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We have exciting news to share with you today! After being rebuffed in our numerous attempts to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, including setting up "Camp Al-Maliki" across from the Iraqi Embassy and publishing an open letter to him in one of the largest Iraqi newspapers, we received an amazing invitation: Five members of the Iraqi Parliament who are working on a Reconciliation Plan to end the violence in their country contacted us. Moved by the commitment of the long-term fasters and dismayed by their prime minister’s refusal to meet with us, these parliamentarians asked us to join them in Amman, Jordan next week to discuss their Reconciliation Plan, on condition that we break our long-term fast with them!
By Sara Rich
Things continue to move forward for Suzanne. The Army has not yet
disclosed the results of the commander-directed investigations. The
investigator took statements from witnesses, including Suzanne, and
forwarded his report to the command. The command now has to decide
whether Suzanne's allegations require the Army to take action, and
whether they have any bearing on Suzanne's own case. We expect to learn
By Kathy Kelly, CommonDreams.org
This July in Dublin, five peace activists were put on trial for disarming a U.S. warplane parked on the tarmac of Ireland's Shannon airport.
In February, 2003, with the U.S. completing its build-up for "Shock and Awe," these five activists broke into an airport hangar which the U.S. was using as a "pit stop" for planes en route to the war zone. They had dubbed themselves the "Pitstop Ploughshares" and, following the biblical injunction to hammer their weapons into plowshares, they took a hammer to the nosecone of a C48 U.S. Navy supply plane and disabled it. You'll find full details at www.peaceontrial.com.
My name is Joseph (Jody) McCord. I arrived in Washington, D.C. on July 23rd to begin my participation in the Troops Home Fast, sponsored by Code Pink and the Gold Star Families for Peace. The Troops Home Fast is an effort to compel the Federal Government to remove U.S. troops from Iraq immediately. Over 5,000 people from the U.S. and around the world have signed up to fast for at least one day. They can fast at home, or come to Washington D.C., where the fast has been organized. We are also in need of non-fasting volunteers, and of equipment, transportation, office space and lodging; the Troops Home Fast is also accepting cash donations. Sooner or later, several of us will need wheelchairs.
"Is the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq illegal?"
On August 17, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada will face a pre-trial hearing for refusing to deploy to Iraq. “It is my conclusion as an officer of the armed forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. The war and what we’re doing over there is illegal,” explained the first military officer to publicly take such a stand.
IN FIRST TRIAL PENTAGON PROTESTER GETS 30 DAYS IN JAIL FIFTEEN DEFENDANTS IN SECOND PENTAGON TRIAL HAVE CASE DISMISSED
Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25 Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-323-7200, ext. 31; Fax: 410-323-7292
On March 20, 2006, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], affiliated with United For Peace & Justice, organized From Mourning to Resistance – March on the Pentagon. After a rally near the Lincoln Memorial, some two hundred antiwar activists marched across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to LBJ Grove across from the Pentagon.
By Todd Dvorak, Associated Press
Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- When school was canceled to accommodate a campaign visit by President Bush, the two 55-year-old teachers reckoned the time was ripe to voice their simmering discontent with the administration's policies.
Christine Nelson showed up at the Cedar Rapids rally with a Kerry-Edwards button pinned on her T-shirt; Alice McCabe clutched a small, paper sign stating "No More War." What could be more American, they thought, than mixing a little dissent with the bunting and buzz of a get-out-the-vote rally headlined by the president?
Watada Forces NY Times to Mention Downing Street Memo; No Word on When Nuremberg Principles Will Be Fit to Print
Officer Faces Court-Martial for Refusing to Deploy to Iraq
By JOHN KIFNER and TIMOTHY EGAN, New York Times
SEATTLE — When First Lt. Ehren K. Watada of the Army shipped out for a tour of duty in South Korea two years ago, he was a promising young officer rated among the best by his superiors. Like many young men after Sept. 11, he had volunteered “out of a desire to protect our country,” he said, even paying $800 for a medical test to prove he qualified despite childhood asthma.
By Judy Homanich
There are 24 U.S. war resisters who are seeking asylum in Canada
(www.resisters.ca) rather than take part in this illegal, immoral war
-- and dozens more who are living underground. All of these courageous
men and women need -- deserve! -- our support and encouragement. The
best way to do that (besides sending a monetary donation) is by
writing a short note to Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada and
2. COURT DATES
3. ARTICLE ABOUT A CASE AGAINST BRIAN BEING DROPPED
4. MASS LONE DEMO MONDAY 24 JULY
6. BRIAN WINS BACK RIGHT TO USE MEGAPHONE
Dear supporters of Brian Haw and the right to protest near Parliament,
Welcome to those you have recently joined this list. Since I last wrote
to everyone there has been much activity in the Square. Supporters
continued to stay there with Brian for some weeks and still a few
below is an article that describes my day in court yesterday, plus an unusual editorial that appeared in today's paper, by toledo blade editor and vice pres., tom walton.
if this story touches your heart, write me if you must, but better yet, do something for peace today that you never thought you could do. you will have my heartfelt thanks and the thanks of those people who desperately need your committment.
"Policy Rewrite Reveals Rift in Administration" Washington Post, July 14 -- With color photo of Father Louie and Toby Blom with signs “Stop Supporting Torture” and “Humane Treatment for all Prisoners” at the Senate Armed Services committee hearing on July 13, 2006
"White House Prods Congress to Curb Detainee Rights" NY Times, July 13, 2006 -- With photo of Ann Wright and intern Zac in Git’mo orange jumpsuits with Father Louis and Toby waiting to go into House Armed Services committee hearing on July 12, 2006
On Saturday, July 15th, concerned citizens throughout the world will
join together to Shut Down Guantánamo, and end illegal and indefinite
detention. Called by CagePrisoners.Com, a British organization
supporting Guantánamo prisoners, this day of action includes events in
a dozen countries, and at least six demonstrations in the United
As one of the New York organizers, Reverend Earl Kooperkamp of
By Sara Rich, mother of Suzanne Swift
My daughter, Suzanne, went AWOL from the Army three days before her
second deployment to Iraq. She suffers from Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder due to the consistent sexual harassment and the sexual assault
she endured during her first deployment to Iraq. She was arrested after
six months of being AWOL and taken to Ft Lewis where she was returned
to active duty. She is asking for an honorable discharge so she can get
By Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services
"The question that remains is: Are we who want the killing to stop as committed to peace as those who are committed to war?"
Ouch, this is a devilishly tough question, unless you're content to answer it in the negative. Then, of course, no problem. A bitter grimace and a stiff drink or whatever (name your poison) will get you through the day. Watch the opinion polls plummet - Gallup this week finds two-thirds of Americans opposed to the war in Iraq - and shrug in wonder that it doesn't seem to matter, but exercise patience. When three-quarters of Americans oppose the war, then the politicians - surely the Democrats at least, surely Hillary - will lip-sync a different tune . . .
BY ANN WRIGHT
On July 11, day eight of a fast to bring the troops home, I was arrested in the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the confirmation of William J. Haynes II to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
I was wearing an orange Guantanamo jumpsuit (with two others in Gitmo orange) in the hearing room to remind the Senators that Haynes was a critical player in the development of the Bush administration’s torture program at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. As a retired US Army Reserve Colonel with 13 years on active duty and 16 in the Reserves and a 16 year US diplomat, I felt I had to voice my professional military concerns to the Senators on the Judiciary Committee that Mr. Haynes has done extreme harm to the US military and to the country during his tenure as the Department of Defense General Counsel and should not be confirmed with a life-time appointment as a judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter vigorously banging his gavel precipitating the Capitol Police removing from the committee room and arresting me. I was charged with unlawful conduct.
Interview with Christopher Gorman, a religious Conscientious Objector who is refusing to return to Iraq.
Published and Audio Broadcasted by Coalition For Free Thought In Media
Interview conducted by Jay Shaft: Editor-In-Chief/Executive Investigative Editor
THOUGHT BOMB RADIO - SHOCK AND AWE FOR THE MIND RADIO HOUR (C) 2003-2006 Jay Shaft/Coalition For Free Thought In Media
Seattle - The US Army plans to call two journalists as witnesses to support charges filed against an officer who refused to fight in Iraq because of his objections to the war, the lieutenant's lawyer said on Monday.
First Lt. Ehren Watada is facing charges over his refusal to deploy to Iraq with his unit on June 22 and choosing to remain at the Fort Lewis base in Washington state.
Supporting the Goals of Troops Home Fast
Washington, DC - US Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35) Representative Lynn Woolsey (CA-6), Representative Barbara Lee (CA-9) and members of the "Out of Iraq" Congressional Caucus will hold a press conference on Thursday, July 13th at 11:00 AM EST to express their support for individuals participating in Troops Home Fast, an event supported by numerous individuals and organizations to highlight the need to conclude the war in Iraq and bring our troops home.
Police say signs caused honking that was not necessary
By Christy Strawser / Macomb Daily
FERNDALE, MI -- In front of his wife and their 13-year-old daughter, war protester Victor Kittila, 55, was handcuffed and threatened with a Taser if he resisted in any way.
It wasn't his best day.
But Kittila, of Eastpointe, said his brush with the law will not stop him from protesting the Iraq war at Nine Mile and Woodward, the same place local peace groups have been stationed for four years. They started the weekly vigil when the United States sent troops into Afghanistan.
Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 PHONE:  323-7200, ext. 31
CONTACT: Max Obuszewski 410-323-7200, ext. 31 or mobuszewski [at] afsc.org
WHO: Baltimore peace groups have tried to dialogue with representatives of the National Security Agency since 1996. See James Bamford's book BODY OF SECRETS, which details the Agency's response to these requests. In June 2006, the Pledge of Resistance–Baltimore sent a letter to the NSA director, Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, seeking a meeting.
By Pete Perry
WASHINGTON -- Four anti-war and anti-torture activists appeared Friday before Judge Harold Cushenberry Jr. setting a date for a jury trial stemming from unlawful entry charges when they visited the Kalorama home of Donald Rumsfeld in May.
The four activists, Katie Heald of Portland and Mari Blome of Berkeley, Calif., both with Code Pink; along with Pete Perry and David Barrows of Washington, D.C. and both with the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) plead not guilty to the charge of Unlawful Entry Friday. An October 3rd court date was set.
Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25 Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-323-7200, ext. 31; Fax: 410-323-7292
On March 20, 2006, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], affiliated with United For Peace & Justice, organized From Mourning to Resistance – March on the Pentagon. After a rally near the Lincoln Memorial, some two hundred antiwar activists marched across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to LBJ Grove across from the Pentagon. After another rally, participants walked across a footbridge carrying a commemorative coffin and hoping to deliver it to Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld.
By Maria Allwine
Did you know that protesting at the NSA was against "the law?" The members of the Iraq Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore certainly didn't when we went to the NSA for our annual demonstration on Saturday, July 8. We've been doing this since 1996 and went there yesterday with an increased sense of urgency, given the latest revelations of illegal activity by this secretive spy agency.
Letter from Suzanne Swift's Mom
Suzanne joined the Army with stars in her eyes. She was told she would see far away travel, be trained as a military police officer and when she got out she would be given money for college. Hell of a deal. Not once did the recruiter mention the deadly statistics for women in the military and how going to war dehumanizes many soldiers to a point where they think that raping and harassing women is acceptable behavior.
By Cindy Sheehan
I don't know Lt. Ehren Watada, but I know his mother and spoke at length with her back in May in Hawaii about how Ehren morally did not want to go to Iraq and how he was being harassed by other members of his unit for his beliefs that the war in Iraq was wrong and that he didn't want to kill innocent people for BushCo.
Ehren tried everything he could within regulations and legal means to be excused from going over to the war crime in Iraq and becoming a war criminal himself, nothing worked, so he refused to be deployed with his unit.
By Jeff Leys
On July 5, three of us entered the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) to nonviolently resist the war in and occupation of Iraq. We sought to read the names of U.S. soldiers and Iraq citizens who have died in the war. Immediately upon entering MEPCOM's property, we were met by base security. We began to read the names of the dead and were quickly arrested. Charged with trespass and facing up to six months in prison, our first court appearance is scheduled for July 20th.
National education and action campaign responds
Lt. Watada's mother Carolyn Ho addresses supporters at the gates of Ft. Lewis, June 27, 2006, with step-mother Rosa and father Robert Watada left.
We are asking you and your organization to do what you can to make support for U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada a priority in the coming weeks and months.
We believe that Lt Watada’s stand offers a historic opportunity to assert our power to challenge and end the illegal war and occupation and to support the courageous soldiers and officers who fulfill their commitment to refuse illegal orders to participate in illegal war, occupation and war crimes. We intend to make Lt Watada’s stand count as a significant step towards a better, just and more peaceful world.
A Film by Scott Galindez
On July 4th, in Washington, participants in the "Troops Home Fast" took their message to the National July 4th Parade. Cindy Sheehan and Michael Berg, who both lost sons in the war, called on the fasters and their supporters to declare independence from war. Following a brief program in Lafayette Park, the group marched to join the national parade.
By David Swanson
Suzanne Swift's story begins in an all-too-familiar way. A dead-end job, a friendly military recruiter, a promise that signing-up as military police would mean no deployment to Iraq, a broken promise, and a trip to war. Then it takes a less commonly heard of turn, one involving a practice known as "command rape." Suzanne is back in the U.S. and is refusing to return to Iraq. Until a couple of days ago she was confined by the military and threatened with prosecution. The three superiors whom she has accused of various forms of harassment or assault have not yet been charged. Suzanne's mother, Sara Rich, spoke with me about her daughter's ordeal and recorded this 20-minute conversation. Here's a faster opening version, compressed by Peter Bricel.