Hempstead 15 Arraigned, Divided for Trial

Fifteen participants in a protest organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) which took place on the campus of Hofstra University during the last Presidential debate were arraigned yesterday in Nassau county, New York on charges of disorderly conduct. This is the group, known as the Hempstead 15, against whom the police used horses, leading to the trampling of Nick Morgan.

Outrageous Oppression

It’s outrageous not only that horses were used against these nonviolent veterans, resulting in one serious injury, but also that the police have framed them on false charges. As you can see for yourself in any of several videos made of these events, the protesters complied with police demands and behaved nonviolently.

Do we Still have a Republic?

When even peaceful assembly, a right specifically enumerated not only in our constitution but also in international law and the constitutions of nations like Turkey and Iran is met with this kind of brutality, I have to ask, is this still a republic? Or is this officially now a police state?

Divide and Conquer

The 15 accused have been divided into small groups, most likely in an attempt to de-motivate people from any further public demonstrations of support.

Nassau county: shame on you!

Via DailyPaul, Adam Kokesh

5 responses to “Hempstead 15 Arraigned, Divided for Trial”

  1. George.. did that guy lay down behind the horse for real?

    If so.. WTF?

    I think peaceful assembly is critical, and even if a little noise needs to be made, but the whole story is not being told.. perhaps on both sides.

    BTW Michael Hoffman.. the guy who donated $2300 in 2007 to a Dem Senator candidate in NJ runs the IVAW.ORG site. Also.. Nick Morgan a $1000 contributor to Robb campaign (D) in 2004 puts a little distrust on their motives given that Bush carries the R..

  2. As I understand it, Nick Morgan, the vet who was trampled, was in line on the sidewalk with everyone else. It looks they all had their arms interlocked.

    Then a cop pulled Nick out of line in order to arrest him. This is what I have read, though the videos I’ve seen don’t demonstrate this as far as I can tell.

    Maybe Nick resisted, maybe the horse knocked him down, maybe the cop knocked him down, maybe he threw himself down. I don’t know how he got on the ground.

    This video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlI7tQCqwbU ) clearly shows the front of the horse’s hoof on Nick’s face.

    Whatever the motives of IVAW activists may be I can’t say with absolute certainty. Frankly, actions are more interesting than motivations. But I can say for sure that the police overreacted here.

    Thanks for commenting, Jason.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Regarding what Nick was doing before he got trampled –

    The quote below is directly from IVAW and it supports what I was told personally by a friend who is a Vietnam veteran who was there and took care of Nick immediately afterwards taking him to VA appts and was there for his surgery, etc. :

    “IVAW’s Nick Morgan suffered a shattered cheek bone, among other injuries, after he was pulled to the ground by police and stepped on by one of their horses.”

    Another veteran indicated that the police were swinging batons and that Nick was hit in the head before he went to the ground. But, the videos that do show Nick immediately before show him standing perfectly still with his hands behind his back.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Clarification:

    Having reread my comment, want to be clear that my last sentence that started with “but” was not intended to counter the sentence before it.

    There was too much commotion and not the right angles to see the time between Nick standing nonviolently and when he got his face trampled on. Point is, he was definitely not doing anything provocative and I don’t know who the story about him throwing himself on the ground came from, but it’s the first I’ve heard that charge and I’ve been in close contact with many while covering the story. Not even the police are suggesting that happened.

    Thanks by the way for helping to get this story out. The majority of Americans have no clue this happened outside the debate that night.

    I had photos printed out on my desk of Nick the day after it happened and my parents came to visit and of course were shocked at the images. They almost didn’t believe me when I told them what happened because, well, they watched the pre-debate commentary and post-debate commentary and discussion the next day on the news and read the paper, etc.

    That’s why it’s so important what you’re doing George. Thanks!

  5. Cheryl, thanks for the clarification.

    Hey, all I did was leech off of your excellent article. :)