Pulitzer-winner, ex-CIA analyst, FBI whistleblower among those arrested outside White House


By David Edwards
Thursday, December 16th, 2010

As President Barack Obama was unveiling a new report on progress of the war in Afghanistan, a lineup of high-profile dissenters joined in an act of civil disobedience that ended with about 135 demonstrators being arrested outside the White House Thursday afternoon.

The number of arrestees came by way of an attorney for one of the defendants, who spoke to Raw Story.

The military's assessment (.pdf) of the war effort found that while US troops can begin withdrawing as scheduled in July, a military presence will continue until at least 2014.

At the same time the president was speaking, dozens of protesters, organized by Veterans for Peace, lined up along the White House fence in an act of civil disobenience. Many chained or tied themselves to the fence and chanted "End, end, end the occupation. Troops out now!"

Police spent several hours arresting demonstrators, taking photos of each one before placing them into vans.

Notable participants risking arrest included Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, retired 27-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern, FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley, and Pulitzer-winning former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges.

Raw Story was able to confirm the arrests of Ellsberg, McGovern, Rowley and Hedges, along with Veterans for Peace members Elliott Adams, Mike Ferner, Mike Hearington and Leah Bolger.

A full list of those arrested was expected to be released later tonight.

Protesters began gathering Wednesday night at St. Stephen's Church in Washington, DC. The rally began Thursday at 10 a.m. in Lafayette Park. Several speeches were given on the importance of civil resistance before demonstrators marched single-file to the White House.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Thursday showed a record 60 percent of Americans believe the Afghan war is not worth fighting.

This video depicting an anti-war protest outside the White House was published to YouTube on Dec. 16, 2010.

Nathan Diebenow contributed to this report.

Pic sample credit: UPI.


It's because of people like this that I still believe in America. 911 truth now! And the war will END NOW.

the wars are Orwellian unlawful...

We will fight and kill and die until critical mass can recognize these are Wars of Aggressions founded upon paper-thin lies. For the explanation of how the wars are unlawful with complete documentation: http://www.examiner.com/la-county-nonpartisan-in-los-angeles/open-propos...

Our men and women in uniform have an Oath of Enlistment they should invoke to refuse all war orders because the wars are unlawful.

Thank you

PEACE - everywhere - ON EARTH

GOODWILL TO (all) MEN (women and children)

Thank you "Ellsberg, McGovern, Rowley and Hedges, along with Veterans for Peace members Elliott Adams, Mike Ferner, Mike Hearington and Leah Bolger" for giving us the gift of inspiration.

Great slideshow of pics...


The smile on Ellsberg's face as he is being arrested in this one is priceless. Check out this one too, even the cop is smiling. This is what non-violent resistance looks like. I admire all who participated.


I attended this event and spoke for Gandhian resistance

I contacted Kevin Zeese, who had sent me the notice. He sent me to Mike Ferner and the office. After much incompetence on my part, I finally connected with Elliott Adams, who had responsibility for training. He couldn't give me permission to compare Gandhian resistance to what they use, civil resistance. He did give me permission to leaflet.

I introduced myself when many were doing so on Wednesday night and gave out a few dozen fliers. Near the end of the training, people asked several times about jail solidarity. The trainer asked to have that addressed later. When they were about to end that section, I asked," What about jail solidarity?" They agreed to address it. I raised my hand. They said," Do you have a question?" I said "I have a 30 second statement." They gave permission for me to speak. I said," There is nothing wrong with jail solidarity, but that is not Gandhi's approach. Gandhi favored suffering in jail to touch the heart of the adversary."

After the program, I stood at the exit and leafletted. A few people praised what I had said. The facilitator asked that I not give the leaflet out tomorrow. I agreed not to. I probably shouldn't have given it out the next day anyway. The title was " Americans are Cowards." I went and helped assemble signs for a while. Both Kevin Zeese and Tarik, the meeting facilitator, thanked me for helping.

On the day of the action, I cleaned out my car and drove to the cop shop to pick up those leaving jail. The park police station is actually far from any metro. One of the people I helped shuttle to the hotel was Tarik, the person who had facilitated the meeting the night before.

The evaluation the next day with about 50 people present was facilitated by a woman who explicitly said she thought my proposal of discussing Gandhi was not appropriate. She wanted to avoid evaluating the action and focus on creating a followup action. I noted that discussing Gandhi could lead to a resistance action. A fellow who identified himself as on the board objected to my remark.

I praised Elliott Adams for giving me permission to leaflet on Wednesday night.

There was a discussion of police agents. I noted that," Here is my summary of Gene Sharp's wisdom on the matter. These are my words,"It's not their lying or their spying that is the biggest problem. It's their ability to generate mistrust among genuine activists.' I continued ," Be sure not to claim you know someone is an agent. If you don't like what they are doing, criticize what they are saying and doing." I noted someone had referred to the left's tendency to have a circular firing squad" This is a reference to attacking each other rather than those who favor war. I noted that such reference could be used to discourage any disagreement. There is nothing necessarily wrong with disagreement, as long as there are no personal attacks.

At the end of the meeting I called for 30 seconds to address Gandhi. I asked the facilitator if she was really going to prevent me from even having 30 seconds. She relented. I said," I know many people here are opposed to Gandhi's approach. If every person in this room is clear they haven't the slightest interest in discussing Gandhi, I'll be happy to leave you alone. Are there any people in this room who will talk with me about Gandhi?" The facilitator asked," Not now, right?" I agreed not now. Three people raised their hands. I got their contact info. One turned out to be a Maine truth activist I had spoken with recently.

After the meeting broke up, the president of VFP, Mike Ferner, told me they will formally address Gandhi at a later meeting. I thanked him.

I did not raise 911truth at any meeting. I focused on Gandhi because it's harder to find people willing to do nonviolent resistance than anti war folks in general. I am MUCH more isolated as an advocate of Gandhian resistance than I am as a 911Truth activist.


You are no doubt sincere in your beliefs, but Gandiism is not the be all and end all that you think it is. A more sober appraisal of this man and his work, I believe, would conclude that he played a key role in blocking social revolution in India. His role was to facilitate the peaceful transfer of power to Indian elites and insure that nothing but the color of the skin was changed, as colonialism was in decline everywhere in the wake of the Soviet revolution and anti-colonial movements after the 1st world war. (and before, Latin America, etc). But rather than debate it all here - let me just say with equal sincerity that I find your concluding statemant VERY disappointing indeed, i,e.,
"I did not raise 911truth at any meeting". Pretty lame Im afraid.

ps - I do agree with what you say about "agents" in our midst.


I used to subscribe to updates from Zeese's 'Voters for Peace' website, and found it VERY frustrating--all too typical of the antiwar left in its unflinching devotion to 'blowback' thinking re 9/11. I tried to engage him about it, make the point that limiting critiques of the OCT to the motives of the attackers while uncritically accepting the government's story of who the attackers ultimately were has, over nearly ten years, done very little to weaken support for these wars among that segment of the population that continues--with whatever degree of support or enthusiasm--to support them. All I got was frustration--his devotion to blowback is so set that he won't even consider that it just might be a reason for why the antiwar movement has utterly failed over all these years.

And do these organizations even acknowledge the extent to which they've failed? And do they even care? Or are they content to just go on and on, making no progress in achieving their stated purpose? Sometimes I wonder.

Chris Hedges Speaks