Police in Washington arrested over 100 people, including Vietnam war veterans on Thursday (April 22) -- as the veterans demonstrated against the war.
Police in Washington arrested over 100 people, including Vietnam war veterans on Thursday (April 22) -- as the veterans demonstrated against the war. The former soldiers, some crippled, had been gathering in Washington for several days for demonstrations which were due to climax in a mass protest and lobby outside the White House on Saturday (April 24). They wee arrested as they tried to demonstrate outside the Supreme Court, which had earlier ruled that they could not go on camping on lawns opposite the White House. When arrested, the ex-servicemen -- who want an immediate end to the war -- raised their hands above their heads "prisoner-of-war" style, and were led off singing and chanting. There was little violence.
One of their leaders, former Navy gunboat Commander John Kerry, later told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
SYNOPSIS: Vietnam war veterans, camping on the lawn outside the White House in Washington on Thursday following several days of protests against the war, were among many arrested later on the steps of the Supreme Court.
The former servicemen, some crippled from their days in action, set up a camp in almost military style. But after several days of peaceful demonstrations, the Supreme Court ruled they must not sleep on the lawns -- an order which was ignored by police until the demonstrators marched on the Supreme Court in protest at the ruling. Police advanced up the court steps and arrested over 100 people, including many of the disgruntled ex-servicemen, against a background of chanting by the demonstrators. Many of the arrested walked to the police vans with their hands held above their heads in "prisoner-of-war" style, but there was little violence.
After the police vans were driven away, one of the demonstrators' leaders, former Navy gunboat commander John Kerry who was wounded three times in Vietnam, spoke to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.