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Veterans Arrested, Trampled at Presidential Debate
San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center
October 17, 2008
Editor’s note: As usual, the corporate media did not find this story worthy of notice.
One hour before the final presidential debate of the 2008 campaign, fourteen members of IVAW marched in formation to Hofstra University to present questions for the candidates. IVAW had requested permission from debate moderator Bob Schieffer to ask their questions during the debate but got no response.
|Segment on the protest aired on Democracy Now!|
The contingent of veterans in dress uniforms and combat uniforms attempted to enter the building where the debate was to be held in order to ask their questions but were turned back by police. The IVAW members at the front of the formation were immediately arrested, and others were pushed back into the crowd by police on horseback. Several members were injured, including former Army Sergeant Nick Morgan who suffered a broken cheekbone when he was trampled by police horses before being arrested.
“Neither of the candidates have shown real support for soldiers and veterans. We came here to try and get serious questions answered, questions that we as veterans of the Iraq war, have a right to ask, but instead we were arrested. We will continue to ask these questions no matter who is elected. We believe that the time has come to end this war and bring our troops home, and we will be pushing for that no matter what happens in this election.” said Jason Lemieux, a former Sergeant in the US Marine Corps and member of IVAW who served three tours in Iraq.
A total of 10 veterans were arrested during the action, including Matthis Chiroux, Kristopher Goldsmith, Adam Kokesh, Mike Spinato, Geoff Millard, Marlisa Grogan, Nathan Peld, Nick Morgan, James Gilligan and Jose Vasquez.
|Veteran trampled by police horse. Photo Credit: Bill Perry|
So what can YOU do about it? My fellow veteran brothers need you. We need to call the NY police department and ask them why they would trample IRAQ WAR VETERANS exercising their FREEDOM SPEECH in a peaceful manner. Is this the way members of the military who don the uniform and make an oath to defend the constitution, America, and it’s people are treated? We MUST NOT ONLY hold the Police Department accountable but the Presidential Candidates as well for allowing this to happen. THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY, THIS IS A POLICE STATE.
Below are the numbers. Call now and anytime until November 10th when the court date is set for the detained veterans. Stay posted for a possible action then.
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
Public Information Office
516-573-7138 (24 hour)
And the complaint line
Call 516-573-7000 and ask to be connected to the Desk Officer
where the incident occurred (Hofstra University).
NC Police Internal Affairs Unit: 516-573-7120
NC District Attorney’s Office, Special Investigations : 516-571-2100
NYS Attorney General, Civil Rights Division: 1-800-771-7755
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