21 Arrested at Violent Protest
Milwaukee police took 21 people into custody, including three juveniles, ages 14, 15 and 16. Witnesses say they saw anywhere from 20 to 40 people, dressed in black, flee from the scene.
A Web site posting said that the act was a protest against the U.S. involvement in Iraq, in connection with the fourth anniversary of the war.
Torches made from chair legs, fireworks and black flags were strewn in front of the Army recruitment center. Windows were broken, but there didn't appear to be much damage to the inside of the building. One witness heard loud sounds and then saw a large group fleeing the scene.
"A group of kids were running down the road, about 20 kids or so, just screaming and wearing all black and faces covered, and they had crowbars and baseball bats," said Dan Riess.
"There were 30 to 35 people, all dressed in black, with buckets spray painted black, just ran by, none of them said a thing, it was all very quiet," said Sal Strehlow.
The Web site, www.mke.indymedia.org, shows pictures of a group of protesters holding an anti-war sign and setting off smoke bombs in front of the Army recruitment center.
Milwaukee police say all 21 were arrested for disorderly conduct, cited and released. Ten people arrested were from West Bend, six from Milwaukee and the rest from various suburbs. The oldest participant was 24. At least two, Amy Barger and Andrew Smart, were UWM students.
There were no reports of injuries.
A witness said one of the protesters had a video camera.
The vandalized recruiter's office was open Tuesday following the attack, but blinds were drawn and the building appeared dormant. A spokesman for the office would only comment that the Army fights for the right for those protesters to voice their opinions.
“The Army fights every day to protect freedom of speech, so it’s disturbing when people use that right to attack an Army building,” a spokesperson told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Michael George.
See anti-war poster from protesters