Exclusive: Report from Cindy Sheehan arrest

News & Politics
The following is from an email written to PEEK by Missy Comley Beattie who is asking for public support for her April 26, 2006 trial in Manhattan. You can read her moving account of losing a nephew in Iraq, here.

On March 6, I was arrested with Cindy Sheehan, Rev. Patricia Ackerman, and Medea Benjamin at the US Mission to the UN.

We had an appointment to deliver a petition, signed by over 100,000 women from all over the world who want an end to war. This was arranged through Peggy Kerry, liaison for Non Government Organizations -- Medea's Global Exchange is one recognized by the UN. The Iraqi Women's Delegation walked with us. Earlier that morning, they had been received at the UN andthen held a press conference in which they told their heart-wrenching stories of what they're enduring under American occupation. They actually said they were better off with Saddam Hussein.

As we approached the building, police officers descended and attempted to block us on a public sidewalk. We continued. Security agents at the mission told us we would be arrested if we didn't leave. They locked the doors to prevent our entry. Four of us sat down. We didn't want to be arrested. Cindy and Medea were to accompany the Iraqi women to Washington that afternoon. We, finally, asked a security guard to take the petition inside for us but that was refused.

We moved from the window to begin reading the petition to our supporters and the press. Suddenly, arresting officers arrived and roughly cuffed and carried us to the paddy wagon. We spent over 20 hours in jail and have been charged with Resisting Arrest, Obstructing of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree, Trespassing, and Disorderly Conduct.

Cindy suffered a mild concussion and a torn rotator cuff as she was pulled and bounced along the pavement. I have a large bruise on my right breast. Both of us have been seen by physicians.

We four maintain that we committed no crimes and that our First Amendment rights were denied. Further, the spokesman for the US Mission misrepresented our intent and was quoted in several newspapers, including the New York Times.

My nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Comley was killed in Iraq on August 6, 2005.

Our arrest occurred seven months to the day from his death. My decision to walk with the women, and then to sit after we realized that our appointment was abruptly canceled, was an act of conscience. For George Bush to tell America that our soldiers are fighting and dying for our freedoms is an outrage and a lie. Our troops no longer believe their commander-in-chief. The arrest and lockup confirms that the Bush Administration is the real threat to our liberties.

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