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Police attack anti-war veterans at presidential debate


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Urgent Action: Iraq Veterans protest at presidential debates met with violence and arrest

 

[There is also a video related to the protests at http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/ireports/2008/10/16/ireport.debate.protest.cnn.html]

 

View at: http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/1927

 

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"

 

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT US NOW??

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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

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