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School of the Americas Watch

SOA Watch Update
January 24, 2007

Support the SOA 16
Updates from Latin America
Upcoming SOA Watch Events & Campaigns

Support the SOA 16
January 28-30, 2007 - SOA 16 Trial and Festival of Hope
On January 29, 2007 sixteen human rights activists will appear in federal court in Columbus, Georgia to put the SOA/WHINSEC on trial. The 16 were arrested on November 19, 2006, after carrying the protest to close the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) onto the Fort Benning Military Reservation, publicly defying the laws which prevent political speech on military bases and making a bold call for justice and accountability.

A Timely Anti-War Effort-Support the Occupation Project

A Timely Anti-War Effort-Support the Occupation Project
January 22, 2007 at 14:29:32 by Paul Rogat Loeb
Tell A Friend

I rarely do on-line fundraising pitches, but there's a very timely project that I think can help make a significant difference in building pressure for withdrawal from Iraq. Stacy Bannerman is a long-time peace activist, wife of an Iraq War Veteran, and author of an excellent book on the impact on the war on the families of reservists, When the War Came Home. Together with other peace activists, Bannerman's been working on an effort called The Occupation Project, that will bring Iraqi vets and their families to Washington DC for a combination of civil disobedience and testimony at congressional hearings and public events. This could make a significant difference because no one carries more credibility with the general public than the returning vets and their families...

Watada backers indict Iraq war

Refusing to deploy was his duty, they say
By MICHAEL GILBERT; Tacoma News Tribune

More than 400 people turned out Saturday for a forum on the legality of the Iraq war that felt like part congressional hearing, part teach-in and part religious tent revival.
Speakers were sworn in while placing their hands on the U.S. Constitution. They quoted Henry David Thoreau, playwright Berthold Brecht, President Ulysses S. Grant and the prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trial. There were standing ovations, impassioned speeches and appeals to leave a few bucks in the collection basket.

'Peace Mom' Cindy Sheehan will join Peace-In at Rep. Doris Matsui office

By Dan Bacher
Here's the news advisory for Monday's press conference and rally at Rep. Doris Matsui's office.
Contact: Cres Vellucci, Sacramento Coalition to End the War, 916/996-9170

Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan will join Peace-In at Rep. Doris Matsui office on Monday; Protest begins third week

SACRAMENTO – Peace mom Cindy Sheehan – who lost her son to the war in Iraq
– has revealed plans to make a personal visit to the Federal Courthouse

Appeal for Redress!!

http://www.appealforredress.org

On January 16, 2007, active military and Guard personnel carried an appeal to Capitol Hill to deliver to Congressmen Kucinich (Ohio)and McGovern (Mass.) on the steps of the Cannon Office Building. Signed by over 1000 active duty military and Guard personnel (including over 400 officers), the "Appeal for Redress" stated the following ...

1,000 US Troops Present Petition for Iraq Withdrawal to Kucinich

http://kucinich.us/node/2015

WASHINGTON, Jan.16, 2007 -- Congressman Kucinich today received petitions from over 1,000 active duty members of the armed services who are calling for an end to the war in Iraq. They are using a little known procedure called an appeal for redress which is provided for in the rules of the Department of Defense.

The Appeal for Redress from the war in Iraq reads: 'As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for the US troops to come home.'

Message Delivered Fairbanks Alaska

By Rob Mulford

This morning at about 9:00 a.m., 20 Fairbanks, Alaska area
residents exercised their rights by petitioning their elected congress
persons with a Declaration of Peace. The declaration was presented and read
to the local offices of Senators Murkowski and Stevens and Congressman
Young. It was in the form of a proclamation and an ultimatum emphatically
requesting that they defund the war in Iraq, bring the troops home now,

News from the Marine Corps Times

Here's some news from a source you don't normally see on Afters Downing Street.

End Iraq war, service members tell Congress
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jan 17, 2007 21:30:50 EST

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., who accepted what in legal terms is known as an appeal for redress — because service members are prohibited from petitioning Congress — said the call for an immediate end to U.S. military operations in Iraq will be turned over to the clerk of the House of Representatives and published in the Congressional Record so it can be read by all members of Congress.

Whither all the war protesters?

from the January 19, 2007 edition
As the Iraq war heads toward 'surge,' the antiwar movement, now mostly online, nears a crucial moment.
By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

On a beach in US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district the other day, about 1,000 war protesters formed up to spell out the word "IMPEACH." The aerial photo quickly spread to China and Europe.

Journalist in Watada case needs letters by THIS FRIDAY!

Sarah Olson, a reporter for Truthout received a supoena in December to testify in the court-martial of 1rst Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. The supoena is to compel Olson to testify that Watada made statements against the war to her that the military has deemed conduct unbecoming an officer. This case has chilling repercussions for the integrity of journalism and free speech. Olson is in urgent need of support, please see below for details. In a statement explaining why she will not testify, Olson points out that,

Update on Sentencing of Retired Navy Veteran Leah Bolger

By Lori Perdue

Leah Bolger has been sentenced in a D.C. Court to five days of Incarceration, Suspended and to six months of Probation with a verifiable 100 hours of Community Service within that six months. Leah will serve out that sentence in Oregon, her home state. She has also been ordered to make a $200 contribution to the Victims of Violent Crimes Fund of D.C. .

Sentencing was handed down in Leah's case yesterday afternoon. Bolger, a 20 year retired Navy Commander and president of her local Veterans for Peace Chapter, was arrested in late September for disrupting Congress during discussion on the Military Commissions Act, arrested, held in jail for 24 hours and tried last week. The jury returned a guilty verdict Wednesday after reporting to the judge twice that they were deadlocked and could not reach a unanimous verdict. The judge, both times, refused to accept a hung jury, gave further instructions to the jury on deliberations and sent them back to make a decision.

Charges Dismissed for All Protesters in Oct. White House Action against Torture and Military Commissions Act of 2006

WRRCAT: Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture

For Immediate Release: Jan. 17, 2006

CONTACT: Jean Athey, 301-570-0923 or 202-291-2258 jlathey@hprg.com

See statements and background at: www.wrrcat.org

Washington, DC, Jan. 17, 2007-- U.S. Judge Deborah Robinson dismissed
the government's case against all 16 defendants today in charged with
"interfering with agency functions." The 16 had attempted to present a

Active Duty Troops Announced Opposition to War on MLK Day in Norfolk, Virginia

By Garrie Rouse

Photo Gallery.

A press conference was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Norfolk on January 15, 2007 (Martin Luther King Day) to formally announce a military "Appeal for Redress" in connection with the conduct of the Iraq War. Members of active duty military and National Guard, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) and the Virginia Antiwar Network (VAWN) were among those who spoke to the public and press.

Video Interview | Ehren Watada's Parents Speak Out

Truthout's Geoffrey Millard interviews Lieutenant Ehren Watada's parents on the eve of his court-martial. They spoke about their son and his courage as he faces the fight of his life. Watch video.

Retired Navy Veteran Sentenced, unwilling to "split the difference"

By Lori Perdue

Leah Bolger has been sentenced in a D.C. Court to five days of Incarceration, Suspended and to six months of Probation with a verifiable 100 hours of Community Service within that six months. Leah will serve out that sentence in Oregon. She has also been ordered to make a $200 contribution to the Victims of Violent Crimes Fund of D.C. .

Following the reading of the guilty verdict earlier today, Leah addressed the Judge, explaining that she would refuse to pay a fine into the judicial system. She stated that she would serve jail time rather than fund the system that allows the Military Commissions Act to stand as the Law of the Land.

Veteran Convicted of Using Free Speech

By Lori Perdue

Leah Bolger, a 20 year retired Navy Commander was convicted today for speaking out in the House of Representatives against the passage of the Military Commissions Act.

Leah and I served at Camp Democracy together. She is the epitome of what an American Military Officer should be, in my opinion. She chose to act on behalf of EVERY American, and I dare say every citizen of the world to dissent against the MCA. Leah has earned the right to dissent against legislation that she feels undermines the very principals of our Democracy, and she could use our support, NOW!

Military judge: objector can't raise questions about war legality

By Associated Press

An Army officer cannot try to justify his refusal to report for duty in Iraq by questioning the legality of the war because that is a political issue, a military judge has ruled.

Citing federal court precedents in a ruling issued Tuesday, Lt. Col. John Head also rejected the claims of lawyers for 1st Lt. Ehren Watada who said the his First Amendment rights shielded the 28-year-old native of Hawaii from charges stemming from his criticism of the war.

Military Members to Congress: End Iraq War

By Rick Maze, Army Times

A letter from about 1,000 active-duty, Guard and reserve members calling for Congress to end the war in Iraq was delivered to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., who accepted what in legal terms is known as an appeal for redress - because service members are prohibited from petitioning Congress - said the call for an immediate end to U.S. military operations in Iraq will be turned over to the clerk of the House of Representatives and published in the Congressional Record so it can be read by all members of Congress.

Military Personnel Present Iraq Petition at Capitol

By David Welna, NPR
Photo and audio.

All Things Considered, January 16, 2007 · Active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces visit Capitol Hill to present more than 1,000 signatures demanding that lawmakers cut off funding for the Iraq war. They say that most of the people who signed the Appeal for Redress have served in Iraq, while others expect to be sent there. Two House Democrats received the petition and promised to urge the entire House to consider it.

Fort Lewis punishes soldier for exposing sexual assault

By Wally Cuddeford, Works in Progress

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, sexual assault survivor Suzanne Swift appeared before a hastily assembled court-martial. She was charged with going Absent Without Leave from her unit at Fort Lewis, on the eve of their deployment to Iraq. Swift's court-martial wasn't going to happen until January, but it was hastened when she agreed to make a deal with the military. The terms of Suzanne Swift's deal are as follows:

Service members to Congress: End Iraq war

By Rick Maze, Navy Times

A letter from about 1,000 active-duty, Guard and reserve members calling for Congress to end the war in Iraq was delivered to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., who accepted what in legal terms is known as an appeal for redress — because service members are prohibited from petitioning Congress — said the call for an immediate end to U.S. military operations in Iraq will be turned over to the clerk of the House of Representatives and published in the Congressional Record so it can be read by all members of Congress.

50 Active Duty Officers to Deliver Iraq Pullout Petition to Congress

by Brian Beutler, RAW STORY

Just before noon today, a petition signed by about a thousand members of the military will be delivered to Congress by about 50 active-duty officers. The petition calls for the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.

According to Liam Madden, spokesman for the affiliated group Iraq Veterans

Why They Fight -- From Within

Two Navy Men Create an Outlet For Military Protests on the Web
By Linton Weeks, Washington Post

NORFOLK, Jan. 15 -- For Jonathan Hutto and David Rogers, life has become something of a surreality show. The two Navy men, comrades in arms, are waging a war against a war.

Working from within, Hutto, Rogers and others have established AppealforRedress.org , a Web site that enables active-duty, reserve and National Guard troops to appeal directly to Congress to withdraw military personnel from Iraq. On Monday, the group held its coming-out news conference in Norfolk, announcing that more than 1,000 people have signed appeals. On Tuesday, the pleas will be presented to Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) on Capitol Hill.

25 service members urge Iraq pullout

Group to present Congress an anti-war petition with names of 1,031 active-duty personnel
BY ANDREW PETKOFSKY, Richmond Times Dispatch

NORFOLK -- About 25 U.S. service members held an unusual news conference here yesterday to call for the withdrawal of this country's military forces from Iraq.

On day honoring pacifist, troops join in dissent of war

By LOUIS HANSEN, Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK - On Monday morning, Seaman Javier Capella traded his blue jacket for blue jeans. He also traded his role as a Navy photojournalist to speak out against the Iraq war.

"Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now," Capella recited from a speech given by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1967. "The initiative to stop it must be ours."

Warriors rally against Iraq war

Active-duty personnel join activists in Norfolk to ask for an end to the conflict.
BY JOHN M.R. BULL, Daily Press

NORFOLK -- Sgt. Jabbar Magruder spent 11 months in Iraq and turned into one angry soldier.

No weapons of mass destruction. Shifting rationalizations for a mismanaged war. Now a civil war among Iraqis.

1,000 U.S. troops urge Iraq pull-out

By UPI

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- More than 1,000 active-duty U.S. military personnel are said to have signed a petition calling for a full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Some 50 active-duty officers and other troops, including veterans of the current Iraq war, announced Tuesday that they would hand-deliver their petition, entitled an "Appeal for Redress," to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and other members of Congress, AppealforRedress.org said in a statement Tuesday.

Iraq Vets Call on Congress to End War

By Stacy Bannerman, www.truthout.org

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for US troops to come home.
- Appeal for Redress

An anti-war organization launched by a 22-year-old Marine and a 29-year-old sailor has accumulated 1,028 signatures from active-duty and Reserve troops calling for an end to the war in Iraq, which has lasted nearly four years. The signatures will be delivered to lawmakers on January 16th.

BRING A PAIR OF SHOES TO WASHINGTON DC J27

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY

Dear Friends,
WE NEED 6,550 PAIRS OF SHOES to build a "Walk in their Shoes" installation for J27 - Bring or mail one or more pairs of shoes for January 27th March on Congress. www.unitedforpeace.org.

If we each bring just one pair we will have enough for this installation and others around the city. We especially need baby, toddler, young girls and boys shoes, and women's sandals and heels. Label them if you can. Go to www.walkintheirshoes.org for details. We also need volunteers to help with logistics in DC . To volunteer go to www.codepinkalert.org/modinput4.php?modin=68

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