More than 100 antinuclear protesters marked election day yesterday by ringing entrances to the Pentagon and forcing thousands of Pentagon employes to walk around or over them.
Federal Protective Service police arrested 28 of those blocking Pentagon doorways, dragging them inside, handcuffing them and releasing them later after issuing citations requiring them to appear Nov. 28 before a U.S. magistrate in Alexandria. All were charged with blocking building entrances.
Several vials of blood were thrown on the building's columns, but there was no damage or other incidents, according to Robert W. Washington, FPS chief of patrol operations.
Several different religious, pacifist and antinuclear-armament groups sent members to the demonstration, which was organized primarily by Jonah House, the Baltimore group founded by former priest Philip Berrigan, which has become a center for nonviolent protests, particularly against nuclear weapons.
While many of the protesters were from outside the area, some were local, such as the half dozen theological students attending Oblate College, an independent Catholic theological school near Catholic University.
"We are here to impress upon people who work in the Pentagon of the madness, the insanity of what they are doing," said Alan Leach, an Oblate student. "They have made killing their business."
Leach and others said many of the demonstrators supported Initiative 10, with Leach adding, "although some of us think it is not enough." Initiative 10 "supports a United States-Soviet Union nuclear weapons freeze" and was on yesterday's ballot in the District. Versions of it were on the ballot in at least 10 states and numerous cities across the nation.
What many of yesterday's Pentagon demonstrators appeared to have in common, judging from their signs and banners, was support for a nuclear freeze and general opposition to the production and deployment of nuclear weapons.
George Visey, a 34-year-old Baltimore house painter, came to the demonstration armed with a Bible and a toothbrush, "just about the only things they let you keep in jail," he said. He said, "I've been in jail four or five times protesting the the nuclear holocaust," just before he and several other protesters were dragged out of the doorways by police.