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VETERANS, PEACE ACTIVISTS HAVE THEIR “DAY IN COURT” TO CHALLENGE MARCH 19 WHITE HOUSE ARRESTS
On Monday, July 11, 2011, nineteen veterans, members of Catholic Worker and other long-time peace activists will have a pro se trial in DC Superior Court, stemming from arrests on the White House sidewalk March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
After the 8:00 a.m. press conference, they will then proceed to a trial, which will be held in Courtroom 313 of DC Superior Court.
The March 19 action raised issues of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cost of the war to American society, and the continued detention of whistleblower Bradley Manning. One hundred thirteen persons were arrested on the White House sidewalk by US Park Police, and 19 of those will proceed to a trial on charges of Failure to Obey a Lawful Order and Unlawful Assembly-Disorderly Conduct.
Explaining his reason for being arrested in March, Veterans For Peace president, Elliott Adams, stated, “The majority of Americans want our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a Vietnam vet I remember this pattern well and I know instead of withdrawal we will get lip service and lies from our government. The Vietnam war did not end until citizens and soldier made the government stop. I am fulfilling my job as a citizen to stop these
wars and occupations.”
The activists have traveled from as far away as Maine, North Carolina and throughout the Eastern US. Their trial will highlight their desire to petition their government for redress of grievances in prosecuting two costly wars; their First Amendment Right in doing so; and other arguments. Although there are some first time activists, many of those going to trial have opposed war for most of their lives. They have continued to "speak truth to power" as they did on March 19 at the White House.