Update Sunday 10:40 PM: Elliott Adams, president of Veterans for Peace, checked in with OpEdNews after spending two days atop a 92-foot scaffolding at the National Archives Building while calling for the arrest of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for war crimes.
He reported that late Sunday afternoon, four members of Homeland Security climbed the scaffolding while cutting down their banner. Two members of the group were sent down to negotiate with the agents. They were promptly handcuffed leading to reports from the ground that the group was under arrest. They eventually negotiated to get all of their equipment and end the occupation of the building.
According to Adams, a former Army paratrooper in Viet Nam, the National Archives security team was not pleased when they discovered the group was going to be released by Homeland Security. They, in turn, called in the Metro Police force to have them arrested. By the time the paddy wagon arrived, the group was already crossing the street. The director of the Archives security has informed them that he will be going to court in an attempt to have a bench warrant issued for their arrest.
Update Sunday 6:45 PM: Call from Veterans for Peace member, Tony Teolis. Word is the group is on its way to the home of a fellow VFP for a hot dinner and well-deserved rest.
Update/Correction Sunday 5:45 PM: Conversation with Linda Morselli from the ground at the National Archives. According to Linda, the veterans have come down from the building, but have not been arrested.
Washington, DC Sunday 4:45 PM
Seven veterans and the mother of USMC Sgt. James Brower serving his third tour in Iraq have been sitting atop a 92-foot high scaffolding at the National Archives Building since yesterday.
Accompanied by National Archives security, Homeland Security officers began climbing the scaffolding bearing knives and cutting down the banners that had hung since yesterday. A conversation ensued and all descended from the building.
The veterans and military mother had been occupying the Archives building since early Saturday morning to demand that President Bush and Vice President Cheney be arrested and charged as war criminals. Having endured a day of rain, high winds and hail yesterday the protesters pledged to sustain their efforts at least until Monday.
Members of Veterans for Peace who have been keeping watch on the ground were surprised by this sudden action and those that I spoke to were unsure of what to expect or whether they would be arrested.
Yesterday, the head of Archives security offered the group the chance to come down without consequences. They refused this offer and were told that they could expect to receive bench warrants.
Thanks to Tony Teolis for the videos:
OpEdNews will continue to update.