A District of Columbia judge today acquitted 24 peace activists who had been charged in January with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly while protesting the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
According to defendant Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell Canan said the prosecution failed to show that the group’s activities threatened a breach of the peace.
The activists, all of whom represented themselves with the assistance of “attorney advisors,” engaged in two actions Jan. 21 in separate groups, one on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and a second inside the Capitol Rotunda. Those outside, dressed in orange jump suits and black hoods, carried signs and called out the names of those imprisoned in Guanatanamo. The group inside the Rotunda chanted and prayed while strewing rose petals, according to the defendants and a police report.