By Erin Cox and Ron Durham
February 13, 2007
On February 5, the Occupation Project, a sustained campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the Iraq war, began in Chicago. Eight activists were forcibly removed from the Chicago offices of Senators Durbin and Obama when they demanded the Senators vote against future war funding. On Monday, February 12, one week after being arrested for civil disobedience, three of the eight activists returned to Senator Durbin’s office. In returning, we hoped to demonstrate our commitment to the issue in Iraq with our consistent presence and determination to share our concerns with the Senator. We also felt it important to reconnect with the staff in order to recognize our common humanity in peaceful efforts to bring awareness, express ideas, and share concerns. We had no intentions of disrupting business in the office.
Each one of us had previously visited the office of Senator Durbin multiple times in groups or as individuals. Each time we had come to visit the office, which is open to and paid for by the public, the door had been open so that constituents could freely enter. This time however, we came upon a closed, locked door. On the outside of the glass door there was a sign that read “Meeting by appointment only.”