Over 100 anti-war protesters were arrested outside the White House on Thursday, including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, during a rally that included former military men declaring America's real enemies to be those who "laid us off from our jobs" and "denied us health care."
Protesters carried signs saying "Peace on earth?" and "How is the war economy working for you?" and broke through metal barriers in order to protest at the White House fence. The group Veterans for Peace claims to have organized the event, and says 135 were arrested.
The rhetoric, however, wasn't always peaceful. In a video posted on YouTube, a man who claims to be young veteran from the group March Forward rails against the military, government, and America. He encourages soldiers not to deploy to war, saying that have a right to not to do so, and says our real enemies are "right here" (at about 1:25 below):
Who is March Forward? The group's site describes itself using Marxist terms, including a high emphasis on "struggle":
March Forward! is an affiliate of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). Along with others in the Coalition, we are organizing against the Iraq and Afghanistan war while fighting for social and economic justice at home—including the struggle against racism and all forms of discrimination and bigotry. March Forward! operates based on the belief that real change comes through struggle and mass action.
December 16, 2010. Join CODEPINK and activist veterans marching in solidarity to the White House to demand an immediate end to U.S. wars, whether conducted by occupation troops, drones or proxy, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine. To join and support what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to the wars in recent history please go to www.stopthesewars.org.
The arrested included Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The protest included support for another whistleblower, Julian Assange.
All arrested were charged with failure to obey lawful order, a misdemeanor, Park Police spokesman David Schlosser told the Huffington Post. He said the protesters would be released after either forfeiting $100 or accepting an assigned court date.