14 Activists Arrested
at U.S. Supreme Court
to Commemorate 35th Anniversary
of First Execution
updated January 20, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. Ė Thirty-five years after the first execution under contemporary laws of Gary Gilmore, fourteen members of the Abolitionist Action Committee were arrested at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. Just after 10:00 am, at the exact time that Gilmore was executed, the group unfurled a 30-foot banner that read ďSTOP EXECUTIONS!Ē on the stairs of the Court. On the sidewalk, a crowd of well-over 100 supporters, activists and tourists supported and observed the action.
All fourteen were arrested and appeared the following day before a judge for arraignment. They were released on personal recognizance with a charge of violating the federal law (40 U.S.C. 6135) that forbids "processions or assemblages" and the displaying of banners on Supreme Court grounds. A status hearing will take place on February 8th, at which time a trial date will be scheduled.
That's why, in the two other pictures posted of protestors not on the plaza or the steps, they are not facing down a set of marshals clearly fixing to remove them.
Notice that the 100 other observers on the sidewalk were not arrested. That's why they were on the sidewalk. The ones holding the banner intended to be arrested.