Posts filed under ‘protest’

US War Resisters Stand In Solidarity With Shministim

A day late, but still important…

U.S. military servicemembers and veterans who have refused or are currently refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, stand in solidarity with the Shministim and urge others to support them and take action before December 18th.

The Letter:

We are U.S. military servicemembers and veterans who have refused or are currently refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We stand in solidarity with the Israeli Shministim (Hebrew for 12th graders) who are also resisting military service. About 100 Israeli high school students have signed an open letter declaring their refusal to serve in the Israeli army and their opposition to “Israeli occupation and oppression policy in the occupied territories and the territories of Israel.” In Israel, military service is mandatory for all graduating high school seniors, and resisters face the possibility of years in prison.

We have also refused to participate in unjust acts of military aggression, and many of us have gone to prison or currently live with that possibility as a result. We believe that resistance to unjust war is a bold assertion of humanity in the face of overwhelming violence.

The Global War on Terror, like the Israeli occupation, is propped up by racism and dehumanization and sets the stage for never-ending war and occupation. We are inspired by the brave refusal of our brothers and sisters in Israel to take part in these destructive policies, and we want to let them know today, December 18th – the day of international solidarity with the Shministim – that they have our deepest respect and support.

In Solidarity,

Stephanie Atkinson
Specialist, US Army Reserve. Went AWOL to resist October 1990 deployment to Iraq. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Chris Capps-Schubert
Specialist, US Army, communications. Went AWOL March 2007 to resist Iraq redeployment. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Eugene Cherry
Specialist, US Army, medic. Went AWOL June 2005 to resist Iraq redeployment, later won honorable discharge.

Matthis Chiroux
Sergeant, US Army, journalist. Currently refusing Inactive Ready Reserve recall.

James Circello
Sergeant, US Army, airborne infantry. Went AWOL April 2007 following Iraq deployment. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Carl Davison
US Army, security. Refused Iraq deployment in 2008. Served one month in the brig.

Matthew Edwards
US Marine Corps, Resisted Iraq deployment in March 2003.

Stephen Funk
Lance Corporal, US Marine Corps, logistic support. Went AWOL February 2003 to resist Iraq deployment. Served six months in the brig.

Andrew Gorby
Second Lieutenant, US Army, infantry. Discharged May 2007 as a conscientious objector.

Patrick Hart
Sergeant, US Army. Went AWOL in 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Ryan Johnson
Private First Class, US Army. Went AWOL June 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Dale Landry
Airman, US Air Force. Went AWOL in 2004 following Afghanistan deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Benjamin Lewis
US Marine Corps, mortar man. After two Iraq deployments, now refusing Inactive Ready Reserve recall.

Robin Long
Specialist, US Army. Went AWOL in June 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and lived in Canada until being deported July 2008. Currently serving a 14 month sentence at the Miramar Naval Brig near San Diego, California.

Christopher Magaoay
Lance Corporal, US Marine Corps. Went AWOL in 2006 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Camilo Mejia
Staff Sergeant, Army National Guard. Refused to redeploy to Iraq in 2004. Served nine months in the stockade.

Geoff Millard
Sergeant, Army National Guard. Went AWOL after a deployment to Iraq 2004-2005.

Brandon Neely
US Army, military police. Refused recall from the Inactive Ready Reserve in 2007.

Perry O’Brien
US Army, medic. Discharged as a conscientious objector November 2004 following Afghanistan deployment.

Jeff Paterson
Corporal, US Marine Corps, artillery control. Refused Desert Storm deployment August 1990. Served two months pre-trial confinement. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Chanan Suarezdiaz
Hospital Corpsman, Third Class, US Navy. Discharged following 2004 Iraq deployment.

Hart Viges
US Army, airborne mortar man. Discharged as a conscientious objector following 2003 Iraq deployment.

Dean Walcott
US Marine Corps, military police. Went AWOL in 2007 following Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

David Wiggins MD
Captain, US Army, doctor. Resigned commission near the Iraq border during Desert Storm 1991.

Steve Yoczik
Private, US Army. Went AWOL November 2006 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

For more information on the US war resisters visit http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/649/1/

For more info on the Shministim visit http://december18th.org/

or http://www.refusingtokill.net/Israel/ShministimHowardZinn.htm

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December 19, 2008 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

Ask you what you think because your words and thoughts are powerful

More than 4,000 troops dead, tens of thousands more seriously wounded physically and psychologically, +81,000 being stop-lossed. McCain says he’d keep us there another 100 years if necessary, the Democrats discuss ‘safe and orderly withdrawal’…how could we manage something on withdrawal that we never had to begin with? Now means now, not 6 months nor 16, nor another century: it will not get better, it will only get bloodier.

The actions that happened around the country were powerful, but continued to be largely ignored by the media. This AP article mentions the range that some of these protests took, albeit quite disparagingly. The Winter Soldier Testimonies of returning soldiers got virtually no coverage or mention, but you can watch videos at www.IVAW.org; how can you understand what is happening if you never listen to those that have actually been there?

Al-Jazeera coverage of Winter Soldier, one of few media outlets to even mention it:


Student Peace Action Network activists confront war profiteers:

The irony is that last week I also found out that my cousin just got out of Air Force Boot Camp…they don’t think he’ll be sent to Iraq since he ‘just does computers,’ and it seemed like a good option since he had $65,000 in student loan debt and still no degree to show for it. Counter-recruitment is only effective in your family if you speak to them more often than every 7 years.

It is hard to find the words to express the rage, disappointment and sadness that all of this causes each day, but there are no perfect words and silence is support since it does not challenge the acceptance of such horrible acts due to time and distraction by ‘the economy.’ Are lives not more important than money? Can you not distinguish the relationship between the two? Can you muster more emotion for the stock exchange and numbers scrolling on a screen or a gas pump than you can for the real and physical ruining and ending of life?

Violence has increased in recent days, with Al-Maliki launching an offensive against militias in Basra. Muqtada Al-Sadr has called for civil disobedience to protest the targeting of the Mehdi army militia. If the Mehdi militia truce is broken, key to the reduction in violence at the start of the ‘surge,’ things will be worse than before, though they aren’t great at the moment with factions of the Mehdi militia who have broken off and escalated violence already.

There are no simple solutions to this occupation, but our continued presence exacerbates and complicates internal tensions and ties with the consequence being extensive fear and loss of life of the civilian population.

This is not what democracy looks like, here nor there.

March 27, 2008 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment


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