Protest Organizer: ‘Within Two Weeks of Obama’s Inauguration We Knew We Might as Well Have Another Bush in There’

Penny Starr | October 11, 2011 | 6:14pm EDT
Font Size

Art Brennan and five others were arrested at the Hart Senate building on Oct. 11, 2011 as they protested against war, as part of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. ( Starr)

( – Art Brennan, a retired New Hampshire judge and organizer of the D.C. “October 2011” protest, said Tuesday he voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but now holds the president responsible for sparking protests on Wall Street and at other venues around the country.

“I blame Obama,” said Brennan when asked by what role the Obama administration played in the problems facing the nation. “I worked for Obama during the election and I was here for the inauguration.”

“I was very pleased” about the election outcome, said Brennan. “But within two weeks I could see that we might as well have another Bush in there.”

Brennan and other protestors who have been congregating on D.C.’s Freedom Plaza gathered at the Hart Senate building Tuesday to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brennan, who mans a “free legal advice” booth at Freedom Plaza and counsels protesters on what to do if they are arrested, was arrested himself by Capitol Police along with five others, public information officer Sgt. Kimberly Schneider confirmed.

Brennan and the other were charged with “unlawful conduct – demonstrating in a Capitol building,” according to police.

Asked the purpose of the protest, Brennan told that the government was lying to the American people.

“We’re trying to send a message that apparently voters aren’t able to send – the main reason being we’re being lied to,” said Brennan.

“We don’t have access to the truth about these wars because our government – including our Congress – has absolutely no curiosity about what the State Department, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, or the Department of Defense are doing.”

A police officer tries to take down a flag being waved by a protester at the Hart Senate building on Tuesday. ( Starr)

Brennan said the protestors at Freedom Plaza represent “the best cross-section of people.” He said turnout has ranged from 500 to 3,000, although images from media coverage of the protest show much smaller groups at the site.

Brennan worked at the State Department in 2007, serving as deputy director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, and director of the Baghdad-based Office of Accountability and Transparency.

He blogs about the protest’s purpose on the Web site.

mrc merch