Sending Bayh a message

War protester arrested outside office during demonstration in Hammond
2007-05-05T00:00:00Z Sending Bayh a messageKIRSTEN SRINIVASAN

Activist Susan Eleuterio, 54, of Highland, was arrested kneeling outside of U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh's Hammond office on Friday.

She was saying the names of the more than 100 American soldiers killed in Iraq since April 1, she said.

"If it gets Evan Bayh to come back to Indiana and talk to his constituents about the war, it was worth it," she said in a phone interview.

She was one of about a dozen people from Code Pink and Voices for Creative Nonviolence protesting for Bayh to meet with them to discuss an end to funding the war in Iraq. The protesters met on the steps of the federal courthouse in Hammond.

Eleuterio was allowed inside the federal courthouse to deliver the letters, faxes and e-mails sent to Bayh since January asking for a meeting. She slipped the letters under the door and then started saying the names, she said.

"No one was in the office and I knelt down on the floor and said I couldn't leave until I was able to speak with Evan Bayh directly," she said. "I was arrested for not following directions because they told me I had to leave."

Eleuterio was arrested by a U.S. District Court federal court security officer and charged with violating "conformity with signs and directions," she said. She plans to protest her $175 ticket on her court date.

"I do feel this was an emergency and we need to be able to speak to our elected representatives," she said.

Fellow activist Nina Klooster, 62, of Lake Village, wanted to accompany Eleuterio into the building, but wasn't allowed to.

"I think people there were very moved by Sue's courage," Klooster said. "She was very brave to go in by herself. Normally, when we do civil disobedience, we have a partner and it was a very courageous act she did."

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