NEW YORK CITY, NY — Veterans and supporters stood around the 70-foot granite wall, reading the list of names of men killed in action during the invasion of Vietnam. As they read names from the wall, police began to arrest the attendees, many of them senior citizens, and shove them into a paddy wagon.
This disgraceful act took place last night, October 7, on the 12th anniversary of the American war campaign against Afghanistan. In 2001, not even a month after the three World Trade Towers fell, the United States began bombing Afghanistan and preparing for its ground invasion, despite the fact that 92% of Afghanis have never heard of the 9/11 attacks. The attendees, some of whom wore clothing emblazoned with various war protest slogans, were calling for an end to the current interventionist wars, but were silenced because their vigil went past 10:00 p.m. NYPD enforcers stood ready to pad their monthly quotas by making some arrests.
Names of veterans who died at war still being read as arrest happening. People singing “which side are you on?”
The total number of arrestees has not yet been released. Their peaceful disobedience turned out to bring more attention to their cause than ever could have been achieved by obeying the enforcers’ demands to leave a public park.
The wall was dedicated to veterans in 1985 on the tenth anniversary of the end of the Vietnam occupation. It was put up with tax dollars and dedicated by the NYC mayor. But nearly 30 years later, no veterans’ vigil is going to stand in the way of police racking up some arrest numbers. The right to peaceably assemble on public property evidently does not exist after 10:00 p.m.
Nicholas Isabella uploaded this video of the incident:
More pictures at the Atlantic Wire.