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Des Moines — With 40 percent of Iowa’s Republican caucus voters expected to come from the ranks of conservative Christians, peace activists occupied Mike Huckabee‘s campaign headquarters in Iowa’s capital city today with signs asking the former Baptist minister, “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”
Photo by Mike Gillespie
Eight members of the Iowa Occupation Project and Voices for Creative Nonviolence arrived at Huckabee’s Locust St. campaign office early Monday afternoon, waiting for the former Arkansas governor’s reply to a letter delivered two months ago that sought his pledge to completely withdraw from Iraq within 100 days of assuming office; halt all military actions against Iraq and Iran; fund the rebuilding of Iraq as well as health, education and infrastructure needs in the U.S.; and “. . . the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefits for veterans of our country’s Armed Services.”
Brian Terrell, director of the Catholic Peace Ministry in Des Moines, said approximately 35 reporters, including a number of international journalists, were at Huckabee’s office during the protest.
Terrell said in addition to the “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” banner, the eight protesters held signs that read, “End Iraq War” and “No War with Iran,” sang the refrain from “Auld Lang Syne,” chanted ‘Who Would Jesus Bomb?’ and then read names of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers killed in the war.
Sgt. Vincent Valdez of the Des Moines Police Department said officers responded to an early afternoon complaint from the Huckabee Campaign office and arrested Robert Braam, Mona Shaw, and Kathy Kelly, on charges of trespassing. He said the three were among a group “holding signs, singing, and reading aloud, basically making a disturbance.” Valdez said the officers had no trouble making the arrests and the three were taken to the Polk County jail.
In a news release issued earlier by the Des Moines Catholic Worker, Kelly, co-director of VCNV, was quoted as saying, “We’re very respectful of the Iowa caucus process and the long history behind it but we feel quite strongly that the issues of this war must be inserted into the process of narrowing down the candidates for the presidential election.”
Huckabee spokesperson, Eric Woolson, could not be reached for comment after several attempts.
Mike Ferner is a freelance writer from Ohio.