View Full Version : Anti-war protesters arrested high above freeway

Sgt Sostand
02-19-03, 08:15 AM
2/18/03) — Anti-war protests in Houston are growing in number and intensity. If you traveled on the Southwest Freeway Tuesday morning, you may have found yourself trapped in traffic because of one. Police arrested two people, but not before they unfurled a huge banner.
The group "Students for Peace" openly acknowledges that Tuesday's action was illegal -- that, they say, is the point. They say acts of civil disobedience are essential to forcing the public to take another look at the prospect of war.

In home video taken by the demonstrators themselves, two protesters can be seen with mountaineering equipment. They attached themselves to cables supporting the Hazard street bridge and begin to climb. Eventually they unfurled a 12 by 20-foot banner reading "No war in our name." They expected to draw attention and they did -- from Houston police.

"The right thing to do is to negotiate in a peaceful manner internationally and open up dialogue, never close dialogue," yelled protester Tony Nocella as he was being arrested.

The banner was taken down. Twenty-six-year-old Tony Nocella and 24-year-old Sunshine Swallers were both taken to jail.

"We want everybody in Houston to have the courage… There's going to be a meeting at City Hall…" Swallers tried to get her point across.

They're charged with obstructing a highway or roadway -- a misdemeanor. The whole incident affected traffic flow along the Southwest Freeway during morning rush hour and may have contributed to several fender benders below it.

"We did very much realize that the people who were going up were likely to be arrested on something along the nature of criminal trespass to obstructing traffic," said Cameron Naficy of Students for Peace. "That is part of the action, breaking the law purposefully, because we think the point is something that needs to be out there."

Not everyone supports civil disobedience or opposes the war.

One man criticized the action. "Civil disobedience usually doesn't threaten other people's lives."

"I just agree with the President," said a Houston woman. "So whatever he decides to do, I'm supporting him."

Still, Students for Peace say you can expect to see more of the same in the future. Both of those arrested are still in custody. They face up to 180 days in jail and $2,000 in fines. The students say they will refuse to post bond and remain in jail to avoid paying money to the government

02-19-03, 08:42 AM
ARRESTED ??? What a waste of a prime Target Enriched Environment !! Damn !!

02-19-03, 09:45 PM
They did the same thing in Seattle, cept they erected a Pyamid out of steel pipes and hung out over the freeway, during eve. work traffic, needless to say the Washington State Troopers didnt seem to appriciate the gestures, neither did the 2000 workers trying to git home that nite,, some were arrested , however as was stated above, what a waste of prime targets, our Marines could have had live fire training.

02-19-03, 11:35 PM
C'mon, c'mon!
You shoot them, it's over. Where are OJ's lawyers when you need them? With a little bit of creativity, the protestors who caused/contributed to property damage (fender-benders) could spend a whole bunch of time and money paying off law suits. Excuse me, this sounds like a deliberate and conscious attempt to disrupt everyday activity, almost bordering on terrorism - Hey! they could have expressed their opinion with a banner on the side of the road and not distracted drivers (already distracted by cell-phones, make-up and battery powered shavers). Then again, that might be actionable too; maybe we should find the a-holes who sued Mc'ds for hot coffee.
Now, I like Thoreau, but I thought the right to dissent ended when someone's fist came near the end of someone's nose (O. W. Holmes?). Street-Theatre is not show, it is action and should be treated as such. You buy trouble, you pay for it! (Saddam, you listening?) These people deliberately caused a problem with bad results - they should deal with it. I doubt they had a permit. Next time they can waste their money going to Washington to protest leagally.