DES MOINES--Three members of the SODaPOP (Seasons of Discontent: a Presidential Occupation Project) were arrested December 31, 2007 in Governor Mike Huckabee's Campaign Headquarters in downtown Des Moines.

SODaPOP is an initiative organized by members of the Iowa Occupation Project and Voices for Creative Nonviolence.  Members of the SODaPOP Campaign arrived at Huckabee's Locust St. campaign office early Monday afternoon, waiting for the former Arkansas governor's reply to a letter delivered two months ago that sought his pledge to completely withdraw from Iraq within 100 days of assuming office; halt all military actions against Iraq and Iran; fund the rebuilding of Iraq as well as health, education and infrastructure needs in the U.S.; and "…the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefits for veterans of our country's Armed Services."

About 35 reporters, including a number of international journalists, were at Huckabee's office during the protest.  In addition to a banner that read "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" protesters held signs that read, "End the Iraq War" and "No War with Iran." Protestors inside Huckabee headquarters sang "Auld Lang Syne," in remembrance of lives lost in the U.S. War on Terror, chanted "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" and read names of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers killed in the war.  Participants also cited scriptures and teachings of Christ that called for ending war and making peace.

Sgt. Vincent Valdez of the Des Moines Police Department said officers responded to an early afternoon complaint from the Huckabee Campaign office and arrested Robert Braam, 51, Manhattan, IL, Mona Shaw, 56, Iowa City, IA, and Kathy Kelly, 55, Chicago, IL, on charges of trespassing.  The three had refused to leave the Huckabee office until the Governor Huckabee agreed to their demands to end the war if he were elected president.  

Governor Huckabee's schedule visit to his headquarters was delayed by about an hour while he waited in a Campaign Bus across the street.  The Campaign Bus drove away temporarily while arrests were being made.

As they were being escorted from the headquarters by Des Moines Police, those arrested were surrounded by press as well as scores of gathering passersby who cheered them and included several members of Ron Paul Campaign.  Ron Paul's headquarters are about a half block from Huckabee's.  They were taken by police to the Polk County Jail where they were charged and released.

In a news release issued earlier by the Des Moines Catholic Worker, Kelly, co-director of VCNV, was quoted as saying, "We're very respectful of the Iowa caucus process and the long history behind it but we feel quite strongly that the issues of this war must be inserted into the process of narrowing down the candidates for the presidential election."

SODaPOP actions will continue through January 3, 2008.  More information is available on the web at:

Or at:

Photos of the action action taken by freelance journalist Mike Gillespie may be viewed and downloaded at:

A 6.5-minute video of the action taken by Des Moines Catholic Worker John Tuzcu may be viewed at: