Protests at US Carlyle offices result in arrests

Anti-war campaigners have targeted Carlyle Group’s US offices to protest at the firm’s government links and its role in the defence industry.

( More than 100 anti-war protesters were arrested Monday outside of the San Francisco offices of Washington DC-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group.


Monday’s protest was organised by Direct Action to Stop the War. The organisation chose to protest at Carlyle’s offices because they claim Carlyle directly profits from the war in Iraq. The protesters also convened at the Federal Building in San Francisco.


“Carlyle builds weapons for this war, its investments drive this war, its relationships to the people of power who decided to launch this war defy speculation,” according to Direct Action’s web site.


The protest began around 10am on Monday after people marched from Justin Herman Plaza to the Transamerica Pyramid, where Carlyle’s offices are located. Approximately 120 were arrested after protesters locked arms when they were ordered to disperse. Most were booked and released.


Carlyle has been criticized by some activist groups because of the firm’s roster of politically connected partners and advisers and its focus on defense-oriented investments.


People have also protested outside of the offices of Carlyle's Washington DC and New York offices. At a protest a few months ago in Washington, Chris Ullman, Carlyle's vice president of corporate communications spoke for approximately 45 minutes with the protesters. The protesters' information regarding Carlyle was largely inaccurate, Ullman said. The protest literature said that Colin Powell was a spokesman for the group, which is untrue.


“If the logic of their arguments and the accuracy of their claims matched the level of enthusiasm, the debate would be better served,” Ullman said. “The First Amendment is a powerful tool, but propaganda and misinformation does it a disservice.”


Ullman said he was never contacted by Direct Action to Stop the War and only spoke with someone in their organisation after making three phone calls.