Grassroots candidatearrested at protest

Phil Willkie, the Grassroots Party candidate from the 4th Congressional District, was arrested Thursday morning for trespassing at Alliant Techsystems in Hopkins. The 4th district encompasses all of the St. Paul campus.
Willkie was one of 62 protesters arrested after blocking the doors to the company to protest the production of land mines.
Alliant Techsystems is an aerospace and defense company and is the nation’s largest producer of land mines.
The arrests came a day after longtime activists Phillip Berrigan and his wife Liz McAlister spoke in Willey Hall about the need to eliminate all land mines. Berrigan discussed Thursday’s protest at the Wednesday lecture.
Willkie, 43, is a political science graduate of the University. Key points in his platform include reducing the federal deficit by cutting military spending, legalizing hemp and eliminating land mine use, which he calls “the last battlefront in the peace campaign.”
The Hopkins police department declined to comment, but said that all of the protesters were released around noon Thursday.
Alliant Techsystems declined to comment.
— Chris Vetter