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Nov 4, 2006

Military resisters, their families, veterans and concerned community members call for public action Dec. 8-10th!

photo by : Jeff Paterson
It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of the growing movement of thousands of courageous men and women GI’s who have in many different ways followed the their conscience, upholding international law, taking
a principled stand against unjust, illegal war and occupation and stood up for their rights. Widespread public support and pressure will help create true support for courageous troops facing isolation and repression, and help protect their civil liberties and human rights.  We call for the  following:1) Support for War Objectors 2) Protect the Right to Conscientious Objection 3) Protect the Liberties & Human Rights of GI's 4) Sanctuary for War Objectors. We urge you to join us December 8-10th for a weekend of action in supportof GI Resistance and GI Rights!

Objection by military servicepersons is a healthy and important assertion
of democracy, particularly in a country where the decisions to invade, to
maintain occupation, and to engage in widespread ongoing torture, human
rights violations and war crimes are made undemocratically in violation of
the US Constitution and international law and based on continuing lies and

Showing widespread support for soldiers who resist is one of the best ways
those of us outside the military can encourage the growing momentum of the
GI resistance movement—a movement that has the direct power to end this

Supporting GI resistance, together with counter recruitment and draft
resistance, is key to stopping illegal war and occupation ourselves. If
the government can't recruit or draft enough new troops, and if troops
refuse illegal immoral orders, it will help end the war and occupation and
help prevent the next one. Look at the Vietnam War!

We ask you to begin mobilizing your group, community and networks now. As
well as educating your organization’s members, please consider hosting one
or more public events to help raise awareness and build support.
Visit for more information or to contribute
to build this campaign.


Your participation in these days of action—and beyond-- is crucial to
realizing these goals: together, we do have the power to end this war and
prevent the next one. As the antiwar movement builds its support for these
brave people and their important actions, we hope more will take a stand
if we show them they won't be alone.

Those of us outside the military must match their bravery by escalating
our support for all GI resisters. They've got to know we're out here for

Here is an explanation of our four areas of support:

Providing political, economic, personal, legal and spiritual support for
our troops who have the courage to object, whether speaking out, refusing
to follow orders or going AWOL is essential. We can uphold the US
constitution and international law by supporting GIs who refuse illegal
orders to deploy, carry out orders or participate in illegal war and

Many have been moved to action by the words of Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada
who is currently facing up to eight years, primarily for speaking out
against the war, and also for refusing deployment to Iraq. In his August
12 speech to the Veterans for Peace National Convention, for which the US
Army has added an additional free speech charge of “Conduct Unbecoming an
Officer and a Gentleman.” Lt Watada said,
“The idea is this: that to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers
can choose to stop fighting it. Those wearing the uniform must know beyond
any shadow of a doubt that by refusing immoral and illegal orders they
will be supported by the people not with mere words but by action. They
must know it and you must show it to them. Convince them that no matter
how long they sit in prison, no matter how long this country takes to
right itself, their families will have a roof over their heads, food in
their stomachs, opportunities and education.”


"I have come to believe that it is wrong to destroy life, that it is wrong
to use war, that it is immoral, and I can no longer go down this path,"
said Army medic Agustin Aguayo after being denied conscientious objector
status and going AWOL when faced with a forced re-deployment to Iraq. He
is now in a military prison in Germany, imprisoned for following his

We call on the US military and the US government to respect the right to
conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom
of thought, conscience and religion. The right to refuse to perform
military service for reasons of conscience is inherent in the notion of
freedom of thought, conscience and religion as recognized in Article 18 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This freedom is also
articulated in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights

Specifically we urge them to:

a. Consider a conscientious objector to be any person who, for reasons of
conscience or profound conviction, refuses to perform service in the armed
forces or any other direct or indirect participation in wars or armed
conflicts, including people who refuse to participate in particular wars.
This internationally recognized definition is used by Amnesty
International and other human rights organizations.  Currently the US
Military Selective Service Act stipulates that objection must be to
participation in war of any form only by reason of religious, ethical, or
moral belief.

b. Assure that all conscientious objectors be given the opportunity to
present the grounds of their objection to a decision-making body, which is
established by law and is impartial and independent. Respect the due
process of applicants, and end all recriminations for applying for
Conscientious Objector status.


a. Free Speech; soldiers face harassment, punishment and even formal
charges for exercising their legal right to free speech.

b. Freedom from sexual harassment or assault; the US military continues to
ignore the pattern of serious and widespread sexual harassment and


We the people of the US must do what we can provide and support real
sanctuary to all people resisting war, including our own troops. We can do
this as communities, as churches and as organizations. We call on people
in the U.S. to build grassroots support for resisters on our soil and also
to support Canada's people in their struggle to provide sanctuary for U.S.
war objectors.
 Join the many Canadians calling on the Canadian government to demonstrate
its commitment to international law and the treaties to which it is a
signatory, by making provision for US war objectors to have sanctuary in
Canada. Let the Canadian people and Government know most US people oppose
the war and many support the right to sanctuary for courageous war
For more information about Canada’s War Resisters Support Campaign go to
GI Coffeehouse to open its doors in Watertown, N.Y.   
Different Drummer Cafe, GI Coffeehouse, to open its doors Oct. 27, 2006
The first G.I. Coffehouse, of the current Iraq war, is planning to open its doors to servicemembers and their guests on October 27, 2006 in Watertown, New York.

The Different Drummer Cafe, located near Ft. Drum, hopes to "to provide soldiers and families at Ft. Drum with an inviting and comfortable (and warm!) place to socialize and to hear music and other live entertainment. Soldiers will also have access to legal counselling, a bookstore, and a regular program of film showings and discussions on current issues." The cafe is a project of Citizen Soldier.

Some upcoming events planned at the cafe, all FREE, include a "Halloween Kickoff Party" with live music, a screening of "The Ground Truth" , and a "Veteran's Day Gala" featuring a local blues band. For more information, and a full schedule of events, visit:
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Posted: Nov 4, 2006 3:44am


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