Monday, December 20, 2010

131 arrests in DC and that's not news

Madison Examiner
Gregory Patin

About 135 people were arrested yesterday in an anti-war protest outside the White House. This came as President Obama was revealing a new report that touted progress in the war in Afghanistan. Thanks to our diligent, informative, corporate media, this act of civil disobediance and arrests apparently are not news.

Those arrested included Pulitzer prize-winning war correspondent, Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon papers, retired 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern, FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley, as well as several members of Veterans for Peace.

The anti-war protest, organized by Veterans for Peace, began at 10 am yesterday in Lafayette Park with a series of speeches on the importance of civil resistance delivered to several hundred participants in frigid weather. After the rally, activists formed a solemn single-file process to the White House, silent except for a drum beat. When they encountered police barricades there, some veterans began climbing over them, until the police opened up the barricades, allowing people to approach the fence in front of the White House.

At about 12:30 pm, police began arresting protesters who remained along the fence, several of whom had chained themselves to it, 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. All have 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. Police spent several hours making the arrests and taking photos of each one of the demonstrators before placing them in a van.

While small in numbers, this protest is significant because it was organized and led by veterans who have served their country. It is also significant that it was completely ignored by the mainstream media on a news day largely filled with sports news and holiday shopping reports.

One would think that 135 or so arrests on the White House grounds are newsworthy, but apparently not with today’s media. If there is any doubt that the information that major corporate media outlets feed their consumers or omit to tell them is controlled, then this should dispel that doubt. It is apparently not in the corporate media’s interest to report that veterans, ex-CIA and FBI personnel and most Americans are opposed to the ongoing wars.

Update: 12/17/2010, 1830 EST. Veterans for Peace is now reporting that the precise number of arrests is 131.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to you for covering it, though! Raw Story did an interview with Chris Hedges - that's about as close to MSM as the story got.

    Keep up the work. It shouldn't be long now...