Three days of passionate demonstrations, both for and against the war in Iraq, culminated Monday with the arrest of protesters at the White House--among them, a prominent anti-war activist.
Demanding that U.S. troops be brought home from Iraq, dozens of protesters engaged in what they called mass civil disobedience at the White House Monday.
Among those arrested, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed fighting in Iraq. She gained national attention when she spent days camped outside President Bush's Texas ranch in August, demanding a second meeting with him.
Janet McCann is with the protest group United for Peace and Justice. "I think she is a really brave woman, who is doing this because this war is wrong. It's illegal. It's immoral,” said Ms. McCann. “She's got a lot of courage to do what she's doing."
Two days earlier, Sheehan took part in a massive anti-war rally that drew tens of thousands to Washington. "This war isn't moral. You know what, it is going to end because all these people here today aren't lying, and darkness can not ever overcome the light even there is one spark and we will prevail, I know we will,” she told news reporters.
But Americans are deeply divided over the war. In a separate demonstration Sunday, several hundred people rallied to show support for U.S. troops in Iraq. They believe anti-war protests give the enemy hope.
Like Sheehan, Joani Kelly lost her son, but has a very different message. "He was very proud to serve for his country and to help the people of Iraq. [It is] very strong in our hearts what our country is doing for Iraq."
As anti-war protesters demonstrated in Washington, the White House said President Bush believes they have a right to express themselves, but he disagrees with their views.
Spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday, "Some people want us to withdraw from Iraq and withdraw from the Middle East. They're well-intentioned, but the president strongly believes that withdrawing from Iraq and the Middle East would make us less safe and make the world more dangerous."
Police said Cindy Sheehan and other protesters arrested Monday will be charged with demonstrating without a permit.