WASHINGTON – Nine anti-war protesters were arrested Monday when they gathered in a House office building to read off the names of American and Iraqi war dead.
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said the nine were charged with unlawful assembly. Several dozen protesters congregated around a courtyard pool inside the Rayburn House office building, throwing yellow roses onto the ice as they recited the names of Iraq war victims.
The demonstration was a follow-up to Saturday's anti-war demonstration that drew tens of thousands to the Washington Mall.
Also on Monday, about 100 people staged a short demonstration in the Hart Senate office building, with demonstrators waving children's shoes to represent Iraqi children killed in the war and unfurling anti-war banners from the balconies around the building's atrium.
"We feel the American people don't know how many Iraqis have been killed because of the American invasion," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the national women's peace group CODEPINK.
The protesters dispersed to visit senators' offices and lobby for support of resolutions to stop funding for the war.
Also on Monday, Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., asked for a meeting with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse to discuss why police on Saturday did not stop a group of demonstrators who spray-painted steps on the west side of the Capitol.
"It is my understanding protesters were allowed to spray-paint the Capitol steps and deface buildings around the area while Capitol Police were instructed to not arrest anyone engaged in these unlawful acts," he wrote in a letter to Morse.
Schneider said police used "measured police crowd control practices" with the protesters. She said the writing was cleaned off quickly.