Eight Peace Activists Arrested as Marines Make Mock Invasion
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) _ The mock invasion of this city on the banks of Lake Superior looked real enough, with 100 camouflaged Marines, armed with M-16 rifles, splashing ashore in amphibious tanks.
But 100 peace activists thought something was missing from Friday’s maneuvers: the horror.
″The Marines don’t show the trauma, the confusion, the effects of war,″ said Charles Wolden of Superior, Wis., who served four years as a Marine in Vietnam and 12 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring from the military.
So when the Marines hit the beach at noon and began shooting blanks at more than 1,000 spectators, the peace activists held up a representation of the Grim Reaper and feigned death, while others moaned and comforted the ″wounded.″
Paul Broman, who spent the day toting signs such as ″Peace through strength,″ said he supported the drill, part of an annual, 21-city Great Lakes recruiting and training voyage of the USS Boulder.
″I think it’s great,″ Broman said. ″I hope it persuades more people to join the Marines so we have a safe nation.″
When the Marines’ amphibious crafts were just yards from landing, several protesters broke through a 4-foot-high rubber mesh fence. Seven were arrested, including an elderly man who tried to dodge police but was tackled in Lake Superior. An eighth person was arrested before the maneuver.
No injuries were reported.
One of the eight was charged with felony disorderly conduct and assault, a felony; the others were cited on various misdemeanors.
The peace activists used a loudspeaker during the maneuver to protest U.S. military actions since World War II, but they occasionally were drowned out by chanting Marine supporters.