7 anti-war demonstrators are arrested at armory

January 18, 1991|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Evening Sun Staff Richard Irwin and Mark Bomster contributed to this story.

Seven anti-war demonstrators were arrested last night after they scaled a stone wall at the Fifth Regiment Armory, climbed to a balcony and poured blood on a sign on the side of the building.

Police spokesman Dennis S. Hill said the seven, all members of the Baltimore Emergency Response Network, were charged with trespass and destruction of property when they refused to leave the balcony at the home of the Maryland National Guard.

Police arrested three more anti-war demonstrators later at Light and Pratt streets when they jumped onto moving cars in the intersection, causing minor damage.

Hill said nearly two dozen police officers were outside the armory during that demonstration, but private security officers hired by the state made the arrests.

"City police took the demonstrators into custody and provided the means to transport them to the Central District" station, Hill said.

The security officers "were patient and waited some three hours into the demonstration before making arrests," he said.

Held overnight at the Central District lockup pending a bail hearing were Harold Brown, 43, of the first block of Candlestick Drive in Baltimore County; Brian Barrett, 39, of the 1600 block of Park Ave.; Max Obuzewski, 31, of the 300 block of E. 25th St.; and Richard Reynolds, 32, of the 1400 block of Gorsuch Ave.

The names of three women arrested at the armory were not available.

At the other demonstration, Hill said, police blocked traffic at the intersection to allow demonstrators room, but several jumped on moving cars and kept traffic from moving.

Three of them, two women and a man, were arrested and charged with failing to obey a police officer's order and interfering with traffic.

The women were held overnight in the Women's Detention Center at the Central District, police said. The man, police said, was held at the Southeastern District. Their names also were not available.

The Baltimore Emergency Response Network is affiliated with the national peace group Pledge of Resistance. The group planned yesterday's event at the armory, which drew several hundred people, who carried picket signs and chanted anti-war slogans.

Earlier yesterday, a coalition of anti-war and peace activists here called on President Bush to withdraw U.S. troops from the Persian Gulf so domestic, social and economic crises can be solved.

The rush-hour protest at the armory drew activists who ranged from toddlers to Korean War veterans. Many are planning to march on the White House tomorrow in a national protest against the Persian Gulf conflict and in a rally to honor the memory of slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a champion of non-violence.

Holding a sign that read: "Thanks Mr. Bush. Kill Them All. Let God Separate Them in Iraq," Ray Williams said he came to the rally to show support for American troops. His stand was not popular with others on the picket line, many of whom heckled him.

"I'm a grown man. I've been through hell in this country," said Williams, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division in Korea. "What other country can you march in like this? This is a great country. In most countries, Russia or China, they would shoot them [demonstrators]."

Christopher Boardman, 44, a writer who free-lances for Detective magazine, was recognizable on the picket line because he wore a conservative suit and tie.

"We went through all of this 25 years ago, and I thought America learned a lesson that there is a better way," Boardman said. "I'm here to bear witness to peace. . . . We need to have a peaceful resolution to these problems."

In a separate incident yesterday, nine students at Baltimore City College high school were suspended after burning an American flag in the school courtyard.

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