- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 8, 2006

BALTIMORE — Thirteen anti-war activists were given citations yesterday for protesting outside the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade.

An agency security officer cited the activists for “entering into military facility for purposes prohibited by law” and ordered them to leave the area, protest organizers and an agency spokesman said. They were ordered to appear in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to be arraigned at a date to be announced.

Twenty-five persons participated in the protest, but only 13 who refused to stop carrying signs were cited, said Max Obuszewski, one of those cited and a member of the group Pledge of Resistance — Baltimore. They carried a banner reading “NSA = Crime Scene” and other signs protesting the agency’s involvement in the war in Iraq.

The activists were stopped on a public road near the entrance to the agency that provides access to two museums that are open to the public, Mr. Obuszewski said.

“We were on, I would argue, public property,” he said. “Anybody could go there and get gasoline. Anybody could go there and visit the two museums.”

The activists were handed a document dated May 12, 2005, indicating that “protests, public speeches, marches, sit-ins, political displays, or demonstrations” were banned at Fort Meade. But Mr. Obuszewski said he had protested at the same spot a few times since that date without being cited.

“They never showed us this document before,” he said. “Why were they allowing us out there before?”

Don Weber, an agency spokesman, declined to comment on that claim. Fort Meade policy specifies that protesters must submit a written request for a permit, he said.

“The requirement on Fort Meade is that they have a permit to protest,” Mr. Weber said. “They did not. Although they were given a couple of opportunities not to be, they chose to be cited.”

The Pledge of Resistance — Baltimore sent a letter last month to Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the agency’s director, seeking a meeting to discuss what it called “the illegal wiretapping and wholesale collection of Americans’ phone records” and “the NSA’s surveillance of our group.”

The organization has received no response, Mr. Obuszewski said.

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