a bicycle lock.

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