WASHINGTON – Police arrested more than a dozen people this morning who crossed a barricade and blocked entrances at the Internal Revenue Service building, the start of a day of protests marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.A crowd gathered outside the IRS headquarters, chanting “This is a Crime Scene” and “You’re Arresting the Wrong People.” A marching band led protesters down the street near the National Mall and around the IRS building before dozens demonstrators gathered at the entrance.
Protesters blocked the main entrance for a time, but no federal workers appeared to be trying to use those doors. Police detained 13 people who sat down at a side entrance. The demonstrators said they were focusing on the IRS because it gathers taxes that are used to fund the war.
Anti-war protests and vigils were planned throughout the day around the nation. At the American Petroleum Institute in downtown Washington, dozens of protesters held signs reading “Out of Iraq” and “No war, no warming,” and chanted “No blood for Oil!”
Craig Etchison, 62, a retired college professor from Cumberland, Md., and a Vietnam veteran, said he has been protesting the war for years.
“I’ve watched with horror as Bush has lied about this war,” he said in front of the building. “I’m appalled at the number of civilians we’ve killed just as we did in Vietnam.”
College students from New Jersey to North Dakota have planned walkouts, while students at the University of Minnesota vowed to shut down military recruiting offices on campus. “This is the first time coordinated direct actions of civil disobedience are happening,” said Barbra Bearden, communications manager for the group Peace Action. “People who have never done this kind of action are stepping up and deciding now is the time to do it.”
UPSTATE NEW YORK. Ten Arrested At Antiwar Rally
On Tuesday, March 18. 10 people were arrested at an anti-war rally in upstate New York. About 60 people participated in the demonstration that started at Binghamton University campus and moved through the street to a military recruiting station. Police said the demonstrators tied up traffic in the town of Vestal, N.Y.