Police have arrested five Occupy protestors outside the Iowa campaign headquarters of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul, part of an OWS movement called Occupy the Caucuses that plans to visit every Republican on the campaign trail, as well as President Barack Obama's campaign, before the weekend.
'Occupy the Caucuses'
A spokeswoman for the group said the occupiers were protesting Paul's proposal to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency if elected, as well as his stance against abortion. The demonstrators plan to visit the campaign headquarters of each of the Republican candidates, and the Iowa headquarters for Obama, before the Iowa caucus this weekend.
The demonstrators arrived at around 8 a.m. at Paul's campaign headquarters, located at 207 NE Delaware Ave. in Ankeny, Iowa, only to find the doors locked against them.
Ankeny police arrested them for trespassing, saying they refused to leave the front entrance and protest on a public sidewalk. But according to Drew Ivers, the Texas congressman's state campaign chairman, it was the building's landlord and not Paul's staffers who called the police.
There was no disturbance, Ivers told the Des Moines Register. Everything continued on without a hitch inside the office.
He also explained the locked doors, saying the Paul campaign routinely shuts up the office even during business hours. They [the Occupy protestors] were rather mild, he assured reporters. They didn't get violent by any means.
Ron Paul: 'There are some things we can agree on.'
Paul himself, meanwhile, was making an appearance on WHO radio when host Jan Mickleson informed him of the Iowa campaign protest.
I didn't even hear that yet, Paul said. It must not have been a big enough deal yet for them to tell me.”
He then went on to elaborate on his previous support for the Occupy movement, even if he and the demonstrators disagree on issues like the EPA and abortion.
“They don’t like the bailouts and I don’t like the bailouts; so there are some things that we can agree on,” Paul said. “I think the Tea Party movement and the [OWS] movement are motivated for different reasons, but they come together because they don’t trust government anymore, and that’s why I think I can connect with both groups.”
Ron Paul's Support for OWS
Indeed, this is hardly the first time Ron Paul's campaign has been confronted by Occupy Wall Street and its various arms, nor the first time that Occupy groups in Iowa have gathered during the campaign.
Back in October, when the OWS protests began, the outspoken libertarian was one of the first politicians to risk political censure and stand by the 99 percent, saying he understood the protesters' frustration.
And when Occupy Wall Street's human microphone was making the rounds in November and December, Paul was the only candidate besides Obama to listen patiently to their demands and express sympathy with their cause. Freedom of speech, Paul remarked just a few days ago when Occupy protestors interrupted him again at an Iowa Veterans event. Ain't it wonderful!
Video shows Occupy protesters outside Paul's Iowa headquarters:
Ron Paul to Occupy Protestors in November: Do you feel better?
Ron Paul Interrupted in December: Freedom of speech: ain't it wonderful!