Anti-War Protests Continue on Friday

Daniel Ellsberg among those arrested

March 21 2003 IndyMedia Breaking News

Protests continued through the DC area today. Hundreds gathered near the White House for a noon protest, shutting down streets in a civil disobedience action that ended in about 25 arrests. Daniel Ellsberg, the former Pentagon employee who leaked the Pentagon Papers, was among those arrested.

The protesters included many women from Code Pink, who painted their faces and bodies with fake blood to reflect the death of innocent civilians that are inevitable in war. Some protesters carried symbolic caskets and pictures of Iraqis; others were drumming and chanting. Lafayette Park (next to the White House) is no longer closed, but anyone who appears to be a protester is not allowed to enter the park. There is an increased number of police in the area, including MPD, Park Police, and Secret Service.

Police presence is high in other parts of the city as well. Special units are parked in several locations near Dupont Circle. Officers are sitting around waiting for something to happen. Look for black Chevrolet Suburbans and unmarked white rental vans. All MPD officers are now working mandatory 12-hour shifts.

In Iraq today, four CNN reporters were told to leave Baghdad by Iraqi officials, who accused CNN of being a "propaganda tool to spread lies and rumors." Although many networks have already left Iraq for safety reasons, some British and American journalists remain in Baghdad and have not been asked to leave.

Ellsberg arrested - this time it's real

Author * Freedom Man
21 Mar 2003 IndyMedia

Ellsberg arrested in front of White House. WUSA-TV reporter doesn't do her homework. Disrupt establishment photographers at every chance.

Just back from the noon die-in in front of the White House at 16th Street and H Street.

Daniel Ellsberg once again showed up for the civil disobedience event as he had Thursday night. Interestingly, Ellsberg arrived late to find the protesters already staging their die-in in the middle of H Street. Ellsberg asked a television cameraman from local affiliate WUSA (Channel 9) if there had been any arrests. When the cameraman said no, Ellsberg weaved between the police officers surrounding the participants in the die-in and quickly jumped into the circle, laying down in the middle of the group.

About 20 minutes later, Ellsberg was picked up from the ground and escorted to a waiting Metro D.C. police paddy wagon. While the police were processing him before placing him in the vehicle, a clueless reporter from WUSA-TV named Phyllis Armstrong began interviewing the handcuffed Ellsberg. The first question out of her mouth was, "Do you support the troops?" The only part of Ellsberg's response that I could catch was, "Yes, I support the troops but...." She didn't even realize who Daniel Ellsberg was until her cameraman told her he was the one who released the Pentagon Papers. She asked Ellsberg how to spell his name and Ellsberg politely answered with a smirk.

(It's insane questions like, "Do you support the trooops?" and the general incompetence of the U.S. press that should lead to a direct action campaign against these government mouthpieces.)

After this wave of protesters was arrested and led to paddy wagons, a second wave of protesters started running down 16th Street from the direction of Farragut Square. They were able to successfully evade the police to take the place of the arrested protesters in the die-in on H Street. This group of protesters looked young -- probably teenagers or early 20-somethingers.

While they were being led to the paddy wagons, a gaggle of establishment press photographers started getting mad at a group of people standing in front of them, blocking their camera angle of the protesters getting arrested.

One supporter of the protesters was heard calling the establishment press photographers "cowards" and "lazy bums," unable to get off their fat asses to get a shot of the protest without telling people to move.

Another bystander was seen putting his hand over the lens of one establishment press photographer and berating him for being a jackass.