Friday, November 25, 2005

Antiwar Protesters Arrested Near Bush Ranch

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Among those arrested Wednesday were Daniel Ellsberg and the sister of Cindy Sheehan. Their crime: camping on a roadside near President Bush's ranch in violation of a new ordinance. The group timed their protest to coincide with Bush's arrival at his ranch to celebrate Thanksgiving.

"After the August protests, McLennan County commissioners passed a new ordinance that prohibits parking and camping in the ditches along the winding two-lane roads leading to Bush's ranch.

The protesters have been invited by a local rancher to camp on his land, where they have erected a large white tent and hung a banner that says 'No Pardon for Crawford's Turkey.' But they have also challenged the constitutionality of the county's new rules. On Wednesday, a small group set up tents in the early morning hours on the small patch of public land that had been dubbed Camp Casey in August, after Sheehan's 24-year-old son, a soldier."

"'The ordinance was very plainly meant to prevent people from protesting in front of Bush's ranch,'" Dave Jensen, 54, a former Marine and a protester who witnessed the arrests, said. "'We feel that's a First Amendment issue. It's intentionally designed to curtail freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.'"


PHOTO: Daniel Ellsberg, second from right, and other antiwar activists were arrested by McLennan County sheriff's deputies near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex. (By Evan Vucci-Associated Press)

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