Thursday, November 24, 2005

Protesters arrested near Bush ranch


Protesters arrested near Bush ranch

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - A dozen Iraq war protesters were arrested on Wednesday as they tested a new ban on camping and parking on roads near President George W. Bush's Texas ranch where he is spending the Thanksgiving holiday.

The demonstration was timed to coincide with Bush's break at his 1,600-acre (650-hectare) spread and the arrival of the accompanying White House media entourage.

The group included Dede Miller, the sister of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan whose son was killed in Iraq and who became an icon for the peace movement after her 26-day vigil outside Bush's ranch in the summer. Sheehan was scheduled to arrive in Crawford on Friday.

McLennan County sheriff's deputies warned the protesters -- who had pitched tents by the roadside -- and then arrested them for trespassing.

After hundreds of demonstrators erected a tent city during Sheehan's August protest, the county banned camping, parking and sewage receptacles along roads surrounding Bush's ranch, citing health and safety concerns.

Bush arrived on Tuesday night for a six-day visit. He will spend Thanksgiving on Thursday with family, including his parents, former President George Bush and wife Barbara, as well as his twin daughters Jenna and Barbara.