Thirteen anti-war activists were given citations Saturday for protesting outside the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade.
An NSA security officer cited the activists for “entering into military facility for purposes prohibited by law” and ordered them to leave the area, protest organizers and an NSA spokesman said.
They were ordered to appear in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to be arraigned at a date to be announced.
Twenty-five people participated in the protest, but only 13 who refused to stop carrying signs were cited, said Max Obuszewski of the Pledge of Resistance — Baltimore, one of those cited. They carried a banner reading “NSA Crime Scene” and other signs protesting the agency’s involvement in the war in Iraq.
The activists were stopped on a road near the NSA entrance that provides access to two museums that are open to the public, Obuszewski said.
“We were on, I would argue, public property,” he said. “Anybody could go there and get gasoline; anybody could go there and visit the two museums.”
Don Weber, an NSA spokesman, said Fort Meade policy specifies that protesters submit a written request for a permit and the activists cited had not done so.
The Pledge of Resistance — Baltimore sent a letter last month to Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, seeking a meeting to discuss issues including “the illegal wiretapping and wholesale collection of Americans’ phone records” and “the NSA’s surveillance of our group.” The organization has received no response, Obuszewski said.