In a continuing effort to provide a fuller accounting of the protests, demonstrations, and arrests made of people against the Iraq war and occupation that occurred across the country the week of March 19th, we provide the following update:
ARRESTS REACH 304
In an earlier post, I had counted 232 arrests during the week of protests, most in San Francisco (143) and Washington, D.C. (32), but also 20 in Syracuse, NY. But we have to upgrade these numbers, and include these reports from March 19th – (USA. Reuters says 200 arrested across country on 3/19. Go here.)
ATLANTA, GA. 10 “Grandmothers for Peace” were arrested as they attempted to enlist in the military.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. Four women were detained and then released for hanging a large antiwar banner off the Golden Gate Bridge.
RICHMOND, CA. 24 protesters sitting down in front of the gates of the Chevron oil refinery were taken into custody – and released a few hours later. The sit-in was part of a large march and blockade on March 15.
BOSTON, MA. 5 people were arrested when they blocked access to a military recruiting center.
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA. 14 protesters were taken into custody at a demonstration at Lockheed Martin, the largest weapons corporation.
VESTAL, NY. On March 19, 9 students were arrested aggressively by police as about 60 primarily student demonstrators from Binghamton University spontaneously marched down a main roadway. The protesters were on their way to a military recruitment station.(go here to blog that tracked down the true story.)
CHICAGO, IL. As reported earlier today (below) 6 of the protesters who interrupted an Easter mass at a prominent Chicago church were arrested.
GRAND JUNCTION, CO.
MADISON, WI. 80 to 100 or so people gathered at the Capitol Square for a rally, silent vigil, and march around the Square. Go here.
LOS ANGELES, CA.
AUSTIN, TX. (update coming.)
Anti-war protesters weigh suit against police
Activists disagree over whether authorities used excessive force
By Angela Hart,
Peace activists accused San Francisco police of being overzealous in the way they treated protesters March 19 at daylong demonstrations marking the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, although anti-war groups said the department acted proficiently, given the daunting task of policing a group of nearly 9,000 demonstrators.
Some demonstrators who said the police treated them unlawfully are considering lawsuits.
In response, the National Lawyers Guild is helping some of the 142 people who were arrested for misdemeanor crimes, such as civil disobedience and disturbing the peace. At least five protesters were charged with felonies, including resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon.
Guild attorneys were in Oakland on Monday and will be in San Francisco on Sunday to work with some of those arrested.
“We coordinated our nighttime march with the Police Department, they were very professional,” said Bill Hackwell, organizer for the ANSWER coalition. “But the crowd naturally grew as people got off work, and that’s when the police began acting very aggressively.”
Hackwell said police were bumping into the crowd with motorbikes, pushing protesters into traffic lanes on Valencia and Mission streets. “They wanted to flex their muscle and send a big strong message that they were in charge,” he said.
Police officials, however, justified the department’s response, saying large demonstrations are unpredictable. [Go here for the rest of article.]