Veterans Arrested, Trampled at Debate Anti-War Protest

RNC Police Tactics v. Iraq Veterans with a Message for the Candidates

A group of us from World Can't Wait went to Hostra University yesterday before the debate. Several different groups had messages outside the gates.  Immigrant rights activists (Hempstead has a large Salvadoran community) came on a march with student anti-war groups, World Can't Wait, Code Pink and many local activists. The Long Island Alliance of peace/environmental groups, and about 50 Planned Parenthood supporters, along with a mix of Obama supporters had a rally inside a fenced-in "free speech zone."  We were all in a kind of fluid mix across a wide turnpike from where the debate was held, while elsewhere, a free concert was held for Obama.  All the national media were inside the campus.

Iraq Veterans Against the War had announced last week that they had questions for Obama and McCain about the war and treatment of veterans, and wanted their representatives allowed into ask them. IVAW had a meeting earlier with the local police, assuring them would be non-violent.  At 7pm, the deadline they gave the debate organizers for an answer, 15 members of IVAW led a march across the street.  At least 100 of us followed them, backing them at the entrance of the campus, and shouting "Let them in!" We were met by a solid line of police on horses, with nearly 100 riot police.

Matthis Chiroux and Kris Goldsmith read the questions they wanted to ask the candidates, and when they stepped forward a few feet to attempt to go on campus, they were arrested.  In the next few minutes, a total of 10 IVAW members were arrested, some after standing together, pushed across t

he turnpike by cops on horses.  They never raised their arms. The horses were used repeatedly to charge into the crowd, and especially at the IVAW members, in uniform, who were able to stay upright for nearly 10 minutes.  As we were pushed to the opposite sidewalk, the batons came out, and horses pushed several veterans to the ground, including Geoff Millard.  Nick Morgan was stepped on by a horse, and treated at a hospital (only after the other vets demanded it) for a broken cheekbone and possible concussion, then sent on to jail.  Two women in the crowd were also hurt by horses.

The several veterans who were not arrested spoke to the independent media afterward, full of outrage.  Jabar Magruder, who was stationed in
Iraq as part of the national guard, said he had not seen people attacked like that since he was in Iraq
, and "I don't need to see that here". 

Those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct and refusal to obey an official order, and released for a November 10 court date. There was almost no mention of this protest in the news today.  New York Newsday and The Army Times were the only daily newspapers to cover the story.  Local TV affiliates sent cameras after the arrests.  See independent media reports:

Democracy Now 
The Indypendent

Be the Media

Challenging the Torture State:

MORE Secret Memos: Bush Regime Advocated, Endorsed Torture: An article in Wednesday's Washington Post reveals that, in 2003 and 2004, Bush Regime officials issued a pair of memos to the CIA that explicitly and categorically advocated the use of torture on "suspected terrorists".

Two developments ensued the memos. One - countless bodies and minds were destroyed by the systematic use of water boarding, crushing testicles, sleep deprivation, bodies smeared with dog shit and set upon by German shepherds, savage beatings, and other unimaginably barbaric torments carried out by U.S. intelligence and military officials - in the name of the American people. Two - an endless stream of evasions, distortions, cheap "justifications", equivocations, and of course outright lies by every significant representative of the Bush Regime, starting with Bush himself, from day one right down to today.

Torturing Democracy: This film was shown on PBS WNET in New York tonight, but PBS has delayed showing it nationally until after January 21.  You can see it anytime online, and it's well worth the time.  Watch the documentary, narrated by Peter Coyote, read the key documents, and see a timeline of US sponsored torture at

W!  The film by Oliver Stone opens nationwide today.  I know a lot of you Bush opponents will see it.  Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney.  Thandie Newton as Condoleeza Rice and Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell.  Send me your opinions and reviews!

Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

Main Reports on Protest & Resistance Veterans Arrested, Trampled at Debate Anti-War Protest


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.