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Opponents of Iraq War Rally around Lt. Watada

By Alex Fryer, Seattle Times (Washington)

Lt. Ehren Watada couldn't be called a media figure, but the Hawaii-born officer who refused to deploy with his Fort Lewis unit on Thursday has done his bit to court the press.
Part of the public exposure is designed to protect Watada from potentially harsh military justice. But Watada also has become the latest public face for a peace movement that has produced few leaders able to marshal public opinion, even though polls show the majority of Americans believe the Iraq war was a costly mistake.

Two protesters arrested at Cheney's visit

By Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Two Iraq war protesters were arrested on Lake Minnetonka after they tried to paddle near shore, where Vice President Dick Cheney attended a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Michel Bachmann on Monday.

Robert Heberle, 71, of St. Anthony Roger Cuthbertson, 67, of Shorewood were cited for creating a public nuisance.

They were with eight other protesters on boats in Halsted's Bay. The two were arrested after being warned several times not to approach the site of the fundraiser.

To Refuse To Serve

By Ret. Col. Ann Wright, www.tompaine.com

Col. Ann Wright served in the U.S. Army for 13 years and in the U.S. Army Reserves for 16 years. She also served for 16 years in the U.S. diplomatic corps, and in that capacity helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December 2001. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism as the acting U.S. ambassador during the rebel takeover of Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1997.

RALLY TO SUPPORT 'ILLEGAL WAR' REFUSER LT. EHREN WATADA

OKLAHOMA VETERANS FOR PEACE

WHEN: TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2006 @ 10 AM
WHERE: OK STATE CAPITOL - SOUTH STEPS
WHO: VETERANS FOR PEACE, IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR, REP OPIO TOURE, DFA, CODEPINK, JOY MENNONITE CHURCH, MAYFLOWER CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, OK FOR GLOBAL SOLUTIONS, CATHOLIC PEACE FELLOWSHIP, THE PEACE HOUSE, OK COMMITTEE FOR CONTIENTIOUS OBJECTORS, COURAGE TO RESIST AND MORE

(Oklahoma City, OK) On Tuesday June 27, people in dozens of US cities will demonstrate their support for US Army 1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada's public refusal to participate in the ‘illegal war’ and occupation of Iraq. Lt. Watada is the first US military officer to take this stand.

PUBLIC DEMONSTRATIONS OF SUPPORT FOR ‘ILEGAL WAR’ REFUSER LT. WATADA ACROSS NATION

www.ThankYouLt.org

On Tuesday June 27, people in dozens of US cities will demonstrate their support for US Army 1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada's public refusal to participate in the "illegal war" and occupation of Iraq. Lt. Watada is the first US military officer to take this stand.

Public events will take place at Ft. Lewis (4-6pm at exit 119 overpass off I5), Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Ft. Lauderdale, Honolulu, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto, and many other cities. Events are being coordinated by the Family and Friends of Lt. Watada through the website www.ThankYouLt.org. National organizations such as Veterans for Peace, American Friends Service Committee, United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, Campus Anti-War Network, Not in Our Name, Courage to Resist, and numerous other organizations will participate.

NATIONWIDE DAY OF ACTION: TO SUPPORT 'ILLEGAL WAR' REFUSER LT. EHREN WATADA

www.ThankYou.Lt.org

On Tuesday June 27, people in dozens of US cities will demonstrate their
support for US Army 1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada's public refusal to
participate in the 'illegal war' and occupation of Iraq. Lt. Watada is the
first US military officer to take this stand.

People from the region will gather at Ft. Lewis from 4-6pm at the I5 exit
119 overpass. Other public events will take place at Atlanta, Charlotte,

TWENTY FIVE ARRESTED AT THE US MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS

SAYING NO TO TORTURE, SHUT DOWN GUANTANAMO

Three Activists Arrested With the Names of the Men who Committed Suicide at Guantanamo on June 10, 2006.

Contact: Frida Berrigan 347-683-4928

Amanda Daloisio 201-264-4424

Undeterred by inclement weather, more than 60 people marched in a solemn procession from the United Nations to the US mission to the United Nations. Carrying signs that read Shut Down Guantanamo, the group marked the United Nations Day for the Victims of Torture. The procession, which included rabbis, priests, nuns, college students and human rights activists, was led by a cage on wheels representing the Guantanamo prison cells in which over 400 men remain, some for more than 4 years.

TROOPS HOME 'FAST'

Cindy Sheehan, Dick Gregory, Daniel Ellsberg, Col. Ann Wright and CODEPINKers from around the country are coming to D.C. to launch the
TROOPS HOME 'FAST'
Extended Hunger Strike for Peace
July 3-4, Washington DC

Join us in DC to declare our independence from war on July 3rd and July 4th. The fasters will stay in front of the White House every day until August 14th. Sign up to join us at www.troopshomefast.org (or click on the button to the right!).

Open Letter from Mother of Lt. Ehren Watada, Resister of Illegal War

I am the mother of Lt. Ehren Watada, an officer stationed at Ft. Lewis. He is part of a Stryker brigade unit that deployed today to Iraq. Despite an unflinching commitment to his men and to democratic ideals, he chose not to accompany his men. His decision came through much soul-searching and through research and consultation with experts across disciplines, inside and outside of the military and the government.

Army officer stays home when unit deploys to Iraq

By Associated Press

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (AP) — An Army lieutenant who has said he'd rather go to prison than Iraq did not deploy with his unit when it left Thursday for the Middle East, Army officials said.

1st Lt. Ehren Watada, 28, of Honolulu, who joined the Army in March 2003, has said he would be willing to serve in Afghanistan or elsewhere, but has concluded that the war in Iraq is illegal and immoral.

*CONFERENCE* STOPPING THE MERCHANTS OF DEATH: A Strategic Conference for Grassroots Activists

www.warresisters.org/smod

Calling all organizations working to expose and stop corporations’ war making and war profiteering! Drawing upon the spirit, the experience and success of the Honeywell campaign*, the War Resisters League, in conjunction with Alliant Action, Nukewatch, Veterans for Peace—Twin City Chapter, University of St. Thomas Justice and Peace Studies Dept., and the Des Moines Catholic Worker are sponsoring a national networking and strategy conference to build a cohesive local and national anti-corporate movement to develop strategies for stopping corporate merchants of death.

An officer says No to 'war crimes'

First commissioned officer to refuse
Posted by Evan Derkacz, http://alternet.org/blogs/peek/37996

Today, as his Stryker Brigade leaves for the Air Force Base that will transport them to Iraq, Lt. Ehren Watada becomes the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment claiming that "[my]participation would make me party to war crimes."

When Watada, who had attempted to resign his commission at least twice, learned in May that his request was denied, he simply refused to deploy, saying:

FIRST U.S. ARMY OFFICER LT. WATADA REFUSES ILLEGAL WAR DEPLOYMENT TODAY

FAMILY & FRIENDS OF LT. WATADA
www.ThankYouLt.org

Ft. Lewis, WA-- First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada refused orders today to deploy to Iraq as his Stryker Brigade began deployment. He reported to duty at 2:00 a.m. at Ft Lewis, WA, and refused orders to move to the adjacent McChord Air Force Base to prepare to fly to Iraq. Lt. Watada believes that the war and occupation in Iraq are illegal, and thus participation in the war is also illegal. Lt. Watada's attorney Eric Seitz said, "This morning Lt. Watada has been restricted to base without any actual charges or proper process. By placing a complete gag order on Lt. Watada, the military has again shown that their first concern is silencing Lt. Watada's speech in opposition to the illegal war in Iraq. We will immediately challenge these highly questionable and improper restrictions."

FIRST U.S. ARMY OFFICER LT. WATADA REFUSES DEPLOYMENT ORDERS TODAY

FAMILY & FRIENDS OF LT. WATADA
www.ThankYouLt.org

Ft. Lewis, WA-- First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada refused orders today to deploy to Iraq as his Stryker Brigade began deployment. He reported to duty at 2:00 a.m. at Ft Lewis, WA, and refused orders to move to the adjacent McChord Air Force Base to prepare to fly to Iraq. Lt. Watada believes that the war and occupation in Iraq are illegal, and thus participation in the war is also illegal. He has been ordered to remain on site pending further orders from his commanding officer and cannot make or receive phone calls or any other form of communication.

Clowns Take Over Recruiting Station

The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) occupied the military recruitment center in downtown Oakland for about 45 minutes until we were forced out and the center shut down for the day. Gooooo Clowns! (Lots of silly pictures)

Woman Soldier Refuses Return to Iraq, Claiming Sexual Harassment

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian / UK

A female soldier in the US military has refused to serve in Iraq, accusing some of her superiors of using the war zone as a pretext for sexual harassment.

In what is believed to be the first case of a soldier refusing to serve because she feared sexual harassment, Suzanne Swift, 21, a specialist with the 54th military police company, told the Guardian she did not join her unit when it left for a second tour of duty in Iraq because it meant a return to a regime of harassment.

WMD Found in North Dakota: Disarmament Begins

A Roman Catholic Priest and two Veterans went to a Minuteman III silo
this morning and began to disarm the nuclear weapon using hammers.
Reverend Carl Kabat, OMI, Gregory Boertje-Obed, and Michael Walli
entered the E-9 missile silo on the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation in
North Dakota about 75 miles southwest of Minot. Using a sledgehammer and
household hammers, they disabled the lock on the personnel entry hatch

June 16, 2006 Trial for Scaling Fence at Pentagon on March 20

By Joy First

I wanted to share with you my experiences at the trial I participated in on June 16. As many of you know, I was arrested on March 20 at the Pentagon, along with 50 peace activists committed to nonviolent civil resistance, including Janet Parker from Madison. Approximately 250 peace activists marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon to demand an end to the war and occupation of Iraq. We carried a coffin representing all the Iraqis and US soldiers who had died as a result of the war. Our goal was to deliver our message to end the war to Donald Rumsfeld. Cindy Sheehan and Michael Berg participated in the march, and Michael Berg was one of the 51 people arrested.

MacGregor Eddy's statement to Judge Magistrate Federman upon sentencing

On June 15, I was sentenced to two years probation, suspended
jail time and a $2,500 fine for my arrest at Vandenberg Air Force Base
during the Keep Space for Peace protest on October 8, 2005.
Before sentencing I was allowed to make a statement and I chose to quote
CG Weeramantry, world court judge and author of Armageddon or Brave New
World? Reflections on the Hostilities in Iraq.

Resistance in the U.S. military to the War on Iraq

By Ann Wright, US Army Reserve Colonel Retired and former US diplomat

As a 29 year Army and Army Reserves veteran, I am horrified to see the politicalization of the U.S. military under the Bush administration. The “ethics and professionalism” of the U.S. military has been targeted for destruction by the civilian appointees of this administration. They want “yes” men and women who do not question the legality of the policies of the administration. Tragically, from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on down, Rumsfeld and crew have been successful in stifling professional discussion within the military, with the exception of former Army Chief of Staff Shinseki and now six retired generals. Under the Bush administration, there is no accountability or responsibility for criminal actions; privates and sergeants are court-martialed, while senior civilian and military leaders responsible for the criminal policies are free.

Tacoma congregation declares 'sanctuary' for war resisters

Linda Bloom * (646) 3693759* New York {374}
http://umns.umc.org

By Paul Jeffrey

TACOMA, Wash. (UMNS) - In the middle of a city surrounded by military bases, a United Methodist congregation is opening wide its doors to military personnel who may question the legitimacy of orders to fight in Iraq.

The administrative council of Tacoma's First United Methodist Church voted unanimously June 11 to declare the church a "sanctuary" for members of the armed forces with moral qualms about participating in military activities that may violate their conscience.

JUNE 27 "National Day of Action" To Stand With Lt.Watada!

On June 7th, 2006, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada
became the first commissioned officer to publicly announce his
opposition to the Iraq war and his intent to refuse to deploy with
his unit to Iraq.

“My son, 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, is not the same person who
entered the military service three years ago. His decision to refrain
from deploying to Iraq comes through much soul searching. It is an act of

Anti-war activist lauds officer's refusal to fight

By Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times

A Fort Lewis lieutenant's refusal to go to Iraq because he believes the war is illegal "won't be easy," but it just might "save his soul," a retired Army colonel and former State Department official who has become a prominent anti-war activist said Monday in Seattle's University District.

Ann Wright appeared with 1st Lt. Ehren Watada and his parents at a news conference at University Lutheran Church to announce a national day of action June 27, when anti-war demonstrations will be held in cities across the country in support of Watada.

Soldier's Iraq war stance backed

Watada has right to refuse to go, retired officer says
By BRAD WONG, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com

With his Fort Lewis-based Stryker Brigade possibly deploying to Iraq in the coming weeks, Lt. Ehren Watada has picked up the public endorsement of a retired Army colonel and diplomat who also contends the war there is illegal.

Speaking at University Lutheran Church in Seattle, retired Col. Ann Wright said Monday night that the artillery-targeting officer has the right to disobey "illegal orders."

Personal Testimony to the Court

U. S. District Court, Eastern Division of Virginia, Judge Thomas Jones, Presiding
Personal Testimony to the Court, June 16, 2006

Your Honor, I am Clark Gabriel Field, from Evansville, Indiana, father of an eighteen-year-old son, Phillip, and husband of Alice Bernadette - I'm sixty-nine years old.

(During the Viet Nam War, I volunteered to be an army chaplain; however, upon getting more information, I withdrew and intensified my protest against the U. S.' massive aggression against that small nation.)* Years ago, I wrote my Congressmen; (picketed the U. S. Court House back home,) attended meetings, marched in the streets, and ultimately came to Washington to march and sit in at the Capital. I was arrested, protesting the U. S. war against Viet Nam.

Hearing today for woman accused of jumping Pentagon fence

A Delaware activist is scheduled to get a hearing today in northern Virginia on charges stemming from her arrest during a March protest at the Pentagon.

June Eisley says she was one of several protesters who scaled a fence during a protest marking the third anniversary of the Iraq war. She says the protesters wanted to present Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with a list of soldiers killed in Iraq.

Joshua Key Explains What Made Him Desert for a Fugitive’s Life

Suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after Serving in Iraq, Joshua Key Explains What Made Him Desert for a Fugitive’s Life
By Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald

IT was March 2003, just days after the US invasion of Iraq. Joshua Key was driving along the banks of the Euphrates near the town of Ramadi in his tank when he came upon a scene that has since engraved itself into his memory: US troops kicking the decapitated heads of Iraqis around in the sand in an impromptu game of football.

Sheehan supports U.S. deserters in Canada

By CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press

A group of American military deserters publicly embraced their new lives in Canada on Saturday with the support of "peace mom" Cindy Sheehan, who said she wished the son she lost in Iraq was among them.

"I begged him not to go to Iraq," the anti-war activist said through tears at a rally in support of the former soldiers, who wore black T-shirts emblazoned with "AWOL." "And I wish he was standing up here with these people because he didn't want to go."

ARMY COLONEL SUPPORTS IRAQ WAR REFUSER: NATIONWIDE SUPPORT EVENTS SET FOR JUNE 27

Contact: David Solnit June 19, 2006 510-967-7377

PRESS CONFERENCE:
6:15pm (changed from 6pm), Monday June 19, 2006
University Lutheran Church, 1604 NE 50th St. @ 16th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA

SEATTLE - June 19 - Army Colonel (Ret.) and diplomat Ann Wright joins
those publicly supporting Lieutenant Ehren Watada's decision to refuse
"illegal" orders to deploy to Iraq in the coming week. Colonel Wright,

PENTAGON PROTESTERS CONVICTED IN FEDERAL COURT IN VIRGINIA

CONTACT: Max Obuszewski 410-323-7200, ext. 31 or mobuszewski [at]
afsc.org

WHO: The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, part of a network formed by
national peace groups, engages in nonviolent resistance to protest the
occupation of Iraq. The Pledge is part of the National Campaign for
Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] and a member of United For Peace & Justice.

On March 20, NCNR organized From Mourning to Resistance - March on the

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