Monday, September 17, 2007

March on DC Sept15 2007: v911t member arrested

"Veterans, military families and others -- marched from the White
House to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. to demand an immediate end
to the occupation of Iraq. The march concluded with a dramatic "die-
in" of 5,000 people surrounding the Capitol. Almost 200 people were
arrested when police prevented them taking an anti-war message to
Congress. People marched shoulder-to-shoulder on eight-lane-wide
Pennsylvania Avenue, with the densely packed march stretching more
than 10 blocks. It was a historic action and a step forward for the
anti-war movement. Protesters surged onto the Capitol's south lawn
and up the steps where they were met by a police line. There, Iraq
veterans conducted a solemn ceremony to memorialize the U.S. soldiers
and Iraqis killed in the war. Over 5,000 people then laid down in a
symbolic "die-in" -- one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in
recent years." -Associated Press

I was one of the 192 veterans and activists arrested at the Capitol
building. Let me share with you the true events of the our "Surge" on
Congress...

At the end of the march route thousands of people flooded across the
lawn of the Capitol building. We gathered at the steps conducting a
ceremony to honor the dead in Iraq and then proceeded with a good old
fashioned sit-in, (Die-In). After much waiting it became apparent
that the police would not come and arrest us for our act of civil
disobedience. So... we brought the civil disobedience to them! One
after the other we broke through the police line and were arrested
for doing so. This continued for some time as more and more got up
from the ground and broke through the line to join their brothers and
sisters in civil disobedience. Thousands of protesters cheered in
support.

Wanting us out of sight from the many reporters police took each
arrested protester up the Capitol steps to the terrace, but we would
not sit and be silenced. The civil disobedience continued as we stood
to our feet and chanted from atop the Capitol building to the massive
crowd below. Finally police took us to the rear of the building were
we filled many large buses on our way to be processed. This would be
the largest arrest at the Capitol since the 70's!

At the station we wait in the bus, cuffed and in a stress position
for six hours. There was a lot of damage to my shoulders and wrists,
and my hands had swollen very badly. Once in the station the protest
continued all night long. Chanting, shouting, and clapping it was now
clear to the officers that the march did not end on Pennsylvania
avenue, we had brought it to them here... and it would continue until
every one of us was released. For twelve hours the message to end the
war went on and cheers went up loudly each time one of us had
finished processing, been given their citation, and released out the
back door.

One of the best surprises was yet to come. After 12 hours of hostile
treatment from police I was finally released at 7 am Sunday morning.
I walked out the back door of the station and nearly broke down at
what I saw. Waiting outside the station all night long released
protesters were waiting in solidarity. They began clapping and
cheering in support, just as they had done inside the station with
the release of each detainee. I am truly honored to have been a part
of this group and a part of history in D.C.

This is what Democracy looks like!

Peace,
Rick

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