WASHINGTON – Activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Wednesday as she led about 50 protesters to a White House gate Wednesday to deliver anti-war petitions she said were signed by 80,000 Americans.
The Berkeley, Calif., woman, whose son was killed in Iraq more than two years ago, was arrested along with three other women on the sidewalk outside the White House gate, said Lt. Scott Fear, a U.S. Park Police spokesman. They were charged with interfering with a government function, he said.
Before she was arrested, she joined the protesters in hailing the outcome of Tuesday's elections and chanting "Stop the War" outside the gate.
"It was taking too long for them to decide whether to accept them or not, so we just delivered them," said Sheehan, who waited about 15 minutes with other protesters before tossing the petitions over the fence.
The petitions opposed use of military force to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
Sheehan, 49, and other grieving families met with Bush about two months after her son died, before reports of faulty prewar intelligence surfaced and caused her to speak out. She has tried repeatedly to speak with the president again, including a 26-day vigil last year outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Wednesday's protest came as Republicans lost control of the House and the White House announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
"He's being offered as a sacrificial lamb," Sheehan said.