Sit-in at Veterans Memorial

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Oct 7 2014

Location: 

New York City

The Veterans Memorial in New York City, located at 55 Water Street, closes every day at 10pm. However, veterans often find themselves wanting to come to the memorial at all hours of the day and night. The organization Veterans for Peace organizes a sit-in every year on October 7th to protest their limited access to the memorial. That's not the only aim of the action, though. The veterans are also protesting the unjust wars the United States is involved in, and particularly the one in Afghanistan.

One of the main tactics used in the action is shaming the police. However, in this instance that doesn't mean shouting at them or protesting directly towards them. The veterans, many of whom are elderly, allow themselves to be arrested peacefully. The dialogue coming from the police officers is always that they feel embarrassed to be arresting veterans in their own memorial, which shows the ridiculousness of the orders they are given.

The arrests aren't the only part of the action, though. There is also respectful commemoration of all those killed or injured in combat, which includes a laying of flowers and reading of the names on the memorial. There are also usually a few speakers. The tone of the action is very respectful, which sends an even stronger statement when the police come in to break it up.

The veterans are also often joined by younger activists, because Veterans for Peace is generally considered an affiliate of Occupy Wall St. The non-veterans there, however, are generally not encouraged as much to participate in the sit-in and mainly just bear witness.

Posted by lap457 on