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First Officer Announces Refusal to Deploy to Iraq

By Sarah Olson
t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org

Ehren Watada is a 27-year-old first lieutenant in the United States Army. He joined the Army in 2003, during the run-up to the Iraq war, and turned in his resignation to protest that same war in January of 2006. He expects to receive orders in late June. He is poised to become the first lieutenant to refuse to deploy to Iraq, setting the stage for what could be the biggest movement of GI resistance since the Vietnam War. He faces a court-martial, up to two years in prison for missing movement by design, a dishonorable discharge, and other possible charges. He says speaking against an illegal and immoral war is worth all of this and more. Journalist Sarah Olson spoke with Watada in late May about his reasons for joining the military, and why he wants out.

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR SENTENCED TO PRISON

Will Receive War Resisters League Peace Award
www.warresisters.org

On June 9, the War Resisters League, the venerable pacifist organization, will give its 2006 Peace Award to women GIs who came to believe only after they enlisted that they didn't believe in war or violence. Four extraordinary women-- Diedra Cobb, Anita Cole, Kelly Dougherty, and Katherine Jashinski-will represent the growing class of these new COs.

U.S. Army Officer Refuses to Take Part in Illegal War

Today, Wednesday, June 7th, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada will become the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to the unlawful Iraq war and occupation. He will announce his intention to disobey the illegal order to deploy to Iraq in coordinated press conferences in Tacoma, Washington and Honolulu, Hawaii. http://www.thankyoult.org

Statement On Behalf Of Lt. Ehren Watada

By Francis A. Boyle, Professor of International Law

One generation ago the peoples of the world asked themselves:
Where were the "good" Germans? Well, there were some good Germans. The
Lutheran theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the foremost
exemplar of someone who led a life of principled opposition to the
Nazi-terror state even unto death.

Today the peoples of the world are likewise asking themselves:

Officer at Fort Lewis calls Iraq war illegal, refuses order to go

By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com

In a rare case of officer dissent, a Fort Lewis Army lieutenant has refused orders to head out to Iraq this month to lead troops in what he believes is an illegal war of occupation.

1st Lt. Ehren Watada's Stryker brigade is scheduled to make its first deployment to Iraq this month. His refusal to accompany these troops puts him at risk of court-martial and years of prison time.

“No Blood for Oil 12” stand trial for protest

Time: 7:00 a.m.- Individuals gather outside the Courthouse in a show of support for the defendants. 8:00 a.m.- Trial starts

Place: Jefferson County Courthouse, 100 Jefferson Parkway in Golden, CO Map

For information contact:
Claire Ryder 303-332-7810
Carolyn Bninski 303- 444-6981x2 or 303-444-0117
For immediate release: June 3, 2006

Video of arrest:
http://www.s90370584.onlinehome.us/tj/NoBloodforOilComp.mov

When AWOL Is the Only Way Out

By Peter Laufer, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/36899

The following text is an excerpt from Peter Laufer's new book, "Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq" (Chelsea Green, 2006).

"We was going along the Euphrates River," says Joshua Key, a 27-year-old former U.S. soldier from Oklahoma, detailing a recurring nightmare -- a scene he stumbled on shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. "It's a road right in the city of Ramadi. We turned a real sharp right and all I seen was decapitated bodies. The heads laying over here and the bodies over here and U.S. troops in between them. I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, what in the hell happened here? What's caused this? Why in the hell did this happen?' We get out and somebody was screaming, 'We fucking lost it here!' I'm thinking, 'Oh, yes, somebody definitely lost it here.'"

A Call to Support U.S. Military Officer to Refuse Illegal Iraq War

http://www.thankyoult.org

First U.S. military officer poised to publicly refuse orders in support of the illegal Iraq War requests your immediate support and assistance. Having already attempted to resign his commission in protest, he now poised to refuse deployment via simultaneous, cross-country press conferences, within days.

“I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to watch families torn apart, while the President tells us to 'stay the course.' … I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression. I wanted to be there for my fellow troops. But the best way was not to help drop artillery and cause more death and destruction. It is to help oppose this war and end it so that all soldiers can come home.”

War protestors arrested in Dover

By LARRY CLOW, Foster's Daily Democrat, NH

Six members of Seacoast Peace Response are peacefully arrested and charged with criminal trespass by Dover police after refusing to leave the premises of U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley's office after it had closed for the day Wednesday afternoon.
(John Huff/Staff photographer)

DOVER — For some it was a matter of conscience.

For others, it was a last-ditch effort to deliver a message to their elected representatives.

Anti-war protests target lawmakers

Portsmouth Herald, NH
By Adam Leech, aleech@seacoastonline.com

PORTSMOUTH - "Robert Rooney of Nashua ... Randy Rosenberg of Berlin ... Richard Ferguson of Conway ..."

Local peace activists read the names of the 11 New Hampshire soldiers killed in Iraq since 2003, as well as hundreds of other U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. And though their intended audience was not present, their message was clear.

Protesters reflect on civil resistance at Nevada site

By BRIAN PASSEY, The Spectrum, UT
bpassey@thespectrum.com

ST. GEORGE - When nearly 40 protesters crossed onto the Nevada Test Site during a Sunday demonstration against Divine Strake, James P. McMahon of Brookside was among those temporally detained and cited for trespassing on federal land.

"I think that crossing the line at the Nevada Test Site is the most important thing I've done in a long time," he said Monday. "There comes a time when you have to stand up for what you believe in and what your principles are."

Actvists Arrested at Rumsfeld's House Face Court Dates

By Pete Perry, DC Anti-War Network

The two remaining members of the Supremes will appear Thursday before a judge in D.C. Superior Court to begin facing charges of Unlwaful Entry at the federal level and Disorderly Conduct at the D.C. level. This is a result of arrests May 18th on Donald Rumsfeld's front doorstep. David and myself were arrested with Toby and Katie from Code Pink as we attempted to meet with Rumsfeld and deliver messages asking him to stay away from Iran and to withdraw military forces from occupied Iraq.

Anti-War Protests Continue at Port of Olympia

Associated Press

Olympia - Anti-war protesters gathered Wednesday at the Port of Olympia to demonstrate against a 950-foot military cargo ship bound for Iraq.

Crowds were small early in the day, but were expected to grow amid rumors that the ship was leaving Wednesday evening. Twenty-two people were arrested Tuesday and police pepper-sprayed a handful of protesters who pulled down a port fence.

A Courtroom Speech

By Rosemarie Jackowski

On March 20, 2003, I participated in a peaceful protest against the war. I was arrested, incarcerated, handcuffed, booked, fingerprinted, photographed, tried, convicted and sentenced. My conviction is currently under Appeal in the Vermont State Supreme Court. Courtroom procedure allows the condemned the Right of Allocution. This was the first time that I was allowed to speak freely and openly to the court. Below are my words, as I spoke them, to Judge David Suntag, in Vermont District Court, in Bennington, Vt., on October 7, 2004.

Stop the Divine Strake Action - My Report

By Deanna Taylor

See links to photos below each heading. See link to Salt Lake solidarity vigil here.

As reported via phone post, the Stop the Divine Strake Action is over and is considered to have been a highly productive and successful event. People came from as far away as Pennsylvania to attend the action.

Hunger Strikers Soar to 75 at Guantanamo Bay

Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The number of Guantanamo Bay detainees participating in a hunger strike has ballooned from three to about 75, the U.S. military said Monday, revealing growing defiance among prisoners held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba for up to 4½ years with no end in sight.

Guantanamo Bay, April 2006. The U.S. military says the number of detainees on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay has jumped from three to 75. (AFP/POOL/File)

New Hampshire CONGRESSIONAL "READ-INS" MAY 31: NH TELLS ITS DELEGATION: NOT ONE MORE DEATH, NOT ONE MORE DOLLAR

www.nhpeaceaction.org

NEW HAMPSHIRE - On Wednesday, May 31, activists from around the state
plan to peacefully occupy the New Hampshire offices of the
congressional delegation from 12 noon to 5 pm. New Hampshire Peace
Action has announced that there are going to be demonstrations
-"read-ins" - at the New Hampshire congressional offices of Senators
Sununu and Gregg, and Representatives Bass and Bradley on Wednesday,

Non-violent Direct Action Protester to Stand Up for First Amendment Rights

Tulsa Peace Fellowship, http://www.tulsapeace.org

tulsapeace@hotmail.com

Hearing At: Stephens County District Court
714 Willow
Duncan, OK 73533
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

DUNCAN- Sixteen people from all over the Heartland attempted a citizens’ arrest of David Lesar at the Halliburton Shareholders’ meeting in Duncan Oklahoma. Hiram Myers, an attorney with a nephew deployed in Iraq, who felt compelled by his conscience to prepare a legal document outlining Halliburton’s violations, led them.

Nine More Arrested in Protests Against Iraq-Bound Army Convoys

http://www.foxnews.com

OLYMPIA, Washington — Nine more people were arrested in protests against the delivery of Iraq-bound military vehicles to the Port of Olympia, bringing the total arrested to 16 in three days, police said.

Demonstrators blocked a street to prevent a convoy from reaching the port Wednesday. In contrast to the quiet arrests of six people Tuesday and one Monday, scuffling, shouting and screaming arose as some protesters were carried to a van.

7 arrested during Wash. anti-war protests

By Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Seven people have been arrested while protesting the delivery of military vehicles to the Port of Olympia for shipment to Iraq, authorities said.

Five people were arrested Tuesday for blocking the convoys at a crosswalk, police said. Another man was arrested and accused of trespassing after police said he tried to put a bicycle lock on one of the gates to the port Tuesday.

The Colonel's Latest Posting? Off Base

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post

Usually, "Sir! No Sir!" is the perfect negative response on a military base. But retired Army colonel and antiwar activist Ann Wright was detained for two hours at Fort McNair Monday when she tried to pass out postcards for "Sir! No Sir!" -- a documentary about military opposition to the Vietnam War.

A 29-year veteran of the Army and Reserves, Wright quit the State Department in 2003 over White House policies and now travels the country protesting the Iraq war. On Monday, Wright and other activists headed to Fort McNair to demonstrate during the Abu Ghraib court-martial. As a retired military officer with ID, Wright was allowed on base only to learn the trial had been moved to Fort Meade in Maryland -- so she decided to leave promotional postcards for the film on the base.

Peace activists discuss arrests at West Point

Times Herald-Record, NY

A group of peace activists arrested for wearing anti-Iraq war T-shirts to an Army basketball game two years ago say President Bush's presence at the U.S. Military Academy graduation this weekend amounts to a double standard.

If the so-called West Point 8 couldn't express their views about the war in 2004, why can Bush do it in 2006?

"Mr. Bush's very presence at West Point this Saturday will force all the military people at West Point, regardless of their views, to appear to be in support of him and his conduct of the war," said activist Nick Mottern during a brief protest outside the military academy today.

Military Confronts Conscientious Objector

www.CenteronConscience.org

Army Spc. Katherine Jashinski will face will face court martial proceedings Tuesday May 23rd at 9:00AM for refusing to train with weapons for potential deployment

Katherine has been on hold, waiting for this day, since November of last year when she publicly declared her conscientious objection belief. Part of the Texas National Guard, she applied for CO status in 2004; her claim was denied on frivolous grounds after an 18-month wait. While her court appeal was pending she was given an order to train with weapons potentially to be deployed, but she refused.

16 Citizens Attempt Citzens' Arrest of Halliburton CEO at the Shareholder's Meeting

By Darla Shelden - OKC Halluburton event organizer

Halliburton Protesters Back row from left: ?Mary Francis, Will Covert, James ?, Josh ?, Diane Baker, Huti Reynolds, Hiram Myers, Jon Cantrell and Ivan Hutchcroft Seated from left:? ? ?Trent Goss, Joni LeViness, Maureen Haver, Chris McMullen, Katie Heim and Jennifer Rooks. Darla Shelden - OKC Halluburton event organizer

Iran and Rumsfeld

A Report by Scott Galindez
http://www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

On Thursday, May 18th, over 40,000 petition signatures were delivered to the White House against war with Iran. Following the delivery of the petitions a march to Donald Rumsfeld's house was led by Ray McGovern and Cindy Sheehan. Four people were arrested trying to deliver a message to the Secretary of Defense.

FROM 3 CONTINENTS TO DUNCAN, OK

By Nathaniel Batchelder, www.peacehouseok.org

From Nigeria, Peru, and at least six of the United States, objectors to Halliburton's global operations travelled to Duncan, Oklahoma, to protest at the corporation's annual stockholders' meeting, Wednesday, May 17.

Some 150-200 protesters gathered outside the Simmons Center where Halliburton's meetings were held, holding signs and chanting "Shame" while stockholders filed in, and later left the meeting. All morning, a stream of Duncan citizens drove past the protest location to see the protest to the Duncan-based corporation. Many responded to the prominent "Honk For Peace" signs.

War protest targets recruiting center

By Ted Roelofs, The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- Grand Rapids resident Lori Freye realizes one small protest at a military recruiting station won't stop the Iraq war in its tracks.

But Freye, 20, believes she must stand up against a war she believes has nothing to do with terrorism.

"We feel that this war would not be possible without the military and without recruiters. We feel that the only motivation behind this war is oil and money.

Reports on Halliburton Protest

KGOU/NPR interview with Pratap Chatterjee, Maureen Haver and Scott Gurian, News reporter for KGOU-OKC.

Democracy Now with Pratap Chatterjee and Michael Karikpo interview.

Report from Activist Arrested at Rumsfeld's House

By Pete Perry

It was a long and exhausting 24 hours in the D.C. prison system. I will probably share a lot more soon. I was honored to have done this action at Rumsfeld's with David Barrows and two very strong, intelligent and courageous women from Code Pink -- Toby and Katie. Remarkably Katie actually made it to the door and slipped a letter through the mail slot!

I was often worn down and stressed about losing employment. But I took joy in the fact that the action seemed meaningful, and that many people knew about it. We do face unlawful entry, which is a fairly serious charge. Our court date is June 1st at 9 a.m. Solidarity would be greatly appreciated!

U.S. Antiwar Activists Launch Campaign Supporting Conscientious Objectors

Published on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 by OneWorld.net
by Haider Rizvi

NEW YORK - Peace groups in the United States are testing new ways to stop the U.S. war machinery in Iraq, Afghanistan, and places that might become new targets in the new future.

Peace advocates in New York and Washington, DC have held a series of meetings with their counterparts from other countries to discuss how they could strengthen an international movement to support those who refuse to join the military or choose to stay away from taking part in combat operations.

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