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Veteran’s Day Post/Hempstead 15 Story

Update 11/12/08: I attended court today in the stands for Adam Kokesh. Adam was there with his attorney, and some other supporters. More to follow, and possibly a few photos of Adam and his attorney. The main outcome: Adam Kokesh will have his trial on Thursday, December 11th. Sounds like the trial would happen sometime after 10am. In addition, Wednesday, December 10th and Thurs. Dec. 11th are appearance dates for some of the other Hempstead 15. So, we will standby for which dates and times the IVAW folks would prefer the community come out in full force for. -KW

Adam Kokesh is an Iraq Veteran Against the War and one of the Hempstead 15, all of whom were wrongfully arrested at the Hostra Debate demonstration. Adam’s trial was quickly scheduled for tomorrow, Wed. Nov 12th. Since the judge has made all the trials separate, it will be an act of defiance to the judge and unity for the cause if we show up in great numbers anyway, for each of our brother and sisters facing trial for trying to stop the war. If you want to celebrate Veteran’s Day today, use the day to spread the word, and make plans to be at court tomorrow.

Hope people can come tomorrow, Wed. Nov 12th, for Adam Kokesh’s trial. It is at Nassau County District Court at 99 Main Street in Hempstead, NY. Please arrive at 8am. Video below, and below the video, and update from the Hempstead 15, with action items and ways to donate to the medical bills of Nick Morgan, who was trampled by a police horse.


Subject: Please come to court in Nassau County on Wed, Nov 12th at 8am to support the Hempstead 15 from the Hofstra Demo

Subject: Hempstead 15 plead not guilty while cops defend brutalizing veterans

It was a sad day for Nassau County, but a proud one for veterans and activists nation-wide when the Hempstead 15 plead not guilty Nov. 10 in the Nassau County District Courthouse to charges of disorderly conduct while a crowd of nearly 100 supporters cheered them from in and outside the building.

The charges stemmed from an action planned by IVAW around the final presidential debate at Hofstra University Oct. 15. During the debate, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and supporters peacefully marched into police lines blocking Hofstra’s entrance after having their voices and issues ignored throughout the election cycle by the candidates.

During the demonstration, Nassau County Police used horses to push demonstrators onto a sidewalk before brutalizing them and arresting several, including Nick Morgan, a veteran of Iraq whose face was crushed by a police horse. In total, ten veterans and five of our supporters were arrested, hence the Hempstead 15.

Following an evening of relentless harassment by Nassau County Police, including threats of rape and further brutality, the Hempstead 15 were released to appear in court today where all plead not guilty as the police defended their actions to the press.

“The protesters were trying to gain entry into the debate, and police were not going to let that happen,” said Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone of the NCPD to Newsday. “We used necessary force in order to carry out that goal,” he said, before asserting that police have yet to determine whether Nick was actually trampled.

This claim comes in direct contradiction not only to video evidence clearly showing Nick and others being trampled and brutalized on the sidewalk opposite the main gate of Hofstra, but also a statement made by Lt. Kevin Smith of the NCPD’s Public Information Office almost a month ago where he acknowledged, “One of the defendants collided with a police horse,” before adding, “Who do you think is gonna win?”

After refusing to drop charges against the Hempstead fifteen, Nassau County once again snubbed the first amendment and our supporters by setting different court dates for our members, scattering our next appearances from this Wednesday to late January, I suspect in an attempt to complicate further demonstrations.

What these legal gerrymanderers don’t realize is they’ve just given a motivated movement a good reason to celebrate liberty and support our troops 15 more times on their front porch!

So where do we go from here?

We must keep up the pressure on Nassau County to drop all charges against the Hempstead 15. You can do this by calling District Attorney Kathleen Rice at 516-571-2994 or contacting her here: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.nassaucountyny.gov%2Fagencies%2FDA%2Fcontact.html

As well, you can sign the petition demanding that charges be dropped against Nick Morgan and that those officers responsible for the brutality of Oct. 15th be held accountable. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://www.ipetitions.com%2Fpetition%2Fjusticefornick%2F%3Fe Additionally, please donate money to help cover Nick’s medical bills at ivaw.org.

Please reach out to president-elect Obama however you can and demand that he condemn the trampling and arrests of Nick and others as well the eroding of our civil liberties as Americans.

Please help us spread word of the tragic events of Oct. 15th by continuing to forward information about the demonstration, Nick Morgan and the Hempstead 15 to your friends, relatives and co-workers. This REALLY makes a difference.

Adam Kokesh will be going to trial this Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. Please come out to the courthouse at 8 a.m. to show your support! 99 Main St., Hempstead, NY. The next court appearance will not take place until December which gives us some time to plan.

I’ll be appearing on Democracy Now tomorrow morning for Veterans Day and to speak about what happened in court this morning. Please tune in or check out the broadcast on the web at democracynow.org.

We’re a long way from finished fighting. And this is a fight we will ultimately win. Simply having people in this country willing to put their bodies on the line in defense of our veterans and the constitution is proof that victory is within our grasps.

I was so moved this morning to see so many supporters gathered so early in the morning in solidarity with us. Thank you to all who turned out to make good on America’s promise to support her troops. And thank you to all who signed the petition, donated to Nick and who’ve helped us get the word out!

Much more is to come from IVAW and the Hempstead 15. Stay in touch to see how we’re going to end the war and ensure our troops get the care and respect they deserve!

Peace and Solidarity,

Matthis Chiroux



The Hempstead 15:
Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant)
Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant)
Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant)
Mike Spinato (Marine Sergeant)
Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant)
Marlisa Grogan (Marine Captain)
Nathan Peld (Navy, 1998-2004)
Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant)
James Gilligan (Marine Corps, 6 years)
Jose Vasquez (Army & Army Reserves, 1992-2007)
Ryan Olander
Paul Blasenheim
David M. Disimino
Lianne Gillouly
Megan Day

5 Responses

  1. […] Update from Hempstead 15 (Hofstra Demo) court appearance Update!: Come to court tomorrow, Wed. Nov 12th at 8am for Adam Kokesh’s trial. New post with video is here. […]

  2. […] Update: What happened and how to help the Hempstead 15 Update 11/11/08: Please go to court on Wed. Nov 12th to support the Hempstead 15 (trial for Adam Kokesh). Info is here. […]

  3. […] Update!: Come to court AGAIN on Wed. Nov 12th at 8am for the first trial- Adam Kokesh. More info is here. And, at http://www.ivaw.org. _____________________________ Related video: […]

  4. Thanks for keeping us updated with the situation. This is an important event that is way too underexposed.

    Would you be able to clarify what happened at the court today? I don’t understand why there will be another trial date in December? What was the purpose of today’s trial?


  5. I believe that what happens is that today was the “court date” which could be a trial. But, everyone has to be ready and agree. The police officer needed to testify, and he was not available, he had to be scheduled. So, they will have the trial on a date when the police officer can be there. I think it is pretty normal for there to be some court dates to figure things out and set things up.

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