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Dear Veterans Affairs, We just want to talk: Signed The Vets

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Cory Clark     Permalink
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"All of this 'Support our troops' bullshit is just sloganeering to get people behind their corporate wars for profit," said John Pentley, the group's spokesman. "We need to replace the whole administration; they don't care about us they come in and out of here and won't even acknowledge us."

Bill Perry tried to enter the building. He is authorized to enter the V.A. as a Claims Service Officer, yet he was pushed back on two separate occasions, barring his entry as he has a legal right to enter.

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The reason he wanted to enter was to personally request an audience with the powers that be. The men that are out here representing themselves and those who couldn't be here just want to voice their concerns to those who are charged with being their advocates.

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I kept think to myself "how all of these employees and civilians can come and go from the building without any problem while completely ignoring these proud men and women who served this country and are only asking for the help they had been promised."

An individual claiming to be a photojournalist tried to provoke the Veterans and DHS personnel into a conflict. He was quickly called out by both sides for being a provocateur. He moved out to the outside of the protests not taking any photographs but trying to engage other protesters.

Eventually he moved on once he recognized that his tactics weren't going to be successful with this particular group.

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The veterans from the Freedom Plaza vigil discussed when they were going to bring the tent, chairs and other creature comforts into the area they were now occupying, and whether they should bring it over now or wait until later in the evening.

"We should cause a bit more trouble. I don't think they've gotten the point yet," said Pentley. "We'll show them we're serious when we bring things out here to sit on."

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Cory Clark is a freelance photojournalist and writer focused on civil and human rights issues, social justice and politics. He is a regular contributor with Getty Images, AP and AFP. His work has appeared in, The Guardian, Fortune (more...)

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