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ANTIWAR ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AT THE WHITE HOUSE WILL CONTINUE THEIR TRIAL ON THURSDAY IN FEDERAL COURT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
By Max Obuszewski
Some twenty antiwar activists held a demonstration on a rainy Wednesday morning outside U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia at 3rd & Constitution Ave. The demonstration preceded the third trial resulting from more than 370 arrests at the White House on September 26, 2005, when activists gathered to seek a meeting to discuss an end to the war in Iraq.
The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] and United For Peace & Justice organized the largest mass action in U.S. Park Police history, and around thirty of the arrestees appeared January 18 in federal court. Several of them had their charges dismissed, three arrestees paid the fine and one defendant was granted a continuance.
Court observers who attended the first two trials sensed a different climate in Judge Deborah Robinson’s courtroom. In contrast to the other judges, she did not want to treat this case as a criminal matter and suggested that those arrested not be called defendants. Both Angela George, the prosecutor, and Mark Goldstone, the attorney advisor, opposed this concept. Mark was concerned that certain rights inherent in a criminal case would be lost. So we did witness the beginning of a criminal trial.
The judge also offered defendants an opportunity to plea “nolo contendre,