Four of us were arrested in Kent, Ohio on Sunday May 4, 2008

by on May 6, 2008 · 10 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Organizing, Peace Movement, War and Peace

By Yvette Coil

I tried to think of a way to open this letter without sounding as if we invented the wheel on “how to get arrested protesting.” So please don’t think that’s what I’m writing about.
It has taken me a long while to type this out, as my right arm, my writing hand, has a pinched nerve from the zip ties that were put on me Sunday.

Four of us were arrested Sunday; Aaron Brooks, Sable Foster, Bill Arthrell and myself. Bill is a Cleveland inner city history teacher, KSU graduate. He is fine and he can take care of himself and his court costs. Aaron and Sable are less fortunate in that they might not be able to take care of thier own court costs. That’s why I’m writing. Aaron is a local musician, a member of Kent State Anti-War Committee and a very good friend of mine. Sable is a KSU student and a member of KSU’s Womens Liberation Collective.

Both Aaron and Sable took a stand Sunday to say enough is enough in regards to war. Aaron, some of you might recall, played some music on the patio during the end of Winter Soldier. He was with me and the other 4 Kent State students who have family in the military, or are veterans themselves, that attended Winter Soldier in March.

You will have your opinions on whether or not we should have done what we did and I respect that. I just felt you should know that Kent, with its rich activist history, still has state employees who would love to erase what happened on May 4, 1970, and as of last Sunday are still practicing injustice in the name of the law.

We are all due in court on Thursday at 8:15 am.

As far as protesting and getting arrested, the three of us agree that the question we had to ask ourselves is “if not now, when?” I know I’m tired of going to protest march after protest march, leaving and seeing nothing change. I doubt what any of us did Sunday changed anything in the world, but I know it changed something in me. I am not afraid of jail, nor court, nor excessive fines. For the first time in my life I feel free.

I hope that watching the video I’m sending and reading the news article will help you ask yourself “If not now, when?”

[For the video and, go here.]

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Stu May 7, 2008 at 8:09 am

Interesting to read about Kent State these last few days I can’t say I had forgotten about the riots of those days but they had fallen to the deep recess of my brain. At the time I was at a small engineering school in Boston which had it share of protest. The City not the school. One thing happened at my school, full of engineers which I think is reflected in much of todays attitude. A day of protest and mourning was being declared at most of the campuses thoughout the city which has many. My school opted to have a vote as to how to deal with the day of mourning. The choices 1) attend class as if nothing had happened 2) have a day off, Yea holiday! or 3) have a day of morning and solidarity. Now remember this is a commuter technical college of middle class blue collar kids from Southie. The question how did the school vote.
I think that attitude is very apparent today. Lets get free money regardless of how it will effect us in the future and not worry or care about the rest. Apathy with a capital “A” Now I am not knocking folks for taking the free money or the day off, I’ll take it too but I am asking us to think about what effect the gift may have down the road.
What effect will giving every tax paying citizen $600 have on the overall economy Why not give every baseball team 2 runs before the game starts. It is a ploy to pacify and keep the population fat, dumb and happy or if not happy at least quiet and agreeable. Right up there with knocking $0.18 of the price of gas.
We had a day off.


anonanarchist May 7, 2008 at 9:05 am

Okay, arrests like this are allright. But until people turn up the heat on the banks and other companies that support this current war, it will not end. See what happened in Olympia last weekend. Bank windows trashed. More of that is needed.


KSAWC member May 7, 2008 at 9:24 am


Isaac Miller
Kent State Anti-War Committee member
Phone: 216-255-4603
E-mail: imil…

May 7, 2008


Kent, OH – Four activists charged with misdemeanors for protesting the
war on Iraq by occupying the Main St. bridge will appear in court May 8
at 8:15 a.m.

The Kent State Anti-War Committee is planning a campaign to have the
charges dropped. Members plan to pack the courtroom with supporters, as
well as hold a demonstration outside to defend the activists’ right of

For about two hours, starting around 2 p.m. on Sunday, a group of about
200 people occupied the bridge. Then, as the crowd dwindled, police
wearing riot helmets ordered the protesters off the bridge.

Yvette Coil, a Kent State student and the wife of a disabled veteran,
was injured during her arrest. When her hands were zip-tied together she
suffered a pinched or lacerated nerve. She was released soon after her
arrest to seek medical treatment. She is waiting to see if feeling comes
back in her hand.

Following the arrests, the remaining demonstrators marched to the police
station. They raised over $1000 in three hours to bail out their comrades.

Two of those charged, Yvette Coil and Aaron Brooks, are members of KSAWC.

In 2005, KSAWC launched a successful campaign to prevent the possible
expulsion of Iraq veteran Dave Airhart. The campaign attracted the
support of Cindy Sheehan and Howard Zinn, among others.



OB Joe May 7, 2008 at 10:29 am

Thanks for the updates, and keep them coming. We need to support those who sacrifice their freedom (temporarily) for these humane goals.


Molly May 7, 2008 at 11:37 am

For once I agree with you Joe (just kidding)


KSAWC member May 9, 2008 at 9:22 am

The four faced a fine of $1000 (a decrease from the original fine of $4000 they recieved in jail) and a misdemeanor 1 (failure to comply with a signal or order of a police officer) which carries a 180 jail sentence.

They will be going to pre-trial (as they all pleaded not guilty) on June 9 at 10:15 am. If you are near Kent, we would encourage you to attend and show your support.

You may also help by calling the court yourself and ask for Judge Plough and let him know what you think about this issue.

On May 8, almost 30 students and community members showed up at the courthouse to support the four. Some of the students stood outside and held signs that showed support for the four arrested.


scarlett zimmerman worriax July 11, 2008 at 9:20 am

i was in mr. arthrell’s history class several years ago. how can i get in touch with him??


Bill Arthrell December 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm


You want to get in touch with Mr. Arthrell! You just did! I read your blog by accident!
My e-mail is listed above and my home phone is 216-371-1184; my cell is: 216-355-1021.
How are you? What are you doing these days? I remember you fondly as a good kid and an intelligent student. As you can see I’m back in the Peace Movement. Get in touch.

Mr. “Danger” Arthrell


Bill Arthrell December 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm

My e-mail is:


Frank Gormlie July 11, 2008 at 11:30 am

Scarlette – here is the contact info we have:
Isaac Miller
Kent State Anti-War Committee member
Phone: 216-255-4603
E-mail: imil…


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