10 war protesters arrested at Leahy’s office Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2007 By Sam Hemingway Free Press Staff Writer Police arrested 10 anti-war demonstrators Tuesday participating in a sit-in at Sen. Patrick Leahy’s Burlington office to demand he stop supporting an Iraq troop withdrawal bill they said would extend the Iraq war, not end it. “This is an immoral war and an illegal war,” said Marmete Hayes, 83, of Burlington as she stood in handcuffs at the entrance to the Courthouse Plaza complex where Leahy’s office is located. “It demands strong action on the part of dissenters.” All 10 were arrested after refusing to leave Leahy’s office when it closed at 5 p.m. Police handcuffed the 10 and issued them no trespassing citations before releasing them. Three, including Hayes, could face criminal prosecution because they were also arrested at a March 27 sit-in at the Burlington offices of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., or a March 21 sit-in at the Burlington offices of Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. “They were warned,” said Chittenden County State’s Attorney Thomas Donovan, who has chosen not to prosecute the protesters. “At some point, there has to be a response.” Donovan said he would decide today whether to prosecute any of the three. The late afternoon arrests followed three hours of spirited conversation between about 20 demonstrators and Chuck Ross, Leahy’s state director. The Senate is in recess this week. Ross said Leahy was on vacation and not at his Burlington office. “This is not a withdrawal plan,” said James Leas of South Burlington, referring to a Senate-passed bill that sets a March 31, 2008, target for ending combat operations in Iraq. “It’s a plan to continue the war. Senator Leahy should withdraw his name supporting this legislation.” [...] Besides Hayes, the people arrested were Kate Duesterberg, 52, of Thetford; Jay Vos, 58, of Burlington; Owen Mulligan, 33, of Burlington; Shawn Starfighter, 27, of Burlington; S’ra DeSantis, 31, of Burlington; Nicholas Parrish, 27, of Burlington; Will Allen, 70, of Thetford; Rene Kaczka-Valliere, 27, of Burlington; and Patrick Stanton, 36 of Burlington. Hayes and Vos were also arrested at the March 28 protest at Sanders’ office; Allen was arrested at the Sanders protest and the March 21 protest at Welch’s office.