Eastern Iowans arrested in Bush protest
By Christoph Trappe
Friday, October 15, 2004, 10:07:35 PM
CEDAR RAPIDS - Mary Campbell, a 56-year-old grandmother, said she was shaking just minutes before she crossed into the security zone outside the U.S. Cellular Center and was arrested by police about noon Friday before President Bush's appearance.
Campbell, of Bertram; Maggie Swanson, 33, of 420 Ninth Ave., Marion; and Charlotte Martin, 41, of 521 23rd St. NE, were arrested by Cedar Rapids police for interference with official acts. They were booked into the Linn County Jail and bailed out by a friend about two hours later.
The three wanted to show they would go to jail for their beliefs about what's wrong with Bush's administration.
"I've had enough,'' Campbell said outside the arena where Bush spoke about two hours later. "We can't give into fear.''
Martin, a professor of religious studies at Mount Mercy College, said the women's act of "civil disobedience'' was to show that Bush is trying to win the Nov. 2 election with "manufactured fear.''
They pointed at the city's heavy equipment parked in front of the center.
They "are a prop to the nation's picture that somebody with an explosive-filled van'' will drive up, said Martin. "That's just an exaggeration of fear here in Cedar Rapids.''
The three walked between two graders into the security zone on the sidewalk in front of the center. They were told to get out of the security zone, which was off-limits to the public.
When they didn't they were arrested and taken to jail.
If convicted of interference, they face up to a $100 fine and 30 days in jail.
All local content copyright © 2004 by The Gazette Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa