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4 war protesters arrested after attempt to stop Bush motorcade

January 8, 2008

BY KARA SPAK Staff Reporter/kspak@suntimes.com

Chicago Sun Times - LINK

In a battle between a handful of protesters and a presidential motorcade, bet on the motorcade -- especially if it’s backed by hundreds of pounds of police horse, a mounted cop and an officer on a Segway.

Four of eight anti-war protesters were arrested on the northwest corner of Dearborn and Jackson today after their group unsuccessfully tried to stop President Bush by swinging a neon green anti-war banner into the intersection.

As Andy Thayer, a Chicago paralegal leading the group, entered the street, he appeared to lean his weight into a police officer’s horse, which barely moved. A cop on a Segway appeared to push into the animal from the other side, moving Thayer back to the curb. Officers quickly handcuffed Thayer and three other protesters who refused to drop the sign and exit the thick of the skirmish.

Some of those holding the sign were not arrested. A police officer on the scene said the sign would be inventoried as evidence.

The group’s sign read “No to War and Occupation” and “Troops Home Now!” Thayer said he and the other protesters holding the banner were with the Gay Liberation Network and the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism.

Around 100 people gathered at the intersection’s four corners around 1:30 p.m. today, many just to glimpse the president but others carrying anti-war, anti-Bush or Ron Paul for President signs. “Imagine” by John Lennon and Edwin Starr’s “War” blasted from a boom box mounted on a protester’s bike trailer.

Thayer admitted even before the mounted officers aligned in a barricade that there was a slim chance the president would get an unobstructed look at his sign.

“I don’t think they’re going to allow us,” he said.


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