On the 26th of June, a Code Pink/TASSC protest in solidarity with the hunger strikers at Guantanimo Bay featured a surprise: One of Code Pink’s own hunger strikers scaled the White House fence and got over while a re-enactment of a forced feeding at Gitmo provided an effective diversion.
The forced-feeding reenactment was graphic enough, I don’t know whether it was intended to stand alone or as a diversion from the start. Either way, the cops bought it and started harassing photographers and bystanders in an attempt to impede documentation of exactly what Obama’s brand or torture looks like.
While all the focus was on the forced-feeding reenactment, there was a sudden commotion and the crowd surged towards the West side of the White House sidewalk. One of the snipers pointed his assault rifle with a scope at the crowd. His finger was inside the trigger guard. A police dog was straining at the leash inside the fence. All this because a single Code Pink hunger striker, weak from over a month on a water-only fast, managed to climb over the fence and penetrate the White House grounds. She was arrested, but the civil disobediance was not over yet.
While all this was going on and cops tried to clear the area, about 20 protesters refused to vacate the area directly in front of the White House where protests are officially banned. This ban dates back to Ronald Reagan’s discomfort with the antinuclear vigil which is still going on in Lafayette Park to this day. In 1981, Penn Ave was open to cars and the vigil was on the White House sidewalk. All the regulations used against civil disobediance on that sidewalk seem to stem from attempts to remove that vigil.
One protester, a Vietnam Veteran, was escorted by police away from the civil disobediance and released. The others were arrested one by one somewhat later.