By Mike Wong, Vietnam War GI resister. March 20, 2012
Since the start of the Bush era, soldiers and veterans have been a core part of resisting America’s wars for empire. But what will happen to the young GIs who refused orders to war or directly resisted the military in other ways? In particular, what will life be like for them afterward? What will their lives be like long after these wars are over, and the country and the world moves on? The experience of the Viet Nam era GI resisters may be very relevant here.... Today’s GI resisters have a tough road of struggle ahead of them. But if my generation’s experience is any example, they will prevail, they will become successful, and they will grow to become leaders in their time. The very qualities that led them to resist the wars will also lead them to success in life. And that is how it should be.
By André Shepherd, US GI objector in Germany. April 4, 2012
It has been almost a year since the German Federal Immigration Office denied my asylum. During this time the American Government continues to force soldiers such as myself to continue invading other lands under the guise of Democracy. It pains me to see that this once great country has decided to use its great power to subjugate the peoples of the world, rather than uplifting them to new heights. Even though the Iraq war has seemingly ended, there is still no end in sight for this ill-fated “War on Terror.”
By Helen Jaccard and Gerry Condon. March 25, 2012
U.S. soldiers in Germany now have a GI coffeehouse. The Clearing Barrel Bar and Café opened Saturday, March 24, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, home to Ramstein Air Base and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, among a constellation of U.S. bases, with 50,000 U.S. military and civilian personnel living in the area. The grand opening was a big success, with over 60 people in attendance. Well-wishers enjoyed good food and drink, and marveled at the large beautifully remodeled space, with couches, tables, chairs, a bar and barstools, his and hers bathrooms, and a full kitchen.
Last week I spent two days in court for a pretrial motions hearing in the court martial of Bradley Manning, the private accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks that showed widespread unethical and illegal behavior by the Department of Defense and State Department. Manning has suffered the fate the Queen put on Alice when she was in Wonderland, ” Sentence first — verdict afterwards. ” By the time his court martial is actually held he will have been incarcerated for more than two years, one of those years was spent in solitary confinement. But, that is only one of many obvious injustices Manning is being subjected to.
From Michael Thurman, recent GI resister. March 8, 2012
I applied for a conscientious objection discharge from the US Air Force in 2007. With the help of Courage to Resist, I was able to navigate that process successfully and I received an honorable discharge eight months later. However, today as a counselor to US military objectors, I know that things do not always go as well for others, regardless of the merits of their application. We have a lot of work to do to better support the troops who refuse to fight. It’s because of the financial support of thousands of folks like yourself that I’m able to do this work as a Courage to Resist staff member.
Today, I’m interested in making sure our mission of supporting GI resisters—accused WikiLeaks truth-teller Army PFC Bradley Manning, for example—adapts to and becomes part of the broader forces gathering against US militarism and empire.
We have an atrocious and seemingly endless war and uncertain future in Afghanistan. We have not actually “withdrawn” from Iraq. We have covert wars and an expanding military presence all over the world. We have the most significant military whistle-blower of our generation, Bradley Manning, facing life in prison. And every day we’re hearing threats of an attack on the nation of Iran—not unlike the propaganda fed us in the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2004.
Court martial expected in early May
By the Bradley Manning Support Network. February 13, 2012
The US Army last week scheduled a formal arraignment hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower. The arraignment is scheduled for 1:00 PM EST, February 23, 2012 at Fort Meade, Maryland, just northeast of Washington DC. While the hearing itself is expected to be brief, PFC Manning is expected to be present, and the proceedings are open to the media and public. Washington DC area supporters of the Support Network are encouraged to attend the arraignment.
By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist project director. February 16, 2012
The Courage to Resist organizing collective was formed in late 2005 as a fiscally sponsored project of the International Humanities Center (IHC). In October 2010, we ended our relationship with IHC and have since operated as a project of the Alliance for Global Justice ("Now a program of the Alliance for Global Justice", October 12, 2010) In light of IHC’s recent very suspicious closure, this turned out to be a very good move on our part. ("Vanishing act: Activist groups say donations disappeared with fiscal sponsor", NonProfit Quarterly, February 3, 2012). I'm able reassure our friends and supporters that Courage to Resist, and the Bradley Manning defense fund which we currently host, were not financially affected by IHC's closure.
By John Grant (photos by John Grant), In the Mind Field. December 18, 2011
Photos of Bradley, the vigil and rally, and courtroom sketches from the pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade
Saturday, December 17th was Bradley Manning’s 24th birthday, and at least 300 supporters gathered outside Fort Meade, Maryland, where the military was in its second day of a preliminary hearing process that’s expected to take about a week. Manning worked in military intelligence and is alleged to have released military secrets to WikiLeaks, which released the material publicly.
After collecting at the main gate, Manning supporters set off for a two-mile march to a gate nearer the military hearing site. The group was quite spirited and, despite Anne Arundel County Police efforts to keep marchers on the sidewalk, insisted on taking up a lane of the street. The police wisely did not attempt to stop them and there were no problems.
Legal team for Army PFC Bradley Manning fights for fair deal at pre-trial “Article 32” hearing, supporters rally
Jeff Paterson, December 12, 2011
Lead lawyer for accused WiliLeaks whistle-blower US Army PFC Bradley Manning, attorney David Coombs released the defense’s witness list for his pre-trial hearing, known as an “Article 32” hearing in military lingo, last week. On December 16th, PFC Manning may finally get his first day in court following his arrest in May 2010. The pre-trial phase is scheduled to begin at Fort Meade, just northeast of Washington DC, and last through December 22nd. The witness list represents an expansive range of 48 witnesses that offer significant insight into the brewing legal battle.
From Emma Cape, Bradley Manning Support Network & Courage to Resist organizer. December 1, 2011
A few days ago we finally got word that PFC Bradley Manning’s first day in court will be Friday, December 16th at Fort Meade in the Washington DC area. Our campaign team has spent months preparing for this announcement. On Saturday, December 17th--Bradley’s 24th birthday--we’re gathering hundreds of friends at the Fort Meade Main Gate to rally for Bradley and speak out against his injust imprisonment. We’ve been working on event announcements, press calls, and recruiting speakers. U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright (ret.), Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, and LGBT veteran Lt. Dan Choi will be joining us, along with Iraq War veterans, representatives from local labor and teachers unions, Occupy Movement activists, and supporters like you. It is deeply inspiring to watch so many different Americans coming together to send a strong message to our political and military leaders. December 17th is a day of solidarity with Bradley with dozens of events planned internationally for those that can’t make it to Fort Meade. If Bradley released this information about government corruption and military war crimes, he is a whistle-blower who deserves to be freed.
By Courage to Resist. November 24, 2011
Last week the Army finally set a pre-trial hearing date for Bradley Manning, the heroic soldier accused of releasing information to WikiLeaks. Vigils and rallies are planned for the Fort Meade Main Gate, located between Washington DC and Baltimore MD, on Friday, December 16th, and Saturday, December 17th--Bradley's 24th birthday. December 17th is also an International Day of Solidarity with Bradley, with scores of actions nationally and worldwide. For more information, including how to donate to the Bradley Manning Support Network, please visit: www.bradleymanning.org
Photo above: Supporters rally and march in response to pre-trial news, San Francisco 11/22/11. Additional photos.
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