Anti-War Minister Is Attacked, Gets Leg Broken for Trying to Enter Petraeus Hearing
Rev. Lennox Yearwood stood on line waiting his turn to enter the room. This is what happened to him.
September 11, 2007
Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus wanted to attend the Petraeus Hearings yesterday. He stood on line waiting his turn to enter the room. This is what happened to him.
Capitol Hill Police “football tackled” Hip Hop Activist who was in line to enter hearing room for General Petreus’ testimony on Capitol Hill
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., president of the Hip Hop Caucus, was attacked by six capitol police today, when he was stopped from entering the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill, where General Petreaus gave testimony today to a joint hearing for the House Arms Services Committee and Foreign Relations Committee on the war in Iraq.
After waiting in line throughout the morning for the hearing that was scheduled to start at 12:30pm, Rev. Yearwood was stopped from entering the room, while others behind him were allowed to enter. He told the officers blocking his ability to enter the room, that he was waiting in line with everyone else and had the right to enter as well. When they threatened him with arrest he responded with “I will not be arrested today.” According to witnesses, six capitol police, without warning, “football tackled him. He was carried off in a wheel chair by DC Fire and Emergency to George Washington Hospital.
Rev. Yearwood was examined for possible head and leg injuries then transferred to Central Processing. He has been charged with “assaulting a police officer.”
Rev. Yearwood said as he was being released from the hospital to be taken to central booking, “The officers decided I was not going to get in Gen. Petreaus’ hearing when they saw my button, which says ‘I LOVE THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ.'”
The Capitol Police work for the Speaker’s Office. I’m calling the Speaker’s office to “discuss” this and I hope you will too. Her office number is:(202) 225-0100.
Update: Liz from Hip Hop Caucus is at court and can’t get online, but wanted people to know that Rev. Yearwood has a broken leg, he’s in a cast and he’s being arraigned for assaulting an officer and disorderly conduct.
Obama outlines his troop pullout plan
By MIKE GLOVER
CLINTON, Iowa – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq, with the pullout being completed by the end of next year.
“Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was,” Obama said in excerpts of the speech provided to The Associated Press.
“The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq’s leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year — now,” the Illinois senator says.
Obama’s ardent opposition to the war has been a central theme of his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and he has used it to distinguish himself from leading rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. She voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq; Obama was not yet a senator.
Obama was trying to further sharpen that distinction Wednesday, spelling out his views on what the U.S. should do next.
He introduced legislation last January calling for withdrawal to start on May 1 and for all combat brigades to be pulled out by March 31, 2008.
Anti-war Democrats and some Republicans want to bring all combat troops home in a matter of months.
In a letter to Bush on Wednesday, Clinton urged him to bring troops home faster and not to use his prime-time speech Thursday to declare new successes in Iraq. She said Bush’s planned announcement of a reduction of 30,000 troops would have happened any way when the troops would have had to come home any way at the end of their 15-month deployment.
“He is in essence is going to tell the American people that one year from now the number of troops in Iraq will be the same as there were one year ago,” she said after picking up the endorsement of the National Association of Letter Carriers. “Taking credit for this troop reduction is like taking credit for the sun coming up in the morning.”
In criticizing the administration’s current strategy, Clinton also linked the president’s anticipated speech to the one he gave more than four years ago on an aircraft carrier under a banner that read “Mission accomplished.”
“Mr. President, we don’t need another mission accomplished moment,” she said. “What we need is honestly and candor.”
Obama’s speech comes a day after Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker updated Congress on the situation in the war zone during two days of testimony on Capitol Hill.
Petraeus recommended that a 2,000-member Marine unit come home this month and not be replaced. That would be followed in mid-December by the departure of an Army brigade of 3,500 to 4,000 soldiers. An additional four combat brigades would be withdrawn by July 2008.
Obama said the U.S. and the Iraqi government should discuss how to go about withdrawing troops.
“We must get out strategically and carefully, removing troops from secure areas first and keeping troops in more volatile areas until later,” Obama said in prepared remarks. Key excerpts were obtained by The Associated Press.
Although he stopped short of calling for an immediate pullout of all troops, Obama said there should be a clear and certain timetable.
“But our drawdown should proceed at a steady pace of one or two brigades each month,” he said. “If we start now, all of our combat brigades should be out of Iraq by the end of next year.”
By arguing that only combat brigades should be withdrawn — there are 20 in Iraq, including five President Bush sent January — Obama appeared to suggest that other U.S. troops could remain.
Underscoring the importance he was putting on the speech, Obama was being introduced by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was national security adviser to President Carter from 1977 to 1981. Brzezinski has endorsed Obama’s bid, and Wednesday’s appearance would be his first on the candidate’s behalf.
Obama rejected Petraeus’ recommendation to maintain current troop levels through next summer to ensure security gains are maintained.
“The president would have us believe there are two choices: keep all of our troops in Iraq or abandon these Iraqis,” Obama said. “I reject this choice.”
Instead, he argued for creating an international working group of countries in the region and in Asia and Europe that would work to stabilize Iraq.
Obama called for increasing U.S. aid to $2 billion to support such an effort, to expand access to social services for Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries and to assure that Iraqis displaced inside their own country can find safe haven. He also wants a commission to monitor and hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes in Iraq.