October 8, 2011
Protest of War Shuts Museum in Washington By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Air and Space Museum was closed Saturday
after antiwar demonstrators tried to enter the building to protest a drone
exhibit, and at least one person was pepper-sprayed.

A spokesman for the Smithsonian, John Gibbons, said a large group of
demonstrators, estimated at 100 to 200 people, arrived at about 3 p.m. and
tried to enter the museum. When a security guard stopped the group from
entering, saying they could not bring in signs, the demonstrators apparently
held him, Mr. Gibbons said. A second guard arrived and used pepper spray on
at least one person, and the crowd dispersed.

A number of groups have been demonstrating in the city in the past week. The
group at the museum Saturday included people affiliated with the October
2011 Stop the Machine <> demonstration, which has
been taking place in Freedom Plaza in protest of war and what the group
calls corporate greed. It also included protesters affiliated with Occupy
D.C. <>, which is modeled on Occupy Wall
Street<> in
New York.

Legba Carrefour, who is working with Occupy D.C., said a number of people
joined the march to the museum after an afternoon meeting of the group.

A 19-year-old woman from Madison, Wis., was arrested, according to Ann
Wilcox, a lawyer working with Stop the Machine. The woman paid a fine and
was released Saturday.

Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is
no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
                                                  --John Kenneth Galbraith