In Eugene 18 were arrested including seven high school students, one WWII veteran and one Cold War era veteran. The citizens carrying out these actions stressed that in the face of the human cost of the war their consciences leave them no other choice than to take bold action.
In the groups statement to the press they explained the need to stop all funding now in this way:
Vietnam war history shows us that exit strategies accompanied by continued financial support for war are ineffective- mere illusions of action. In the case of Vietnam congress refusal to fund the war was the critical turning point. In this war the Bush Administration pledges to stay the course and leave military bases in Iraq indefinitely. This is why refusing funding is the only effective means congress has to stop the war and bring the troops home, by making it impossible for the Bush Administration to perpetrate this conflict. As patriotic Americans it is our duty to respond to our conscience by putting our bodies on the line for this.
At 10:30 a second contingent of the civil resisters group and their supporters gathered outside the building housing Wyden and DeFazios offices which are generally open each day without appointment. The Friday before Wydens office was called and the group was told by a staffer that the office would be open on Monday the 20th. However, when the group arrived with the camera crews and supporters in tow to deliver their statements to first Wyden and then DeFazios aids they were met with a sign on US Congress letterhead saying,
Senator Ron Wydens office is locked today at the request of the FEDERAL PROTECTIVE STERVICE. Congressional aides are available by phone Thank you for your patience while temporary security measures are in place.
After about 15 minutes the Eugene Police arrived and cited all 8 with criminal trespassing. By all accounts the Police were professional and respectful of the arrestees.
Also at the actions were over 30 people who stood in solidarity with those committing civil disobedience. This included local high school students-in-support, mothers, code pink women, Quakers, and other Eugene citizens with posters, photos of maimed Iraqis and soldiers, three 12 long banners detailing some of the American war crimes, and three flag-draped coffins. The local Civil Liberties group sent a legal observer who carefully documented the activists compliance with not blocking the entrance, and offered to testify on their behalf in court. Media people from two TV stations, and radio stations among other media were on hand, filming and interviewing.
The adults were cited with criminal trespass (ORS 164.245 2), and most of the high school students were let off with a warning.
In a statement prepared for Senator Wyden the group explained their actions in this way,
Civil Disobedience becomes appropriate and necessary in the face of a government deaf to public sentiment and lawful citizen protest. Over 60% of Americans have spoken in support of swift withdrawal of troops. And after 3 years of diligent peace activism on many fronts it is obvious that truth and sentiment alone will not bring an end to this war of aggression.
Remaining questions: What binds the staffers in the offices to follow the Federal Protective Service notice, if anything? And if the nation is so afraid of real terrorists why spend this kind of energy on citizens who have by all accounts of past actions proven themselves non-violent? Is what they have to say so dangerous?