A charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor against the mother of a 12-year-old war protester has been dropped.
Frankie Hughes, daughter of Renee Lynn Espeland, 49, of Des Moines, was charged last Wednesday with trespassing when she allegedly refused to leave U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s office in downtown Des Moines.
The following morning police wrote a misdemeanor ticket to Espeland for contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly encouraging and contributing to her daughter’s arrest.
The group met with the staffs of both senators on April 6th, and on April 8th, seventy-five people attended an action at Senator Franken’s office. They began the action by reading the names of soldiers from Minnesota and civilians from Afghanistan that have been killed during the U.S. war and occupation of Afghanistan. A group of about 15 then went into the offices of the Senator while others symbolically ‘threw shoes at the occupation’ and participated in a ‘die-in’ in front of the building.
Photo by ANDREA MELENDEZ/THE REGISTERBy Brian Terrell
April 9, 2010
Des Moines—On Wednesday afternoon, April 7, Christine Gaunt, 53, of Grinnell, Iowa, and Frankie Hughes, 12, of Des Moines, were arrested for trespass in the Des Moines offices of Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Chris and Frankie were in Harkin’s office as participants in the Peaceable Assembly Campaign (PAC), a national campaign seeking an end to the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and an end to U.S. support of the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories. Each Thursday afternoon since October 29, Iowans participating in the campaign have hand delivered petitions to the offices of Senators Grassley and Harkin encouraging them to sponsor and vote for legislation consistent with the campaign’s goals that include ending the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, ending military aid to Israel and converting excessive military spending to human needs abroad and in the U.S.
On entering the Dane County Jail, the first holding cell that Brian Terrell and I were placed in had only one other person. We previously saw this man outside the cell during our initial booking. He was a man with dark black skin and a full beard. I thought I heard one of the officers say he was from Gambia. When we entered the cell, the man was in mid-ritual in what appeared to be a Muslim’s midday prayer. A young white guard, who had the accent of a Midwesterner, looked disdainfully at the man and then somewhat positively at Brian and me. The guard said, “Just ignore that,” as if the man was insulting or threatening us by his peaceful act of prayer. To which I replied, “It’s fine with me.”
Today’s hearing before Judge Magistrate Stephen Crocker in US District Court was a re-sentencing motion filed by the government against the two for failure to pay the $75 fine imposed by the court in a bench trial last January. Judge Crocker began by hearing from Terrell on his motion opposing the re-sentencing. Terrell argued that it would be improper to impose a jail sentence at this stage since jail was not a sentence that could have been imposed at the time of the original sentencing under the Monroe County trespassing ordinance. (In the bench trial before Judge Crocker in January 2009, for instance, defendants were not offered representation by public counsel, specifically because jail time was not a potential consequence for the alleged crime.)
Washington D.C. – The Twin Cities Peace Campaign and other Minnesota peace groups, aligned with the Peaceable Assembly Campaign, organized a civil disobedience action today, in Washington, D.C. 13 nonviolent activists were arrested in front of the White House protesting US militarism. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., over thirty participants read names of 77 Minnesotans killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with the names of Iraqis and Afghans killed in the U.S. wars. After each name was read, a bell was rung and the participants said “We Remember You.” A banner that read, “Occupation” was pelted with shoes inscribed with anti war slogans. Finally, the 13 walked onto the sidewalk and laid down in remembrance of the war dead. Father William Pickard anointed the “dead” with olive oil.
The Washington D.C. Park Police arrested all 13 lying on the pavement. Vickie Andrews, John Braun, Marie Braun, Lori Blanding, Ward Brennan, Stephen Clemens, Diane Haugesag, Maxine McNamara, Ceylon Mooney, Joe Palen, Mary Percich, Father William Pickard and Cornelia Sullivan were first taken to the Anacostia Police station. Then they were transported to Washington D.C. District 1 police station only to be taken later to the Washington D.C. lock up. They have been told they will remain there until they appear before a judge on January 27, 2010.
VIDEOS OF THE ACTION
“Obama is the Arms-Exporter-In-Chief!”
Minnesotan’s for Peace Participate in the Peaceable Assembly Campaign
By Keith L. Alexander Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, January 25, 2010; 3:03 PM
It’s a familiar scene for Eve Tetaz. She sits in the cold, damp holding cell, crammed together with other women. Some, like her, were arrested for protesting. Others are locked up for drugs, assault or prostitution.
The other women in the D.C. jail affectionately call her grandma. Her cellmates, or as she calls them, her “sisters in chains,” let her sleep on the bottom bunk so the 78-year-old doesn’t have to climb to the top. Instead of letting her stand in line to get her jail-issued bologna or cheese sandwiches, many of the women bring them to her. “These are women I probably even wouldn’t see passing on the street. They are very gracious to me,” Tetaz says.
Today at 10:00 AM, the Gaza Freedom march converged on Midan Tahrir, or Liberation Square in English. This was no easy task for the marchers. We left in small groups to avoid being followed by police who were monitoring our hotels. Several of the larger hotels were monitored more closely, and the Lotus Hotel was completely barricaded, making it impossible for most of the Marchers to leave.
Cairo-Last night, through a deal negotiated with Suzanne Mubarak, the Egyptian government stated that 100 of the 1300 Gaza Freedom March delegates could enter Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid. This seemingly compassionate gesture may represent an attempt to put a friendly face on an oppressive Egyptian regime led by Mrs. Mubarak’s husband, Hosni Mubarak.
The deal was put on the table early last evening with a short deadline for acceptance. Gaza Freedom March coordinators quickly accepted the deal. However, after much deliberation with both the larger group and Palestinian coordinators inside Gaza, the coordinators agreed to reject the Egyptian offer.
On Monday, 85 year old Hedy Epstein began a hunger strike as a modest gesture to call upon the Egyptian government to let us go to Gaza and for the end of the seige of Gaza. Hedy is a Holocaust survivor and her decision immediately inspired at least twenty two others of us to join her.