Protesters Arrested Near Bush's Ran
By Angela K. Brown
Another dozen or so demonstrators left the public right of way after deputies warned them they would be arrested.
The protest was set to coincide with Bush's Thanksgiving ranch visit.
The arrests were made by more than two dozen deputies who calmly approached the demonstrators in their tents and asked if they wanted to walk out on their own or be carried. Two chose to be carried. They were to be taken to jail for booking.
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan wasn't among the protesters Wednesday because of a family emergency in California, but she planned to be at the camp later in the week.
"We are proud to be here," Dede Miller, Sheehan's sister, said hours before her arrest as she huddled in a blanket at the campsite. "This is just so important. What we did in August really moved us forward, and this is just a continuation of it."
In August, hundreds of demonstrators camped off the road during a 26-day protest led by Sheehan, whose 24-year-old soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. But a month later, county commissioners banned camping in any county ditch and parking within 7 miles of the ranch, citing safety and traffic congestion issues.
Earlier this week, three demonstrators filed a federal lawsuit against McLennan County over the two local bans.
During the last several weeks of their summer protest, the activists had camped on a private 1-acre lot that a sympathetic landowner let them use. That land is about a mile from Bush's ranch.
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Arrests Begin as Protesters Challenge New Ordinances on Two Fronts
KWTX News (Waco, Texas)
Wednesday 23 November 2005
While three war protesters headed to court Wednesday to challenge new McLennan County ordinances banning roadside camping and restricting parking in a large area around the Presidentís Central Texas ranch, others pitched tents on a roadside to court arrest and they succeeded.
About a dozen protesters arrived before daybreak Wednesday to pitch tents alongside a rural road near Crawford in defiance of a new county ordinance that bars temporary structures in any county ditch.
A McLennan County deputy sheriff warned the protesters that the tents violated the ordinance, but after the protesters continued to defy the restriction, deputies began to make arrests.
About a dozen protesters were arrested, largely without incident, although two had to be carried by deputies.
They were taken to the McLennan County jail.
Cindy Sheehan, the California woman whose roadside vigil in August attracted international attention, was not there, but was expected to join the group by the end of the week after being delayed by a family emergency.
Meanwhile Texas Civil Rights Project attorneys headed to federal court in Waco to seek a temporary restraining order barring the county from enforcing the new ordinances.
President and Mrs. Bush arrived Tuesday evening in Waco on their first trip to their ranch since Hurricane Katrina struck in August.