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Nonviolent Resistance

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}

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

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."


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

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,


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

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

Military Personnel Refusing War

EHREN WATADA, via David Solnit,
Available for a limited number of interviews, First Lt. Watada is
the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to the war
in Iraq. He said today: "I am wholeheartedly opposed to the continued
war in Iraq, the deception used to wage this war, and the lawlessness
that has pervaded every aspect of our civilian leadership." He stated at

Troops refusing Iraq duty get a haven


Prompted by a Fort Lewis Army officer's decision to refuse to fight in Iraq, the First United Methodist Church of Tacoma has declared itself a sanctuary for servicemen and servicewomen who also don't want to go to Iraq.

The 300-member congregation's administrative council voted last weekend to open its doors beginning this Saturday after 1st Lt. Ehren Watada announced that he thinks the war in Iraq is illegal and that he has sought to resign his commission.

AWOL Soldier Returns To Fort Lewis

By Tracy Vedder

EUGENE, ORE. - Another Fort Lewis soldier is refusing to go to Iraq, but this time, it's a woman.

And she claims she was the victim of ongoing sexual assault and harassment during her first tour in the country.

Military police brought Suzanne Swift back to Fort Lewis in handcuffs Tuesday. She's accused of deserting her military police unit just before they were supposed to go back to Iraq.

Drop Investigation into Lt. Watada's Protected Free Speech Against Illegal War

Contact Army to Demand: “Drop Investigation into Lt. Watada's Protected Free Speech Against Illegal War”

On Wednesday, June 7th U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada became the first U.S. commissioned officer to publicly speak out in opposition to the Iraq War and occupation. Lt. Watada outlined why he believes the war to be illegal, and why he would have to refuse to obey any future order to participate in it.

Monona (WI) Woman Going to Court for Scaling Fence at Pentagon

CONTACT: Joy First, cell – 608-239-4327

Madison, WI & Washington, DC. - Joy First will be returning to Alexandria, Va for a mandatory court appearance June 16, after being arrested with Madison resident Janet Parker and 49 others from around the country at the Pentagon on March 20, 2006.

On March 20, a group of 250 people, including Cindy Sheehan and Michael Berg, marched to the Pentagon to demand that Donald Rumsfeld, an architect of the war in Iraq, stop the war because it is an illegal and immoral action. They carried a coffin representing all the people who have been killed as a result of the war. At the Pentagon, a temporary fence had been erected to stop the peace activists from delivering their message to Rumsfeld. Fifty-one activists were arrested when they climbed over the fence as they continued to press towards the Pentagon to deliver their message.


Joni LeViness and her attorney, Rex Friend, presented testimony and legal

arguments; that Joni’s crossing out of the permitted area to assist in making a citizen’s

arrest of Halliburton’s CEO was similar to going through a fence to put out a prairie fire.

A minor violation of law is necessary and justified when done to prevent a far greater

harm, such as Halliburton’s acts which destroy eco-systems and violate worker rights, as


By Max Obuszewski

We have assumed the name of peacemaker, but we have been, by and large, unwilling to pay any significant price. And because we want peace with half a heart and half a life and will, the war, of course, continues, because the waging of war, by its nature, is total, but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial..... We cry peace and cry peace and there is not peace. There is no peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war, at least as exigent, at least as disruptive, at least as liable to bring disgrace, prison and death in its wake." Daniel Berrigan, No Bars to Manhood, 1970

The Marine Who Saw Too Much

By Peter Laufer, AlterNet

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).

Recruiters convinced a listless Californian named Daniel to join the Marines. On September 11, 2001, he was taking classes at a junior college near San Jose while holding down two jobs: managing a PurWater store and squeezing fruit at a Jamba Juice stand.

Fear for my daughter

By Sara Rich

It started out with being scared for her life when she signed up for
the military. She assured me that she was promised she would not go to
Iraq. I was not as trusting.

She was sent to Iraq right out of her basic training. She assured me
she would be ok as we cried while she was packing. One of her Sgt.
assured me. "Don't worry Ma'am, we'll take good care of your daughter."

Eugene Soldier refuses to deploy to Iraq


EUGENE, Ore. -- A 21-year-old woman who refused to deploy with her Army unit to Iraq for a second tour has been arrested and will be returned to Fort Lewis, Wash., Eugene police said Monday.

Eugene Police spokesman Sgt. Rich Stronach said Spec. Suzanne Swift, 21, told officers she did not want to go back to Iraq. She was picked up Sunday night at the request of the Army.

Progressive Dems Suppress Anti-War Dissent

Peace Activists at Hillary Clinton's Speech Try to Take Back "Take Back America"

The Take Back America conference, an annual event held in Washington DC this year from June 12-14, is supposed to be a venue for prominent progressives to gather and debate the major issues of our day. Their aim is to "provide the nation with new vision, new ideas and new energy." But choosing New York Senator and probable presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a keynote speaker and then stifling dissent against her pro-war position hardly seems the stuff of a new vision for America.

Upping the Ante

By Ted Glick

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are those who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. . . Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. . . The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857

Civil Disobedience: Tilting at War

By Seattle Post-Intelligencer

It didn't accomplish much. The ship sailed off toward Iraq with its cargo of Stryker combat vehicles. Some might even dismiss the whole thing as silly, and the participants even sillier.

For the better part of the last week in May, a growing group of demonstrators picketed at the Port of Olympia. They tried, in vain, of course, to block delivery of the vehicles, which arrived in a string of 20 convoys from Fort Lewis.

First Officer Publicly Resists War

By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t |

Yesterday, US Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada became the first officer to publicly state his refusal to obey an order to deploy to Iraq. Lieutenant Watada said at a press conference in Tacoma, Washington, that "The war in Iraq is in fact illegal. It is my obligation and my duty to refuse any orders to participate in this war." He stated, "An order to take part in an illegal war is unlawful in itself. So my obligation is not to follow the order to go to Iraq."

First Officer Announces Refusal to Deploy to Iraq

By Sarah Olson
t r u t h o u t |

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.


Will Receive War Resisters League Peace Award

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.

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:

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


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