By Courage to Resist. 20:12 min. May 14, 2009
After five months in the Army, Dustin Che Stevens sat down during Airborne graduation in order to refuse graduation. He was told to go home and wait for his discharge. Seven years later, he was arrested for desertion. "I started reading [literature on conscientious objection] and started thinking for myself. I knew that in my heart and in my mind that I could not kill anyone... I went back and told them that." Today Dustin awaits a court martial, unless he "volunteers" to deploy to Afghanistan.
Help support Dustin! Donate to his defense fund at www.couragetoresist.org/dustin
By Benjamin Lewis, Courage to Resist for AlterNet. May 14, 2009
In October 2008 I announced at a Winter Soldier hearing in Portland, Oregon that I was being considered for involuntary activation back into the Marine Corps for a third tour of duty as an infantry mortar man; the day after this announcement I reported to Mobilization Command in Missouri as ordered. I reported with the intention of exercising civil disobedience in order to make a political point by refusing activation. The Marine Corps selected me for activation and since that time I have been publicly refusing service. My scheduled report date was May 18, 2009.
Seth Manzel and Andrew VanDenBergh, GI Voice. Updated May 13, 2009
Iraq Veterans rallied directly outside Fort Lewis in Washington State on Saturday, May 9 to oppose the Stop-Loss policy of recalling soldiers for repeated overseas deployments (photo right: Sigrid Knutson). Fort Lewis, the largest Army base on the West Coast, will deploy three infantry brigades to Iraq and Afghanistan over the next four months. Of the 10,000 soldiers previously deployed, some have been involuntarily stop-lossed.
Courage to Resist. May 1, 2009
Your letter to the Commander of Fort Stewart, Georgia requesting that Iraq War resister Cliff Cornell's 12-months prison sentence be reduced is urgently requested. Cliff was convicted of desertion on April 28, 2009 after being denied sanctuary in Canada. These letters of support will be collected by Cliff's civilian lawyer James Branum and submitted to the military through the official appeals process.
Address letters to: COMMANDER, Fort Stewart and fax to 866-757-8785. Please do not send letters directly to the CG but through Cliff's lawyer at the fax number provided.
By Courage to Resist and Susan Galleymore. April 29, 2009
Courage to Resist co-founder Susan Galleymore made international headlines by taking the extraordinary and even dangerous step of traveling to Iraq to visit her US Army son stationed on a military base in the so-called Sunni Triangle, north of Baghdad. She is now on tour to promote her new book “Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak Out About War and Terror”.
What Susan found in Iraq – the horrors of war which was at once heartbreaking and compelling - challenged her to continue her journey interviewing mothers in war zones including Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan and the US. These powerful first-person stories offer dramatic insight into the impact of war on mothers, families, communities, and cultures around-the-world.
By Matthis Chiroux. April 22, 2009
Today (Apr. 21), I stood before the Army. I looked a board of officers in the eyes, and I told them I thought they were sending people off to participate in war crimes. And what did they say? Get out of here, Sergeant, and keep your damn G.I. Bill!
Indeed, folks! The Army awarded me a recommendation for a general discharge under honorable conditions from the Individual Ready Reserve for my refusal to deploy to Iraq last summer. This landmark decision means not only am I a free man, I’m free to continue school this fall with the “new” G.I. Bill that I earned while on active duty.
Pressure renewed on Harper government to implement votes of Canadian Parliament
By War Resisters Support Campaign. April 20, 2009
TORONTO—On Tuesday afternoon the Federal Court of Canada granted Kimberly Rivera leave to appeal the decision in her Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). The Federal Court will hear the appeal on July 8.
[A few weeks ago Kimberly Rivera was hours away from being the third US Iraq War resister forced to leave Canada. Robin Long is currently jailed near San Diego, California, while Cliff Cornell is facing a general courts-martial and years in prison next week. -Courage to Resist]
Project Director Jeff Paterson with Fr. Louis Vitale on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. April 14, 2009
Watch video. Excerpts (beginning at 40 min.):
In order to to feed the surge (President Obama) is implementing in Afghanistan, we are seeing a marked increase in the number of inactive Ready Reserve call-ups. These are people that have served their four years inside the military and often have done a number of deployments already to Iraq, and they’ve survived that.... And they’re just simply receiving letters in the mail saying, you know, “You’re ordered to report” in x number of days and for—to ready for yourself for deployment. And these people are, in large numbers, simply refusing that call up. And we are working with them to help them refuse that call up and give them all the options available to them....
By Courage to Resist. April 10, 2009
Congratulations, letter writing party organizers!
All over the United States and in several foreign countries, more than 35 enthusiastic activists stepped up to organize letter writing parties in support of GI resisters. The organizers took this opportunity during the week of March 16th-23rd as a way of protesting the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After contacting Courage to Resist, organizers received packets of information containing resisters’ profiles and addresses, sample letters to resisters, President Obama, and Canadian Prime Minister Harper along with our newsletter and some buttons and bumper stickers.
By Robin Long. March 24, 2009
In 2004 when Jeremy Hinzman applied for refugee status in Canada the Conservative government stepped in at his Refugee Hearing and said that evidence challenging the legality of the war in Iraq can’t be used in this case. The U.N. Handbook for Refugees and the Nuremburg Principals say:
a soldier of an army that is involved in an illegal war of aggression has a higher international duty to refuse service. They also have the right to seek refugee protection in any country that is signatory to the Geneva Convention.
By refusing to allow him, and by precedent all other claimants, the right to use the argument that the war was illegal, the decision closed the door on that legal avenue for refugee protection.
Please help Courage to Resist support the troops that refuse to fight with your urgently needed tax-deductible donation today. Donate today.