A military veteran was arrested by Federal Parks Police in Philadelphia Friday for allegedly playing a banjo in the wrong place during a “No War With Syria Rally.”
While performing to fellow protesters under a tree at Independence Mall, Emily Yates, an Iraq combat veteran and organizer with Iraq Veterans Against the War, was approached by several parks police officers and told to leave the area immediately. Yates, confused by the request, repeatedly attempted to engage the officers as to why she was being asked to leave. The officers felt that Yates wasn’t entitled to a response and answered her with a violent arrest instead.
See the video below:
(Warning: Graphic Language)
“They’re manhandling me and I haven’t done anything wrong! All I wanted to do was know why I was being asked to leave!” Yates shouted as police forced her arms behind her back. “We live in a police state! We live in a f*cking police state! They’re damaging my body and my personal property! I went to war for this country!”
A defense fund set up by friends of Yates confirmed that she was taken to a Federal Detention Center on unknown charges. A friend and bystander who witnessed the incident unfold from across the street, who had also recently been arrested alongside Adam Kokesh by parks police for protesting, called it “the latest in a series of aggressive and unnecessary arrests by Federal Park Rangers in Philadelphia.”
“The Panic Hour is using all available resources to lend assistance and call attention to this blatant disregard for civil liberties at, of all places, the birthplace of liberty,” said N.A. Poe.
In light of continued scandals and the unfolding situation in Syria, which is now opposed by more than 91 percent of the public, people across the country have taken to the streets in protest of President Obama’s disregard for constitutional law. Just last month, two “Impeach Obama” protestors were tackled and arrested for refusing to leave an overpass in Missouri. Officers claimed their first amendment was infringing on the safety of the public.
Unfortunately for the president, a backlash from the military has begun to grow. Viral pictures of military soldiers holding up signs reading “I will not fight for Al Qaeda in Syria” have been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter. Even with a growing number of military and Congress members coming out against a strike, the State Department has reportedly told Fox News that Obama will act regardless.
Friends and family of Yates have been unable to make contact but expect her to see a judge sometime this week.