Three arrested at peaceful demonstration at Union
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
By Ned B. Hunter, The Jackson Sun
Three members of the Soulforce Q Equality Ride team were arrested Monday during a peaceful demonstration on the campus of Union University.
The group was protesting university policy regarding homosexual, bisexual and transgender students.
Manuel Lampon of New York, NY; Zakariah Rittenhouse of Frankfort, Ohio and Jarrett Lucas of Minneapolis, Minn. were arrested by police.
They were charged with criminal trespassing, said Jeff Mueller, an attorney representing the men. They were released after posting $1,000 bond, he said.
Criminal trespassing is a Class C misdemeanor carrying a possible penalty of up to 30 days in jail and up to a $50 fine, Mueller said.
A university news release stated that the three were arrested after they "chose to disrespect Union’s private property rights and advance into an area that had been described several times as off limits to the riders."
Union University officials had allowed the protesters to use Luther Hall, a building at the end of Country Club Lane, to assemble and meet with students.
A private university donor volunteered to pay for meals the group might need during its two-day visit to the campus, which ends today.
Soulforce Q members assembled at the building before marching onto campus. They refused the offer of food.
Some students went to Luther Hall to speak with the protesters. But Caitlin MacIntyre, media director for Soulforce, said protesters tried to enter Union’s grounds because Luther Hall was too far from the main campus.
"We were very far removed from the students and unable to react to them," MacIntyre said.
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