On Friday, July 28, 2006, five Troops Home Fast activists, four of whom have been on a hunger strike for 25 days, were arrested yesterday for demonstrating without a permit after they blocked an entrance to the White House during British Prime Minister Tony Blair's meeting with President Bush. Click here to read the full article in the Washington Post by Audrey Edwards.
The activists who were arrested are: Diane Wilson, Ret. Col. Ann Wright, Father Louis Vitale, Martha Odom, and Eve Tetaz. Fasters were chanting “Block Blair In” and “Stop the War” and were calling on Blair to stand up to Bush and work towards a withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq. Fasters blocked the White House gate for over an hour, as hundreds of supporters and tourists watched, cheered, and called Congress on their cell phones to ask for the troops to come home. Police slowly moved into the area, blocked it off with their patrol cars and caution tape, and made the public onlookers move back into Lafayette Park. By the time they made the arrests, pedestrians were sectioned off to the back half of the park.
The sit-in followed a morning of demonstrations aimed at calling attention to Blair's ongoing support of the occupation of Iraq. Emphasizing that Blair is acting like Bush's lap dog, or "poodle," demonstrators carried a giant pink poodle made of balloons, and smaller stuffed animal poodles, and paraded dogs with Blair masks in front of the White House gates. Before the arrest, Diane Wilson said, "We're giving Blair a little human acupuncture with our pink presence here today: we're propping up his backbone and urging him to listen to the people and stand up to Bush!"
Click here to see video coverage of this action on Truth Out with a report by Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez.
Click here to see photos of the action on the Yellow Cake Walk website.