2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 31 Oct 2003 19:19:55 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Protesters with signs let into Stryker forum
Protesters with signs let into Stryker forum
The ban is lifted after leaders promise no meeting disruptions
By Mary Vorsino, mvorsino@starbulletin.com
October 31, 2003

The Army rescinded its ban on protest signs at public hearings on the
proposed Stryker combat brigade, allowing more than 50 sign-wielding
protesters to attend last night's meeting.

The sign ban, which led to seven arrests earlier this week, was lifted
for the meeting at the Makaha Resort Golf Club after Army officials
spoke to pro- test leaders and got a "clear understanding that there
will be no disruption in the meeting," said Col. David Anderson,
commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii.

On Tuesday in Salt Lake, at the first of six Stryker public hearings,
four protesters were arrested for suspicion of criminal trespass when
they tried to bring signs into the meeting. Three more protesters were
arrested Wednesday at the second meeting in Wahiawa.

Army officials had said they had banned signs to make a less
intimidating environment everyone wishing to comment on the Stryker
project's draft environmental impact statement.

Protesters called the ban a restriction of their free speech.

"I think we prevailed because we're right," said protester Keith
Kajihiro, of the American Friends Service Committee in Hawaii, who was
arrested Tuesday. "We had truth and justice on our side."

Anderson said the sign rule was enforced because the private halls that
the Army rented for the public hearings insisted on peaceful gatherings
for fear of "potential damage to their facilities."

But he noted that the Army notified the meeting halls' managers prior to
the hearings to warn them that protesters carrying signs could present a
threat to order.

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