“The whole world is watching” chanted the protestors as the icon of America’s anti-war movement was carried away from the White House by police. It was publicity they needed, with the media largely absorbed by the natural disasters that have ravaged the US Gulf coast. The arrest of Cindy Sheehan and around 370 other protestors concluded three days of protests in Washington demanding that troops be withdrawn from Iraq.
On Sunday a counter-demonstration supporting President Bush was also held in the capital. The activists knew they would be arrested for demonstrating without a permit- but for them it was an act of civil disobedience that was crucial to making their point. The president did not come out to meet them as they had hoped. Through his spokesman he acknowledged “differences of opinion” over Iraq.