61 arrested in DC

IssueNovember 2009
News by Polina Aksamentova

Waves of anti-war protests hit major and minor cities across the US throughout October. About 180 demonstrators marched to the White House on 5 October, carrying signs like: “Yes we can: US out of Afghanistan.”

After 15 activists chained themselves to the fence, police officers and secret service agents began clearing the sidewalk and yelling warnings. Some 61 people were arrested. The organisers from 27 states wished this pre-protest to inspire others for the 7 October demonstrations, marking the eighth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. Many left Washington for events in Austin, Chicago and San Francisco.

In New York, on 7 October, about 150 people gathered in Grand Central Station during rush hour. Although no permit was obtained, the police did not try to disperse the demonstration. Meanwhile in Rochester, New York state, site for one of 25 nationwide campus protests organised by Students for a Democratic Society, 12 of the 60 participants were arrested for marching without a permit.

And during the weekend of 17-18 October, events were held in 50 cities across the US as part of a national day of peace action.