Emotional plea from Lincoln Iraqi community outside Governor's m - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Emotional plea from Lincoln Iraqi community outside Governor's mansion

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By: Lauren Fabrizi

As the crisis in Iraq continues, the Yazidi community in Lincoln is losing sleep as they fear for the lives of their families back home.

"We are running out of time," Adnan Shamo said. "Every minute that we are talking right now, there's somebody dying right now."

Sunday, an emotional plea could be heard from hundreds in front of the governor's mansion.

"My little nieces and nephews are dying. Our families are dying. Our women are getting raped," Shamo said. "Can anybody do anything? The U.S. Government? Anybody? Please, tell me something."

Shamo has family living in Sinjar. He and the rest of Lincoln's Iraqi community found out early Sunday that many back home had been hit by the extremist militant group, ISIS.

"We need to do something," Laila Khoudeida said.

That something was a five–hour long protest that started in the heart of downtown Lincoln and ended on the governor's front lawn.

Between 300 and 400 hundred protestors showed up. Lincoln Police said they haven't seen a protest this large in a while. A number of LPD officers and Nebraska State Patrol troopers were called to keep the crowd under control.

"Lot of, lot of children," Cpt. Michon Morrow of LPD said. "Small children in strollers, so we certainly didn't want to have anybody in the roadway and cause any accidents."

Authorities said the protest was peaceful for the most part. One man was arrested for charging the gates of the governor's mansion.

"So we quickly removed him from the scene," Morrow said. "And doing that allowed the group to kind of gather their composure."

That protestor was booked for failure to comply and bonded out. A juvenile was referred to the county attorney for the same charge. 

Through the heightened emotions, the protestors' message to the Nebraska government, and ultimately the federal government, was still clear.

"Protection," Khoudeida said. "Maybe open a refugee station for them. Bring them over, just anything."

A spokeswoman for the governor's office was present at the end of the protest. She gave protestors contact information for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. They hope to speak with him Monday at a town hall meeting.


Posted by: Channel 8 Newsroom


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Hundreds of people have gathered around the Nebraska governor's residence to plead for help for a religious minority group in northern Iraq.

The crowd arrived at the governor's residence Sunday afternoon after marching in downtown Lincoln. They were met by Lincoln police and Nebraska State Patrol troopers, who have at least 20 vehicles at the scene. The Nebraska Capitol across the street was temporarily closed and locked.

Two people were arrested for allegedly attacking officers. No injuries were reported.

The protesters are pleading for help for Yazidis, a religious minority group, in northern Iraq and Syria.

Militants with the Islamic State extremist group seized two small towns in northern Iraq on Sunday after driving out Kurdish security forces.

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