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13 arrested at Capitola military recruiting offices

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13 arrested at Capitola military recruiting offices

<www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2003/March/22/local/stories/01local.htm>

March 22, 2003
By CATHY REDFERN
Sentinel STAFF WRITER

CAPITOLA -- Police backed by a sheriff’s tactical team arrested 13 protesters who blocked the entrances to military recruiting offices Friday.
It was the first time since protests began earlier this month that officers in the county arrested a significant number of demonstrators opposing war on Iraq.
The protesters were loaded into a van and taken to County Jail after refusing to disperse their blockade of the offices on 41st Avenue near Clares Street, Lt. Pat White of the Capitola Police Department said.
Witnesses spoke of an alarming swarm of “SWAT team members,” but police said it was quite cordial.
“They chose to be civilly disobedient,” White said. “It was very low-key, just some chanting and singing. It was a good crowd.”
The activists were cited for trespassing and released from County Jail within an hour.
White estimated 100 protesters gathered outside the four recruiting offices starting about 9 a.m.
Neil Mick was one of those arrested.
“It’s the first time I’ve been arrested,” the Santa Cruz martial arts teacher said. “They were very polite. But I’m sure as the war heats up, the courtesy will slack off.”
One woman carried a “Peace Recruiting Center” display with a pamphlet urging recruits to “think seriously about when you believe it is justified to kill another person.”
Recruiters got a heads-up about the event and stayed away from the offices.
But Petty Officer Dan Hebert, a Navy recruiter, said he saw the tail end of the protest, just after he heard a radio broadcast about the first Marines killed by enemy fire.
“Every man and woman in the military supports free speech, and that’s cool, but this is a voluntary service,” he said. “It kind of hinders the rights of Americans who want to join. It’s hypocritical.
“This is not Vietnam,” he said. “We’re not drafting anyone.”
Activist Nina Hyatt, who lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, said she joined the protest to support world opinion in condemning the “U.S. invasion.”
“We support the troops completely,” she said. “We want them home safe. But I oppose the use of violence to solve problems.”
Joanna Hostetler of Santa Cruz said she learned of the protest through the Resource Center for Nonviolence. Her 19-year-old daughter, Emily, came with her.
“I don’t expect the government to listen, but it’s extremely important to continue to send a message,” she said. “My conscience brought me here today.”
Retired Navy officer Bruce Harris of Watsonville came into the office Friday to show his support for those serving in the military.
He said he remembers being spat on and called “baby killer” by protesters in San Francisco when he returned from Vietnam.
“In my opinion, we really need to support our troops,” he said.
Lt. White said the recruiting offices have been in the city for at least 15 years, previously on Capitola Road. A March 5 protest was the largest he had seen there in his 27 years with the Capitola force, he said. That protest was slightly larger than Friday’s.
Julie Ferreira, an owner of Emerald Iguana salon in the same plaza as the recruiting offices, said protesters and yellow crime tape made her an hour late to work Friday.
“It was interesting,” she said. “I’m supportive of them, until they start disrupting businesses. We need to service our clients and the SWAT team is a little intimidating.”
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Contact Cathy Redfern at credfern (at) santa-cruz.com.
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The following people were arrested Friday for trespassing at the four military recruiting stations in Capitola. They cited and released on misdemeanor charges, which carry a maximum fine of $400 and/or 90 days in jail.

Nan Beltran
Linda Paulette Crouse
Sharon Elizabeth Delgado
Alan Christopher Fisher
Cary Gillett Friedman
Lesley Reid Harrison
Nina Johnson Hyatt
Robert Norris Kahn
Joyce Ellman McLean
Perri Donn MacLaurin
Neil Michael Mick
Sherri Lynn Paris
Howard Leonard Schneider

Source: Capitola Police Department

 
 


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