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PEACE ACTIVISTS OCCUPY HUCKABEE’S IOWA CAMPAIGN OFFICE


Protesters ask former Baptist minister, “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”
By Mike Ferner

Des Moines – With 40 percent of Iowa’s Republican caucus voters expected to come from the ranks of conservative Christians, peace activists occupied Mike Huckabee’s campaign headquarters in Iowa’s capital city today with signs asking the former Baptist minister, “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

Eight members of the Iowa Occupation Project and Voices for Creative Nonviolence arrived at Huckabee’s Locust St. campaign office early Monday afternoon, waiting for the former Arkansas governor’s reply to a letter delivered two months ago that sought his pledge to completely withdraw from Iraq within 100 days of assuming office; halt all military actions against Iraq and Iran; fund the rebuilding of Iraq as well as health, education and infrastructure needs in the U.S.; and “…the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefits for veterans of our country’s Armed Services.”

Brian Terrell, director of the Catholic Peace Ministry in Des Moines, said approximately 35 reporters, including a number of international journalists, were at Huckabee’s office during the protest.

Terrell said in addition to the “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” banner, the eight protesters held signs that read, “End Iraq War” and “No War with Iran,” sang the refrain from “Auld Lang Syne,” chanted ‘Who Would Jesus Bomb?’ and then read names of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers killed in the war.

Sgt. Vincent Valdez of the Des Moines Police Department said officers responded to an early afternoon complaint from the Huckabee Campaign office and arrested Robert Braam, Mona Shaw and Kathy Kelly, on charges of trespassing. He said the three were among a group “holding signs, singing and reading aloud, basically making a disturbance.” Valdez said the officers had no trouble making the arrests and the three were taken to the Polk County jail.

In a news release issued earlier by the Des Moines Catholic Worker, Kelly, co-director of VCNV, was quoted as saying, “We’re very respectful of the Iowa caucus process and the long history behind it but we feel quite strongly that the issues of this war must be inserted into the process of narrowing down the candidates for the presidential election.”

Huckabee spokesperson, Eric Woolson, could not be reached for comment after several attempts.

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A video of the action is posted on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrjecBEX1HQ

I am glad to see my fellow Americans taking nonviolent direct action to challenge this criminally waged aggressive occupation of Iraq. Prominent members of the Bush Administration have trampled the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles, as well as our very own Constitution of the USA.

The 'war' on Iraq deserves to be the #1 campaign issue. The effects of the war are far reaching, and will continue to be felt in virtually every aspect of life in America for many years. Civil resistance to the 'war' is justified and appropriate.

Thank you to those who courageously took part in this action.

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