Protesters arrested near Bush's Ranch
About four hours after the group pitched six tents and huddled in sleeping bags and blankets, McLennan County sheriff's deputies arrested them for criminal trespassing. Many in the group held up signs, including one that said "Give me liberty or give me a ditch."
A dozen or so other demonstrators left the public right of way after deputies warned them they would be arrested.
The protest was set to coincide with Bush's Thanksgiving ranch visit.
The arrests were made by more than two dozen deputies who calmly approached the demonstrators in their tents and asked if they wanted to walk out on their own or be carried. Two chose to be carried. They were to be taken to jail for booking.
Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam war, estimated it was his 70th arrest for various protests since the 1970s.
"Those of us who finally saw through the Vietnam war saw through this war, and all the actions that were necessary to end the Vietnam war will be necessary here," Ellsberg said Wednesday before his arrest. "I think the American people will get us out of this (war)."
Ellsberg became famous for his release of the secret documents, which indicated the government had deceived the public about whether the Vietnam war could be won and the extent of casualties.
Also arrested Wednesday was Ann Wright, who resigned her post as a senior diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia in 2003 in protest of the war with Iraq.
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan wasn't among the protesters Wednesday because of a family emergency in California, but she planned to be at the camp later in the week.
"We are proud to be here," Dede Miller, Sheehan's sister, said hours before her arrest as she huddled in a blanket at the campsite. "This is just so important. What we did in August really moved us forward, and this is just a continuation of it."
In August, hundreds of demonstrators camped off the road during a 26-day protest led by Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. But a month later, county commissioners banned camping in any county ditch and parking within 7 miles of the ranch, citing safety and traffic congestion issues.
Earlier this week, three demonstrators filed a federal lawsuit against McLennan County over the two local bans.
During the last several weeks of their summer protest, the activists had camped on a private one-acre lot that a sympathetic landowner let them use. That land is about a mile from Bush's ranch.
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I have the biggest respect for the anti-war protesters and always will. I feel as if they see this war for what it really is, Bush's vietnam. Maybe not the same extent as Vietnam, but all the same game, the same government corruption, the same propaganda, just a different "enemy".
That's what the World Can't Wait Campaign is doing, protesting not only the war but the Bush administration and its lies and broken promises. Look at Katrina and its horrible response, look at the attack on women's rights and LGBT individuals, look at the condonment of tortue, look at the denial of scientific research and the dogmatic response involved in critical decisions involving people's well beings and identities. There has been a lot the Bush administration that has done that cannot be generalized in a few paragraphs, and the destruction of American lives over a lost cause, all these deaths are in vain. The thousands of innocent Iraqi women, men, and children.
We need our troops out now, we need a real force of people to say that this has to stop, the lies, the deceit, the hatred, prejudice, bigotry, it has to stop. And thats what the World Cant Wait Campaign is about. Go to www.worldcantwait.net for more information and local contact information for the Greensboro, NC chapter or whatever chapter is closet to you.