There were nine of us, who came from different parts of Oregon, to participate in the three-day events in DC. We all walked in the massive march on Saturday; on Monday two in our group chose to participate in the civil disobedience action.
About 10AM Monday morning, our group walked over to Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House. By 12:30 marching groups from Camp Casey and another from the Laity and Clergy group converged onto the park with great cheers from the rest of us. By now, we were about 1,000 strong. Those, who planned to be arrested, wore placards around their necks bearing the names of deceased soldiers; they also carried the names of Iraqi dead, many of them children. Hugging and thanking the strangers, who were about to be arrested, I found myself sobbing.
About 1:30PM, those, who were participating in the 'arrest event', walked to the sidewalk next to the White House fence on Pennsylvania Ave. All of us behind the barricades watched the soon-to-be arrested sing and chant and wave back to us smiling as we continued to to cheer them on. They all seemed to have a kind of calmness, a radiance, which we all felt.
The entire event took on a surreal feel: the police standing around chatting and laughing, while other cops were pulling out masses of plastic handcuffs. When the arrests started, many of us found ourselves crying. Watching each person quietly and calmly be handcuffed, with the ensuing padding down, taking off shoelaces, taking out earrings - even hair bands, followed with a picture taking, I found myself raging. And still those, who we watched bear these indignities, were incredibly peaceful. As each person was either walked to the bus or carried (each participant was asked if they wanted to walk or be 'assisted' to the bus), we gave them a huge cheer with many shouting "Thank you, we love you". The crowd would often chant, "This is what a patriot looks like".
About 5PM, it was all done. The last bus drove away. Many stayed to the very end to make sure that all, who were arrested, were supported. It was a long afternoon; many people were physically and emotionally drained. We were to find out the next morning, however, that the arrested withstood long hours of sitting on the bus with their hands still handcuffed. At the precinct, they were crammed into small cells, in which no one could lay down or hardly sit down. And finally, most of them were not released until 4AM in the morning in a part of town where buses were not running and taxis would not come. And all of this for a misdemeanor fine!