By Dahr Jamail and Sarah Lazare for TomDispatch. August 10, 2009
Echo Platoon is part of the 82nd Replacement Detachment of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Soldiers in the platoon are relegated to living quarters in a set of dimly lit concrete rooms. Pipes peep out of missing ceiling tiles and a musty smell permeates beds placed on cracked linoleum floors.
For soldiers who have gone AWOL (Absent Without Leave) and then voluntarily turned themselves in or were forcibly returned, the detention conditions here in Echo Platoon only serve to reinforce the inescapability of their situation. They remain suspended in a legal limbo of forced uncertainty that can extend from several months to a year or more, while the military takes its time deciding their fate. Some of them, however, are offered a free pass out of this military half-life -- but only if they agree to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq.
By Sarah Lazare, Courage to Resist for Truthout. August 3, 2009
An interview with two former soldiers who describe how they helped prevent their unit from deploying to a war zone.
What do you do if you are a soldier being asked to fight a war you do not believe in?
For two former soldiers whose unit was ordered to deploy to Iraq in April 2005, the answer came in the form of work slowdowns, letter-writing campaigns, and one-on-one organizing with fellow soldiers. The result: they helped prevent their unit from deploying to a war zone.
By Courage to Resist. August 5, 2009
Update: Victor Agosto was released from jail on August 28, 2009 and expected to be processed out of the Army completely by the end of September!
By Courage to Resist. August 12, 2009 update
Army Spc. Victor Agosto was court-martialed and convicted Wednesday, August 5, at Fort Hood, Texas for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. He was sentenced to only 30 days in incarceration--which has been outsourced to the local county jail. Victor's supporters hope that he will soon be discharged "for the good of the service" following his return to his unit in a few weeks.
By Courage to Resist. July 14, 2009
Courage to Resist organizers and supporters have been reaching out to military personnel for a few years now. However, we have always had a last-minute scramble to figure out what materials to use when heading out to a nearby base, event, or going through an airport where GI’s are likely to be.
To help solve that problem and make outreach efforts easier, we're now producing and distributing GI outreach info cards and stickers by the thousands that highlight contact information for Courage to Resist, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the GI Rights Hotline. We're asking for your help in get these into the hands of military personnel!
Also: New GI resister buttons are available featuring recent objectors (set of four for a $10 donation), and we've updated the Courage to Resist info cards (4"x9") with new photos of resisters as well. GI Outreach packs, resister buttons, Courage to Resist cards, and more, are all available from our orders page.
August 12, 2009 update - Kimberly Rivera wins another temporary stay in Canadian court!
By Courage to Resist. Posted July 13, 2009
Courage to Resist and supporters delivered 6,000 signatures in support of Kimberly Rivera and all war resisters seeking refuge in Canada on July 8th. After a vigil in front of the Canadian Consulate in downtown San Francisco, the gathering made their way upstairs to make their case directly to a representative of the consulate. Watch Bill Carpenter's 6:30 min. video below.
The following day in Toronto, Canada, the federal judge in Kimberly Rivera's appeal to remain in Canada "reserved his decision." Following the hearing, Kimberly stated, "I shouldn't have to destroy my family for deciding not to destroy somebody else's family."
By Gregory Moore. Posted July 13, 2009
A series of portraits of US Soldiers who have publicly refused to fight in Iraq on moral grounds. These portraits do not account for all the soldiers who have refused to fight. Many more have made this courageous decision. On March 22, 2009 - the 6th anniversary of the Iraq War - these paintings were auctioned off as part of a fundraising event called Portraits of Courage. Money from the proceeds was donated to Iraq Veterans Against the War.
GI outreach leaflet by Courage to Resist. June 17, 2009
"GI resistance against war is anything that gives service members and veterans a voice and makes it harder for the military to function like a well-oiled machine. It ranges from reading anti-war literature to refusing an order to refusing deployment to a war zone. GI resistance is not dishonorable, and it will not put the lives of your buddies in jeopardy. Rather, it is a concrete way to end war and bring the troops home. GI resistance played a central role in ending the war in Vietnam. Having a fighting force that was difficult to control was a key factor in forcing the U.S. government to pull out..."
The back side of leaflet lists contact information for various organizations that support GI resistance.
Help provide civilian legal defense funds for military GI resisters with a house party, music show, poetry night, film showing, or by simply passing the hat at your next community/social/union meeting.
By Courage to Resist. May 29, 2009
Service members are courageously taking a stand against our nation’s endless occupation wars. Will you or your community organization step up to support them? These three Army soldiers are likely to face court martials—and a year or more in the stockade—possibly as early as July.
By Sarah Lazare, Courage to Resist for Truthout. May 21, 2009
"I felt like I was being robbed of everything," Matthew Dobbs said over the phone from his home in Houston, Texas.
"I had visions of military police banging down my door and dragging me back to war." Dobbs, a 26-year-old former soldier who served a tour in Afghanistan from 2003-2004, was recounting a story that has become familiar in the ongoing Global War on Terror. It is the story of a soldier who, after serving a tour overseas and being discharged from active duty, received involuntary orders to redeploy to Iraq or Afghanistan years later.
By Sari Gelzer, Truthout. May 14, 2009
In a victory for Lt. Ehren Watada, the Justice Department decided last week that it would drop attempts to retry the officer for his refusal to deploy to Iraq. Watada's lawyer, James Lobsenz, believes the decision was a case of legal realism. "They were going to have a really difficult time explaining why double jeopardy wasn't violated," said Lobsenz in reference to Watada's first court-martial, which ended in mistrial and would have violated his Fifth Amendment right to not be charged for the same crime twice.
Also: The trials of Ehren Watada
Please help Courage to Resist support the troops that refuse to fight with your urgently needed tax-deductible donation today. Donate today.