Reverend Lennox Yearwood was arrested while standing in line as he waited to get into the hearing room to watch the testimony of General Petraeus and Ryan Crocker on Monday.
When he questioned why he was not being allowed into the room, this is what happened:
From the LA Times:
Interest in the hearing was hot, likened to Gen. William Westmorland's performance on Vietnam a generation ago. But some tempers were hotter. There weren't enough seats. The acoustics were bad. The overflow room was two buildings away, and it was muggy outside. Clearly, a lot of people were sick of this war, and a lot of other people were sick of the people who were sick of this war.
They started lining up before 8 a.m. Two opposing factions standing in line for five hours with nothing to do is not a recipe for harmony.
Suddenly, there was a lot of scuffling and a clot of Capitol police coagulated in the hallway. In the middle of the clot was the anti-war activist Rev. Lennox Yearwood, who apparently had attempted to push his way into the hearing room and was wrestled to the floor.
Television cameras scurried to the scene. Yearwood was lying on the ground with his legs askew, as though he had been hit by a car. Seizing the moment, Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war protesting mom, started chanting, "Arrest Bush, not Rev!" The police told her, if she said that one more time, they would have to arrest her. She said it one more time and put her hands behind her back before the officer even reached for the cuffs.
The Washington Post reported:
Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, was among the first to be arrested. She was taken into custody shortly after noon and charged with disorderly conduct, Capitol Police said, because she shouted during the hearing.
Christy Anne Miller, Sheehan's sister, was also charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly shouting in the hallway.
Others arrested included Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, who was charged with unlawful conduct after allegedly shouting during the hearing, and the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., of the D.C.-based Hip Hop Caucus, who allegedly refused to move back after jumping in front of a line of people waiting to get inside the room. He was charged with disorderly conduct and assault on a police officer, Capitol Police said.
Yearwood had to be removed by wheelchair and was taken to the hospital as a result. I've watched that video twice and obviously missed the part where he supposedly tried to "push his way into the hearing room" or where he jumped in front of the line.
Code Pink has more on Monday's arrests which included former CIA officer Ray McGovern.
Visit the site of the Hip Hop Caucus.
Update: Rep. Ike Skelton, the Democrat chairing the hearing, called the protesters in the room "assholes".
Skelton: That really pisses me off, Duncan.
Skelton: Those assholes. And I don't need a goddamn lecture from Dan Burton neither.
Hunter: Here's their strategy; there's about ten of them, so they say they’re going to sacrifice one every five minutes. If they do that I would boot the whole identifiable group out.
Skelton: How do you do that?
Hunter: Because they're all in the same dress--the pink people. They're an association. So you [makes out the door hand gesture, muttering].
Skelton: Might have to.
Ray McGovern speaks out about his arrest.
'Swear Him In'
by Ray McGovern
That's all I said in the unusual silence on Monday afternoon as first aid was being administered to Gen. David Petraeus' microphone before he spoke before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.
It had dawned on me that when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) invited Gen. Petraeus to make his presentation, Skelton forgot to ask him to take the customary oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I had no idea that my suggestion would be enough to get me thrown out of the hearing.