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  • Veterans beaten and arrested at Hofstra Debate

    Posted by Green Party Peace Network on October 17, 2008

    http://www.squadron13.com/BillPerry/HofstraDebate/default.htm

    Click link for photos and video (viewer discretion advised)

    A group of peaceful IVAW Veterans with aspirations to contribute questions for Presidential Debate use was turned away prior to the debate, brutally trampled by mounted police, and arrested. Why won’t Obama or McCain hear what these former servicemembers have to say? Pictures below (viewer discretion advised),
    IVAW Press Release and relevant news links below pictures. More will be added as it becomes available.

    [BEGIN PRESS RELEASE]
    PRESS RELEASE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2008

    CONTACT: Jason Lemieux, jasonlemieux@ivaw.org, 760-409-9403 or Kristofer Goldsmith, kgoldy1985@gmail.com, 516-457-1260

    Iraq War Veterans Arrested While Attempting to Deliver Questions to Obama and McCain

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. ? One hour before the final presidential debate of the 2008 campaign, fourteen members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) marched in formation to Hofstra University to present questions to the candidates. IVAW had requested permission from debate moderator Bob Schieffer to ask their questions during the debate, but received no response.

    The contingent of veterans in dress and combat uniforms attempted to enter the building where the debate was to be held in order to ask questions about poor veterans’ healthcare and supporting war resisters of the candidates, but were turned back by police. 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 has shown real support for service members and veterans. We came here to try and have 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 who served three tours in Iraq, and member of IVAW.

    A total of ten veterans were arrested during the action, including Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant), Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant), Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant), Mike Spinato, Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant), Marlisa Grogan (Marine Captain), Nathan Peld (Navy, 1998-2004), Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant), James Gilligan (Marine Corps, 6 years) and Jose Vasquez (Army & Army Reserves, 1992-2007).

    Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded in July of 2004 to allow servicemen and women from all branches of the military a chance to come together and speak out against an illegal, unjust and unwinnable occupation. IVAW currently has over 1,300 members in 49 states, Canada and on military bases in the United States and overseas. To learn more about IVAW you can visit our website at http://www.ivaw.org

    [END PRESS RELEASE]

    Additional links:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/off-the-bus-reporter/final-debate-protesters-c_b_135083.html

    http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/16/15_arrested_outside_presidential_debate_in

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/print/article/261223

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Iraq-War-Veterans-Arrested-by-Kevin-Gosztola-081016-85.html

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6962936515243468480&hl=en (25 minute video)

    >From Mac Bica on 10/16
    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Here is an update on the Hempstead 15 from Kris Goldsmith of IVAW, one of the veterans arrested at Hofstra.

    On Wednesday, October 15th 2008, a peaceful protest outside the third Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on Long Island was met with violence and misconduct by police.Iraq Veterans Against the War had a clear mission that night: to ensure that the issues most important to Veterans would be at the forefront of the debate. With over 4,183 service members having been killed in Iraq (at the time of the protest), it’s unforgivable that the candidates have been allowing the Occupation of Iraq and it’s casualties to fall into avoidable talking points instead of focused attention.At 7:00pm the night of the debate, IVAW members led a contingent of a few hundred peaceful protesters to the main gate of Hofstra University. As per our letter to Moderator Bob Scheiffer, because we hadn’t received notice that two of our Veterans would be allowed to enter the debate to address the candidates, a small, uniformed contingent of Veterans physically attempted
    entry.Immediately police began arresting those who “crossed the line”. They then began using horses to physically knock protesters back away from the Hofstra gates.As the order to get back on the sidewalk was being complied to at least one officer charged his horse up the curb, and onto the sidewalk- directly resulting in at least three injuries- including two Iraq Veterans.Nick Morgan, a former Army Sergeant was trampled, knocked out, and had his face crushed by the hoof of a horse.Witnesses say that police left him unconscious on the sidewalk for up to ten minutes before arresting him. Nick, disoriented and obviously suffering a concussion, was initially refused medical treatment beyond a simple piece of gauze taped to his face.When Morgan was escorted onto the bus in handcuffs, he didn’t know where he was, or why he was arrested. Police initially refused to bring him to the hospital irregardless of his potentially life threatening condition. It
    wasn’t until other members of IVAW demanded he be allowed to see a doctor, that the police hesitantly put Nick into an ambulance.At the hospital Morgan received stitches, and it was discovered after an x-ray that his right cheek bone was clearly displaced and pushed back into his skull.After treatment, the semi-conscious Veteran was brought to Nassau County’s Headquarters Jail and shackled to a bench with the rest of us. With fifteen in total sitting in the jail, the officers and detectives began taunting and harassing Nick, with all of us witnessing this misconduct by police.We, the “Hempstead 15” were issued the same summons and case number for “disorderly conduct” and “failure to obey a lawful order”.On November 10th 2008, the Marine Corps Birthday, and one day before Veterans Day, we will be heard in court. We would like to invite you to come out in support of the very Freedoms granted by the United States Constitution that we swore to uphold and
    defend when joining the military.First District Court, County of Nassau, Arraignment Part, 99 Main Street, Hempstead New York 11550 (Room 268)I hope to see you all there, for a Peaceful action.

    -Sergeant Kristofer Goldsmith
    Iraq Veterans Against the War
    “1 of the Hempstead 15”

    For those who would like to support the Hempstead 15, here are some suggestions from IVAW

    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.

    LAWRENCE MULVEY
    COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
    Public Information Office
    516-573-7135
    516-573-7138 (24 hour)
    516-573-7118 FAX
    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

    Thank you for your continued support,

    Wendy Barranco
    President
    IVAW – Los Angeles
    Combat Medic
    SPC, USA
    OIF 05-07
    Tikrit, Iraq

    Here are the names of those veterans arrested at Hofstra.

    A total of ten veterans were arrested during the action, including Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant), Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant), Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant), Mike Spinato, Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant), Marlisa Grogan (Marine Captain), Nathan Peld (Navy, 1998-2004), Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant), James Gilligan (Marine Corps, 6 years) and Jose Vasquez (Army & Army Reserves, 1992-2007).

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