Over 100 Religious Leaders and Anti-War Activists Are Arrested Outside the UN: We Talk to Daniel Ellsberg and Others From Jail

December 11, 2002

To mark International Human Rights Day, religious leaders and anti-war activists from across the country staged over 150 vigils, acts of civil disobedience and marches across some forty states, from Alaska to Florida.

The day’s actions were organized by United for Peace, a new national coalition of peace and social justice organizations.

In New York City about 100 people were arrested in front of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In Chicago 20 protesters were arrested outside a federal building. Nine more arrested in Sacramento California.

Well, yesterday we received a call from a holding cell on 51st Street in Manhattan. Daniel Ellsberg was on the line. Ellsberg is a long-time peace activist who is best known for risking life in imprisonment by leaking the top-secret Pentagon Papers that exposed the truth about the Vietnam War. Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke answered the phone.


  • Daniel Ellsberg, in 1969, risked going to life for prison by smuggling out a 7,000 page top-secret study of U.S. decision making in Vietnam, known as the Pentagon Papers.
  • Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center, a national network that draws on Jewish wisdom to seek peace, pursue justice, and heal the earth.
  • Faiz Khan, member of the Board of Directors of the ASMA Society for Islamic Spirituality and serves as the Assistant Imam at the al-Farah Mosque in Manhattan and at the Islamic Center of Long Island.
  • Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a founding member of Businesses for Social Responsibility.
  • Rev. Peter Laarman, senior minister at Judson Memorial Church, NYC.