WASHINGTON - April 24 - On April 19, four defendants, arrested at the White House while protesting the Iraq war by engaging in a die-in on Oct. 26, 2005, had their charges dismissed in federal court in Washington, D.C. Judge Deborah Robinson ruled in favor of the defense motion for a judgment of acquittal and stated that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against Gary Ashbeck and Lynn Robinson, from Baltimore, and Paul Kawika Martin and Eve Tetaz, from Washington, D.C.
Activists -- including Cindy Sheehan -- were charged with demonstrating without a permit, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $500 fine. After the prosecution rested its case, Ashbeck with advice of attorney advisor, Mark Goldstone, made a motion for a judgment of acquittal which Judge Robinson accepted.
"Today's tremendous victory for free political speech will only be eclipsed when we bring all of the troops home from Iraq and help the Iraqi people rebuild their country," exclaimed Paul Kawika Martin, political director for Peace Action Education Fund, who is 36 years old.
"We received due process and were acquitted. Now if the prisoners in Guantanamo could also receive due process, we may recognize this country as a democracy," stated Gary Ashbeck.
"I am obliged to invoke my right under the constitution to petition my government for a redress of grievances and say that the country I pledge allegiance to cannot be permitted to commit these acts of war in my name," proclaimed Eve Tetaz.
"The prosecutors outlined lots of ways that we could work to end the carnage in Iraq without risking arrest. We have tried these ways, and continue to try them. But we cannot wait for politicians to end this war. We, the people, must end this carnage. And we must do so by any peaceful means necessary," remarked Lynn Robinson.
The Peace Action Education Fund is the sister organization of the nearly 50 year-old Peace Action, the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 30 states and works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage a foreign policy that embodies respect for human rights. http://www.Peace- Action.org