Message from IVAW member Matthis Chiroux:
In a remarkable reversal, the Nassau County District Attorney's Office has agreed to dismiss all charges against the Hempstead 15 following a six month adjournment in what's called an "ACD" (Adjournment to Contemplate Dismissal).
Additionally, they have agreed to consolidate all of our court cases on one date (TBD) so that we and our supporters may be seen and heard together as we prepare to move forward now to federal court where our lawyer, Jonathan Moore is filing a civil case on behalf of Nick Morgan and others.
This is a decisive victory for activists and veterans everywhere, and for the Constitution. The outcome of these criminal proceedings would not have been possible without you, our supporters and allies. It was the calls, the demonstrations, the petitions and the grass-roots exposure that made the difference. For an event which received no real attention from main-stream media outlets to have been captured and brought to so many around the country and the world by a few hardworking organizers and supporters signals an evolution in our power as a movement to inform and impact our system.
We'd like to thank those videographers, bloggers, e-mailers and Facebookers that have stuck with us up until now and we hope will stay with us to the end. We'd also like to thank Democracy Now as well radio programs across the country for their dedication to covering this case in every stage of its development, ensuring we didn't go entirely missing from the airwaves. As well, we must thank Newsday for their relentless coverage and powerful OpEds. Justice ultimately came about through the efforts of so many, and I've not room to begin to thank them all.
What happened at Hofstra will forever remain with all in attendance and those who suffered most. May it be burned into America's conscience as well, but let it be a turning point. A moment in time from where clear divergence emerged.
Police and veterans from across this Nation have contacted us with their support and ultimately the same message: "We're tired of this!"
So it is with great determination and much momentum we move forward, Nick and several into a civil case, and myself into a fight with the Army.
Shortly after our action at Hofstra, I was sent notice by the Army that I would be prosecuted for my refusal to reactivate and deploy to Iraq last summer. The Army wants to separate me on grounds of misconduct which I vowed to fight in May and continue to stand by firmly. I'll know more on my exact hearing date soon, but with a good amount of support, I believe we can win this thing and prove once and for all that servicemembers have a right to refuse participation in the occupation of Iraq.
If you've not already, please consider joining the Facebook group "I support Matthis Chiroux's decision not to go to Iraq." Most of my updates from this point forward through Facebook will come from this group. Please pass it around to your friends, as well.
As soon as I know what day the Hempstead 15's final hearing in Nassau will be, I'll let everyone know. Let's have one last blow out to make clear to our government and the world that we will not be silent!
You made this for us, and we are forever in the debt of our global movement.
Peace and Solidarity,
Editor's note: Click links to read previous OpEdNews reports on this case: Iraq Veterans Arraigned on Disorderly Conduct Charges: Vow to Defend Right to Free Speech and Assembly and Meet the Protester Who 'May Have Received a Minor Injury' at the Hofstra Debate