Staten Island, NY – March 23, 2007. 5 antiwar protesters were arrested on March 23, 2007 for reading the names of the US war dead aloud at Congressman Vito Fossella’s Staten Island district office – after congressional staffers refused to call Fossella to setup a meeting with the activists. Fossella, son of liberal Democrat Frank Fossella, is an ultra right wing Republican who is known for his pro-war politics and his history of voting against veterans’ benefits.
Staten Islanders Elaine Brower, Tom Good, Sally Jones and Barbara Walker were arrested while reading the names of US military personnel killed in action in Iraq at Fossella’s Staten Island office Friday, March 23. They were charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. Ben Maurer, who resides in Bensonhurst – part of the 13th Congressional District, was also arrested. The five were part of a Peace Action Staten Island (PASI) “occupation” of Fossella’s office. Early Friday morning the activists spoke with Sherry Diamond, Fossella’s scheduler, informing her that they carried letters from constituents addressed to the Congressman and requesting a meeting with Fossella. When informed that Fossella was in Washington the protesters indicated a willingness to wait in the office until he returned. Diamond invited the protesters to make themselves comfortable. The protesters began reading the letters from constituents aloud.