Posted by CODEPINK Staff
ST. PAUL -- The four CODEPINK activists arrested on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct Wednesday here were processed and released with a couple hours.
The women, Desiree Fairooz, 52, of Arlington, TX, Toby Blome, 53 of El Cerrito, Cali., Kit Siemen, 50, of Quilcene, WA and Nancy Mancias, 38, of San Francisco, said they were taken to a warehouse in the city designated for arrested demonstrators where they were processed with the misdemeanor charges and searched. They were released at about 7 p.m.
In protest of the war and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's pro-war and pro-drilling positions, the CODEPINK women had been singing and dancing in crowns, sashes and pink clothing down Market St., when police surrounded them and began to push them up onto the sidewalk and against a metal fence set up in the plaza. The women complied but continued to be pushed to the side and were told clear out. In symbolic sign of civil disobedience, saying free speech cannot be caged and all of America is a free speech zone, the four women tried to crawl under the fence. Police pulled them through to the other side and arrested them.
"We are proud of the CODEPINK women who did civil disobedience to show their outrage at the Bush and McCain policies and the nomination of Sarah Palin," said co-founder Medea Benjamin. "In the face of over 100 riot police they put their bodies on the line as a show of their determination to elect leaders in this country who stand for peace."
Until the arrest, the group had been protesting and police had been responding peacefully. They gathered near the St. Paul Hotel with banners reading "Palin is not a woman's choice" and "End the occupation now" and singing songs like "We are ready for a peaceful world" and marched, with dozens of police close by, down Market St. when they turned around and marched back to the intersection of Market and 5th.
Police officials told the activists they would receive in the mail a court date.
Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517
Jodie Evans, 310-621-5635
Jean Stevens, 508-769-2138