I was in Hartford, Connecticut yesterday where apparently (see second
article) the most arrests across the nation occurred. Only in America
does one get arrested for "trespassing" by laying down on the sidewalk.
Most of the out-of-state folks, who were largely part of the Colombia
action, are expected to be out of jail today.
ARRESTS---BREAKING NEWS---HARTFORD, CT---
Just got off the phone with ASEJ's Jason Ford in Hartford, CT who is
at the Colombia Mobilization Action at UTC-Sikorsky:
At least 5 people were arrested during a die-in in front of the UTC
building (4 Vermonters).
Six other people were inside UTC and were arrested (3 or 4
Vermonters)--they were all carried out of the building.
They were all part of the "Colombia Cluster" and a larger demo is
taking place right now at the Hartford Federal Building against
Details sketchy at this point but no one hurt. We hope to know more soon.
Sikorsky is the manufacturer of Black Hawk copters being used in Gulf
War II and in Colombia.
Action for Social and Ecological Justice
P.O. Box 57, Burlington, VT 05402 USA
(802) 863-0571 Mobile: (802) 598-8374
(802) 864-8203 Fax
ACERCA (Action for Community and Ecology in the Regions of Central
America), the GE Trees Campaign and Northeast Links are projects of
the Action for Social & Ecological Justice (ASEJ) collective.
Peace Activists Block Federal Building
By TINA A. BROWN And MATT BURGARD
Courant Staff Writers
March 25 2003
More than 100 anti-war demonstrators blocked the doors of the William R.
Cotter federal building early Monday morning, shutting out workers and
income-tax filers for more than four hours.
About half of the protesters at the federal building were arrested by
Hartford police, state Department of Correction officers and federal agents.
When another group of protesters demonstrated outside the United
Technologies Corp. building Monday morning, about 14 people there were
The number of people arrested, about 65 by day's end, was among the highest
totals from protests throughout the nation Monday. In a fifth day of
protests in San Francisco, 123 people were arrested at the federal building
and at the famed Transamerica Pyramid building. At the same time, there were
reports of grass-roots groups forming in California and other states to show
support for the troops.
Although peaceful, some of the demonstrators outside the federal building in
Hartford locked their arms together, lay on the ground and had to be carried
into police custody. Others walked away holding up peace signs. At the UTC
building on Main Street, protesters charged into the lobby of the building
and staged a mass "die-in" in which they slumped to the floor, some pouring
buckets of corn syrup, dyed red, on themselves to simulate blood. The
demonstrators, from a national grass-roots peace organization called Witness
For Peace, said they were protesting American corporate activity in support
of military operations in Colombia, Iraq and other Third World countries.
UTC makes Black Hawk helicopters being used in the war.
All protesters found blocking the doors and the parking garage at the
federal building were charged with trespassing, obstructing passage and
interfering with police. They were placed in two correction department buses
and brought to police headquarters on Jennings Road, said Capt. Michael
Fallon, commander of special operations for the Hartford Police Department.
"The demonstrations seem to be escalating in terms of how vocal and
resistant the protesters are," Fallon said.
At the federal building, the Rev. Catherine Alder led the group in songs
about achieving peace. And others chanted for the sake of "Iraq children."
Christopher Allen-Doucot of Hartford, an activist who traveled to Iraq
recently as a member of the peace group Voices in the Wilderness, yelled the
He sat at the front entrance of the building, just as would-be income-tax
filers were standing in line to enter the building. "The government offices
have been closed by agents of peace," Allen-Doucot said.
"Fifty people can't shut down the federal government. But we can shut down
the federal government in Hartford," he said later.
The Cotter building was targeted because the Internal Revenue Service has
offices there, he said.
Allen Jackson, 82, of Bloomfield, had the tallest sign denouncing police
brutality and the war in Iraq.
A World War II veteran, Jackson said that his son died in Vietnam. He said
he does not support a "war for oil."
"They want to help the big man. They don't care about us," Jackson said.
People waiting to get inside the building grew angry. But the protesters had
completely blocked the ground entrance. When the people went around the
back, demonstrators blocked the garage and two side entrances.
"Excuse me," yelled one woman in a red trench coat as she tried to climb
over a group sitting on the sidewalk. "I work here and you are preventing me
Others, carrying briefcases, hopped a metal railing. But they still couldn't
get through. A newspaper deliveryman, who tried more than once to push
through the demonstrators, dropped his papers on the stairwell and left.
Theresa and Jackson Morgan of East Hartford had taken the morning off to do
their income taxes. The demonstrations and the fact that they couldn't get
in the door upset them. "There is a time and place for everything. But this
isn't the time or the place," Theresa Morgan said.
Her husband said that once the war started, Americans were supposed to line
up in support of the troops. "We should be more united now, since we're in
there," Jackson Morgan said.
Fallon said that protests last week and Monday are sapping the department's
"It's been a long day," Fallon said.