MPD detains LaRouche supporter

Metropolitan Police officers questioned Lyndon LaRouche supporters who were using megaphones to urge people to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney as they drove through campus Monday.

MPD temporarily detained one campaigner, who later identified himself as Alex Getachew, for allegedly making disparaging remarks about police officers.

“He was attempting to breach the peace and I didn’t need it,” MPD Officer Elijah Hunter said.

Hunter handcuffed Getachew and put him in the back of an MPD cruiser on 22nd and H streets but released him several minutes later for reasons Hunter refused to discuss.

Getachew was one of several LaRouche campaigners who drove through campus at 1:30 p.m. in cars displaying placards that said “Impeach Cheney” and “Dump Cheney Now.” They used megaphones to chant slogans and songs critical of Cheney, who they accused of fabricating intelligence reports to warrant the invasion of Iraq.

Although he identifies himself as a Democrat, LaRouche, an economist who has run for president five times, has been on the fringes of the political mainstream. He has yet to announce whether he will run in the 2004 presidential election as an independent.

LaRouche supporters visit GW once or twice a week to “educate students about the larger (LaRouche) movement and try to get people involved,” Getachew said in an interview following his release.

He said a “couple of dozen” GW students volunteer for the LaRouche campaign. There were no GW students among the LaRouche campaigners during Monday’s confrontation.

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