WASHINGTON – War protester Cindy Sheehan and several others return to court Thursday for the second day of trials on misdemeanor charges of demonstrating without a permit outside the White House.
The protesters, who are being tried separately in one proceeding, took turns questioning police and arguing their cases Wednesday afternoon in front of U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay.
Charges against at least nine were dismissed, leaving about 30 protesters facing possible fines but no jail time if found guilty by Kay. The maximum fine each faces is $500.
Before the trial began, Sheehan announced plans to return to Texas next week to resume her anti-war protest near President Bush's Texas ranch, despite new county ordinances banning roadside camping.
Sheehan, who is expected to testify before Kay Thursday, was arrested with about 300 other anti-war activists Sept. 26 as they wrapped up a weekend of protests in Washington. It was the city's largest anti-war demonstration since the Vietnam War.
"If we stick together as an American people we can bring down the war criminals that are running our country right now," Sheehan told reporters at the end of the first day of the trial.
Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey, a soldier, was killed in Iraq last year, and a dozen supporters are prepared to be arrested when they return to their makeshift campsite along the road leading to Bush's ranch, where he is expected to spend the holiday.
In August, Sheehan spent 26 days camped near Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch, where he was spending a working vacation.
A month later, McLennan County, Texas, commissioners approved new ordinances prohibiting parking on parts of 14 roads near the ranch — roughly a 5-mile radius — and banning camping in any county ditch. The laws also ban portable toilets in ditches.