Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Today's Hoot!
Protester picks wrong spot to lock himself
A man spent hours chained to the wrong building Tuesday in an ill-planned effort to protest war with Iraq, police said.

Jody Mason padlocked himself to an entrance of the Washington State Grange building at 924 Capitol Way S., thinking it was a sub-office of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Grange employees found him about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and asked what he was doing.

He told employees he'd chained himself to the building in civil disobedience Monday night after listening to President Bush's televised ultimatum to Saddam Hussein.

Mason padlocked one end of the chain around his neck and the other to a door, which opens to a bottom-floor office. He told onlookers he was protesting Bush's foreign and domestic policies. He had affixed a sign to the building reading, "Reduce Deficit."

Grange employees explained that he was at the wrong building. The Grange is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that advocates for residents in rural areas.

"I don't think that's ever happened before," said Larry Clark, Grange communications director.
Police officers used heavy-duty bolt cutters to free Mason.

"He asked for help because he didn't have the key," Olympia police Cmdr. Steve Nelson said.