IVAW members arrested while attempting to present questions to Obama and McCain
One hour before the final presidential debate of the 2008 campaign, fourteen members of IVAW marched in formation to Hofstra University to present questions for the candidates. IVAW had requested permission from debate moderator Bob Schieffer to ask their questions during the debate but got no response.
The contingent of veterans in dress uniforms and combat uniforms attempted to enter the building where the debate was to be held in order to ask their questions but were turned back by police. The 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 have shown real support for soldiers and veterans. We came here to try and get 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 and member of IVAW who served three tours in Iraq.
A total of 10 veterans were arrested during the action, including Matthis Chiroux, Kristopher Goldsmith, Adam Kokesh, Mike Spinnato, Geoff Millard, Marlisa Grogan, Nathan Peld, Nick Morgan, James Gilligan and Jose Vasquez.
Click here to read an update from Nick Morgan on his condition.
Iraq Veterans Against the War has three central demands:
Immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq; Reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and stopping the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that their people can control their own lives and future; and Full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.