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I was arrested for peace

by Amanda Egge Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 1:01 AM
frannyglass@attbi.com

Account of participant in Saturday March 22nd's civil disobedience in protest of the war. This is a call to others to get arrested in the name of peace.

Today at 4pm I was arrested in an act of civil disobedience. Since Thursday I have known that I was going to do be arrested for peace and today I knew that I was ready. I knew from speaking with others that had been arrested on Wednesday that I would probably only be held for about 8 hours and released without bail. Their accounts had comforted me. I am here to pass on the message that there is nothing to fear. I want to describe what happened today so that others will know what they can expect if they choose to be arrested in an act of civil disobedience.

The scariest part was making the decision to do it. Once I decided that I was going to make the commitment to the cause by getting arrested my fear left me. I knew I was doing the right thing. I was smiling when the cops came over and cuffed me today with plastic tie hand cuffs. I did NOT resist arrest so there was no need for the police to be forceful with me. While we were sitting awaiting arrest some people from the lawers guild came over and told us not to resist arrest and that as long as we did not resist arrest we would only be charged with a misdomener. Before I got arrested I wrote my friend Debra's phone number on my arm so that I would be able to call someone if I needed to (which I didn't) but I felt safe knowing that my friend would come and get me when I got out.

One by one the police came over as we sat in the middle of the street with a video camera and asked us if we understood that we were being arrested for failure to dispute. When it was my turn I said yes and then they asked me to stand up so that they could cuff me. I was then escorted to the bus where they took my name from my ID (those who were arrested and didn't have IDs it was no problem- one girl supposedly gave a fake name and there weren't any questions asked but they do print you so I don't see what good a fake name would do.) I was then put on the bus where the girls and boys were seperated in different sections. Then there was a lot of waiting for all of the others to get on the bus. During this time we talked and chanted and bonded. Once everyone was on the bus we were taken to the Hollywood Police Station where we sat on the bus some more. One at a time they would call our names and we were escorted off the bus. While we waited some of us got our cuffs off by slipping our hands through, but when the police came back on the bus we would stick our hands back in the cuffs. When my name was called I was escorted to an area where my cuffs were removed and a female officer patted me down (be prepared to be touched all over.) Then she had me take off my shoes and socks and my hair clips (or any other jewlrey I had on but I wasn't wearing any.) Then I had my picture taken and prints taken. Then they took me to another bus to wait again but they didn't put the cuffs back on us so it was much more comfortable this time. Most of the protestors were taken to Van Nuys but a group of 18 women (including myself) remained at the hollywood station. They took us off the bus and had us wait in a classroom for another two hours. Mostly it was a lot of waiting.

I got to know the other 17 women and that was a really amazing experience. We all went around and introduced ourselves and shared why we were here today. Most of us had never been arrested before. Most of us were students but we were all ages (the minors were seperated from the rest of the group because legally they can''t keep us in the same holding areas.) We were a pretty diverse group of race, age and background. At least three of those arrested were school teachers.

Finally in groups of twos they took us out and printed us again (the first time it was for the county, this time it was for the LAPD- it was a joint arrest) and took another picture. I had to sign a ticket and was given my court appearance date. My ticket was for failure to diperse- a misdomener. Then I was given back my belongings and let go without bail- I didn't have to pay a penny. I was the first to be released at around 11pm (So the whole thing took me 7 hours).

I found the experience to be envigorating. I would and will do it again. It strengthened my commitment to peace, my confidence in myself and my hope in a better world. I encourage others to join us next time. What's 8 hours of your day? Its a small price to pay for peace.

And as far as my court appearance... we are going to go to court as a group and plead not guilty. We will get a lawyer to represent us at a group who does pro bono work for civil disobedience and it is most likely that all charges will be dropped. If you are thinking about getting arrested for civil disobedience don't worry about having to pay- we all plan on pleading not guilty and fighting the charges (if you plead guilty you will have to pay a fine).

A few tips:

-Only get arrested if you are a US citizen and will not have any problems with Immigration.

-If you have any warrents out for your arrest (from parking tickets or whatever they will hold you longer and you may need bail.)

-write a friend's number or the number of a local peace coalition on your arm in case you need to call someone for bail or to pick you up.

-expect to be held for about 8-12 hours.

-pee before you get arrested (they will make you wait).

-talk to others who are sitting down in protest- talking about it helps lessen your fears.

-Do NOT resist arrest.

-Be civil and don't give the police trouble or they will hold you longer- don't give them a reason to be harsh.



Peace be with you,

Amanda

PS: Sorry for any spelling/grammatical errors I don't have an editor.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 27 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Thanks for sharing your story Brian Flemming Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 4:10 AM
Amanda- think about the reasons why you chose to get arrested. Lana Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 6:09 AM
Not heroic John Gilbert Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 6:25 AM
Amanda and all like her around the world are heroes mediawatcher Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 7:35 AM
encouraging keri Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 8:42 AM
WHAT!?!?!?!?!? Impeach Bush Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 9:20 AM
civil disobedience worthi Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 9:32 AM
Thank you for your support Amanda Egge Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 10:11 AM
dharmabum hal Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 11:33 AM
dharmabum hal Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 11:40 AM
Hey Amanda Egge Combat vet Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 3:48 PM
military brat Dave Monday, Mar. 24, 2003 at 11:03 PM
Amanda shoots and scores Brian Flemming Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003 at 4:17 AM
america thanks you for your sacrifice SYSTEMFAILURE Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003 at 4:45 AM
Land of the Free VOTER and TAXPAYER Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003 at 2:01 PM
No Clue Jason Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003 at 2:59 PM
No Use Arguing They're all Brainwashed Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003 at 3:41 PM
Amen!!!!! jason Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003 at 3:50 PM
To Amanda Egge T Light Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2003 at 4:02 PM
Call to ARRESTED and VICTIMS of Police Brutality Amanda Egge Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2003 at 3:15 AM
Question? Jason Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2003 at 7:20 AM
I have to agree with Jason Harry Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2003 at 8:26 AM
Who I am Amanda Egge Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2003 at 10:06 AM
If there was only this one reason... prtprjake Thursday, Dec. 25, 2003 at 7:52 PM

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