University of Iowa students were among the 11 anti-war protesters who were arrested for staging a sit-in outside senior Senator Charles Grassley's office in Cedar Rapids. It appears the good Senator would not answer their phone calls, so they thought they would wait for him and speak personally to him about further funding of the war. Grassley, one of the inplacable Republicans still "staying the course," apparently believed that his staged public events were public enough for these raggamuffins. See the Daily Iowan for more.
The Des Moines Register and WHO TV report similar actions in the Iowa capital city where at least seven protesters were cited.
From Radio Iowa
Grassley was flying from Iowa back to Washington, D.C. at the time, after holding 17 town meetings across Iowa during the past week while Congress was on break.
Grassley says "There isn't a town meeting I had that we didn't have a non-emotional discussion of Iraq including people that were there from this group and for some reason or other, they saw it necessary to repeat the effort by coming to my office." The seven protesters were reportedly members of a group taking part in what's called the Occupation Project, which advocates non-violent demonstrations.
Grassley says they planned to remain in his office until he consented to vote against President Bush's request for supplemental funding for American troops in Iraq. He says "They were planning on just sitting in until I agreed to something." Grassley says.
From the CR Gazette 2/28
The 11 people who were arrested for protesting at the offices of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, were charged Tuesday with criminal trespass in Linn County District Court. Seven of those charged are Iowans. Here are the names of all who were charged: Andrew J. Alemao, 19, of Cedar Falls; Joshua E. Casteel, 27, of 1242 Second Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids; Frank J. Cordaro, 56, of Des Moines; Megan R. Felt, 19, of 2401 Highway 6 E., Iowa City; Timothy L. Gauger, 36, of Eugene, Ore.; David A. Goodner, 26, of 4649 Running Deer Ct. NE, Iowa City; John P. Hornbeck, 25, of 321 Hawkeye Ct., Iowa City; Ryan D. Merz, 20, of Maple Plain, Minn.; Conor A. Murphy, 29, of Madison, Wis.; Rosemary M. Persaud, 47, of 522 Rundell St., Iowa City and Justin N. Riley, 19, of Crystal, Minn. According to the court complaint, the defendants refused to leave the federal Courthouse at 101 First St. SE after it was closed, after they were told to leave several times and after they were given a trespass warning.