Four people protesting war in Iraq were arrested Thursday after trying to enter the Capitol via an entrance closed to the public.

The group approached officers blocking the steps on the West side of the building, allowing themselves to be arrested. Their hands bound in plastic handcuffs, they were escorted away while the remaining protesters cheered them on.

The action starts a weeklong campaign in Washington by anti-war activists committing nonviolent acts of civil disobedience. Calling it a last resort as the United States heads closer to war in Iraq, activists plan to stage acts of civil disobedience at government and Congressional offices starting Monday.

Preceding the arrests were speeches denouncing President Bush's drive toward using military force in Iraq. Holding enlarged photos of Iraqis, about 20 people gathered with the Capitol as a scenic backdrop.

At one point they were drowned out by dozens of middle schoolers from Broussard, La., singing "God Bless America," who were waiting to take a group picture on the same spot.

Arrested were Kelly Campbell, whose brother-in-law died in the Pentagon, Nancy Lessin, whose stepson is a Marine stationed in the Persian Gulf, Molly McGrath and Bob Wing.