131 Arrested at Veteran-led Civil Resistance Against Wars Dec. 16

131 veterans and others were arrested December 16 in front of the White House.

Click here for a gallery of photos of the action by Ellen Davidson.


Video by Eddie Becker

Video by Fred Nagel

After a 10 am rally in Lafeyette Park featuring Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, retired CIA officer Ray McGovern, Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program, and others, activists formed a solemn single-file process to the White House, silent except for a drum beat. There, they encountered police barricades. Some veterans began climbing over the barricades, until the police opened them up, allowing people to approach the fence in front of the White House.

As the light snow increased to heavy and began accumulating, activists kept warm by singing and chanting. At about 12:30, police began arresting protesters who remained along the fence, while supporters who did not want to risk arrest were moved across the broad street. Some of the demonstrators stood in the snow and freezing temperatures for nearly four hours before being taken to Anacostia processing center and released. They have all since been released. Some have elected to pay a fine, while others, including Ellsberg and McGovern, will go to trial on the charge of disobeying a lawful order.

Chris Hedges’ speech at the rally, courtesy of Skylight Media Films

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32 Responses to 131 Arrested at Veteran-led Civil Resistance Against Wars Dec. 16

  1. Ellen Murphy says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes!!

  2. Tommy Schmitz says:

    I’m so proud of all these amazing people.

  3. atorango1 says:

    Next time, let’s ALL join in.

  4. DallasDavid says:

    the right to peaceably assemble trumps ALL OTHER LAW.
    DO NOT PAY, GET THE LAW OVERTURNED.

  5. Dara Klimp says:

    Thank you all.

  6. Kay Arnold says:

    Thank You it is about time we had some protests of these wars wish I had been there….

  7. Little Wing says:

    ~With You In Solidarity. Many Thanks, Deep Respect And Peace Always!~

  8. Pat says:

    Right on! We’ve had some small protests where I live with little notice. Good job, we should have never been in this war and need to GET out. Another war death reported from our area today~we have 5 military bases with one of the top 3 deployed bases. the deaths are reported as having died “with honor”. Thank you.

  9. sandy robbins says:

    So proud of all of you; so sorry I could not attend as I so much wanted to…you folks ROCK!

  10. Barbara Larcom says:

    You are standing up for freedom, democracy, peace and truth-telling – heroes all.

  11. Peace is patriotic.

  12. Haideh Daragahi says:

    I’m writing from Stockholm, Sweden. I know you know what dangerous times we’re living in. We cannot afford to leave the streets here or in Washington, London, Athens…. Peace on earth and merry Xmas to you all.

  13. Minna Virtanen says:

    Moving and inspirational!

  14. Shayna and David Morse says:

    We want to protest also. Where can we get involved?

  15. lisa says:

    Thank you for speaking out

  16. Art James says:

    Thanks to the nobel,
    and honorable Ones.
    Beautiful Civil Protest.
    Snow made slick roads.
    What a beautiful snow.
    At noon, I got to DC.
    I was goof with no hat.
    Lafeyette Park was chilly.
    I Loved Warm Hearts.
    I say Hi to the FBI too.
    We are all one People.
    Thanks to the arrested.
    Jail is free bed & boars.
    tease.
    No be the evil bad boar.
    The Jail cell bed is steel.
    I get arrested in the bank.
    I supported. I’ll send beet?
    Snoopy nap on doghouses.
    P.S. I’ll donate green kale.
    Stop Killing. Tell the truth.
    Wars are bloody murderous.
    My heart was full. Supportive.
    I can’t get on http://www.Salon.beets.
    Irritate. Annoy creepy creeps.
    To add ‘very much’ to ‘Thanks’
    ?
    That is excessive. Very Much?
    Thanks Again Very Very Mush.
    Roads in Maryland got Slushy.
    I rode 100 miles Home. Warm.
    I lit a candle with great Respect.
    Then, ‘I invited’ the Bell Sounds.
    The sounds of a Bell is Peaceful.
    I still hold Precious Memories.
    I will forever visualize You’alls.
    You went to jail in my names`
    Thank You Very Very Much…
    War is rude, lewd, pure evil`
    Try Peace. Peace within Heart.
    `
    Art James.
    gouda goat blueberry (sometimes)
    (It’s so gaud terrible to kill humans)

  17. Candice says:

    To see the photos and video makes me feel very proud to know that there is still resistance and hope in this country–thank you to those who could make it on my behalf. Thank you for saying what needs to be said. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  18. Nico says:

    “There, they encountered police barricades. Some veterans began climbing over the barricades, until the police opened them up, allowing people to approach the fence in front of the White House.”

    Hey, great action Vets! We love ya’ll! But don’t forget that the police DID NOT open them up, the protesters did and the police had to obey! We need to be recognize that, because too often we get corralled into our protest site and are at the mercy of the police. There were many people who refused to be corralled, and decided to start taking down the fences. It was a great action!

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  19. DavefromPA says:

    I was PROUD to attend! Also, being there helped to open my eyes even more to a lot of things you read about at Alternative News Websites. I will not post my thoughts or experience of using the bathroom at a Hotel across the street from the Treasury Building here. Again, Honored to be a part of it all!

  20. Ahmad Gharanfoli says:

    I truly admire evryone of you for showing your support of those helpless who are under gun.I have not heard the name of your organization. I hope next time if there is a plan to protest the policy of aggression, let more people know so they can join you.

    Thank you.

  21. Robert Beaumier says:

    I believe that all of you veterans are true heroes for speaking out against war. If they won’t listen to you, I don’t know to whom they will listen. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for your witness to peace.

  22. BF from WV says:

    Peace on Earth indeed!

  23. Thank you Veterans for Peace for your courageous and powerful action in DC. Two hundred of us also rallied in San Francisco at the SF Federal Building in solidarity with your action. Twenty six of us were arrested blocking all entrances to the Federal Building. Our message, “No more business as usual while the wars and occupations continue in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Hopefully our actions in DC, San Francisco and across this country will be a wake up call to the 60% of the American people who believe the wars are not worth fighting to wake up and act to stop these tragic wars which are killing our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Afghanistan and stealing money and talent from our communities in the United States. The People United will Never Be Defeated. WE SHALL OVERCOME!
    David Hartsough
    Peaceworkers,
    San Francisco

  24. Daniel Craig says:

    Thank you for your service.

  25. Thierry Mettler says:

    This isn’t enough. We need to take over the white house, without violence, but just a couple of 100,000 people walking in and removing the politicians.

  26. Manuel Chavira says:

    Thanks a million VFPers for saying: too much killing, too much collateral damage, too much destruction to the planet, too much military-industrial complex spending, ya basta con la guerra! War is a crime against humanity. Give Peace a change with full employment for every able body and see the economy and America thrive!!

  27. Darren says:

    It was an honor to be able to stand with all who attended. Please click on my name to see video & pics.

  28. Clarissa says:

    Thank you all for standing up for me and all who were there in spirit! Together, we CAN end violence and live in continuous peace! Adelante!

  29. Sarah El-Zaatari says:

    I was there but did not get arrested. I think it would be great if we could somehow coordinate a rally at the same time at political buildings across and universities across the country! So many people support the cause but live too far from DC to participate here, especially with the economy. Hopefully more happens soon and we can make a difference!!

  30. Markin says:

    Reflections On The Winter Soldier Resistance -The White House, December 16, 2010- Down With Imperialist War!

    White-haired men, mainly, standing stoically in the snow in Lafayette Park in front of the White House, brushing off the flakes as they accumulate on their weathered shoulders. Many are Rip Van Winkle-bearded, Gabby Hayes-bearded for those who remember that name out of black and white television child cowboy and Indian dreams and this crowd, this motley group of veterans of past and present wars of the American imperium know that name, or know those who know that name. Mostly the beards, like the hair, are white as well, some a bit raggedy like times were a little tough and keeping up with appearances had lost some of its glimmer. Some are pot-bellied, showing signs of rough battles after youth’s invincibility proved false for another generation. Some are rail thin, reflecting the inhuman struggle to keep old age’s weight down. Some are, proudly, wearing their old time medal-bedecked, rank-inscribed, and name-stitched service uniforms, those awful greens, those awful olive greens to make a man or woman hate the sight of green. Some, who dearly purchased their right to use that uniform as anti-war symbol, “finger” that uniform today, also proudly.

    All, I say all, show the scars of war, some in the stoop of their shoulders, some in that deep, inner place where the horrors of war are kept at bay for another day. All show those scars in their gait as they wait, wait for another signal, a signal to march, but this time to a different drummer, to a different drum beat, more Buddhist bong that military tattoo. They harken back, I can see it clearly in their faces as I could have in my own if I had chanced to see a mirror just then, to young manhood, to young manhood’s fears and follies. To their first taste of battle, bullets whirling, cannons booming, bombs sizzling from the death skies. Life was measured, if it was measured at all, in that minute, that soldier’s minute between life and death, no, less than a minute. The “order” is given to move out, move out slowly, single-file, keep some distance between you and the next kindred spirit, white-doved flags fluttering in the snow wind leading the way. These men know the drill, know the pace, and know the mission. Unlike those youthful terrors this is not a day for fear. This is the day when the ante gets raised. And these are the men to meet that clarion call to resistance. No, no need for fear today. These are winter soldiers. The resistance has begun, and let those other white-haired men, mainly, those powerful white-haired men with their hands on the throttle of power tremble at the thought.

  31. Debra Sweet says:

    There must be a next time. Saturday March 19, 2011 is the anniversary of the day “shock and awe” was brought to Iraq by the Bush Regime. Shock and awe became endless occupation. We should be at The White House again, then or on Friday March 18.

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