Ten antiwar Iraq veterans, along with five civilians, pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct this week in Hempstead, New York. The Hempstead 15, as they’ve come to be known, were arrested on October 15 for for leading a peaceful protest outside the final presidential debate at Hofstra University . One of the charged veterans, Sgt. Nick Morgan, suffered severe injuries after being forced to the ground and having his face crushed by a police horse. Morgan, visibly shaken after the arraignment, said police officers had violated a number of his constitutional rights in the course of the action. The 24-year-old veteran of the US war in Iraq was among a delegation of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) who had come to the Presidential debates in Long Island demanding that veterans’ concerns be heard during the nationally televised event.

Marissa Colón-Margolies

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