The 23 vigilers as well as journalist Amy Goodman and videographer Kirsten Michel were released from substation D-5 of the United States Park Police at around 9:30 PM EST tonight, Sat. Mar 8th. They had been detained for between four and five hours, and are to return to court in DC on May 15. Thanks to all who helped pressure the US Park Police and their handlers. It is important to note that the vigilers were arrested for daring to walk on a sidewalk; Goodman and Michel for reporting on the dignified and disciplined antiwar protest and the act of nonviolent noncooperation. (One version of the CodePink press release suggested Amy Goodman was protesting; she was not - she was reporting.) Upon release, all were in excellent spirits. The 23 joined together outside the Anacostia detention facility, in a cold wind, and sang, "all we are saying, is give peace a chance." Many of those released went to the Codepink celebration at the Josephine Butler House. Goodman headed back to New York to prepare for the next edition of Democracy Now!, which will begin broadcasting two hours of news on Monday. They also reported that the US Park Police were generally (but not entirely) rude, petty and mean. They were kept seven to a cell, with each cell just 5 feet by 8 feet, with bench space for two. The toilet flush handle was outside the cell door, so, said one guard, excrement could be checked for drugs before being flushed down. "We think of everything in here," a detainee reported a guard scoffed. One woman needed to have asthma medicine delivered. Another was not given privacy or sanitary facilities for changing a tampon, and was rebuffed when asked what to do with the blood on her hands. The denial of the CodePink march to the vital gathering space of Lafayette Park is troubling; the arrest of Amy Goodman as she attempted to cover the vigil and consequent civil disobedience is a separate issue, and raises serious alarms about the true meaning of freedom of the press in the USA. For more info, see http://nycap.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=5075&group=webcast democracynow.org http://www.democracynow.org