About 200 anti-war activists marched from the Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center today as the finishing touches were being put in place for the Republican national convention that starts Monday.
Steve Clemens, a Veterans for Peace member from Minneapolis, was among a handful of marchers who decided to commit civil disobedience by crossing into the area that is restricted to Republican party delegates, elected officials, party leaders or staff.
“We went under a security fence and police rushed us and then we were arrested,” Clemens said.
Most of those arrested were given citations for trespassing and were released within a couple hours, said Clemens. One person didn’t have identification and was taken into custody.
Clemens said he carried a letter he had written to President Bush telling him to “end this war immediately.” He said he was marching and protesting “in solidarity with the civilians of Iraq and the millions of refugees who have had to endure this violent attack and occupation of their homeland. I ask my fellow U.S. citizens to rise up nonviolently and refuse to allow this war to continue.”
Others arrested were David Harris, VFP member from Red Wing and former Air Force surgeon; Joel Weinberg of Northfield, Minn.; Dan Pearson, a member of the Voices for Creative Nonviolence group that marched from Chicago to St. Paul for the RNC protests, Sr. Betty McKenzie, St. Paul; Jeanne Hynes, a member of the Alliant Action group, and Mary Vaughan.
Names of two others weren’t immediately available.
VFP Chapter 115 in Red Wing organized the march.