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News :: Human Rights
National Day of Action for GI Resisters - regional event Tuesday
by wmass imc
07 May 2005
We urge you to join us in a "National Day of Action for GI Resisters" on Tuesday May 10, 2005 at the Federal Building in Springfield
[From the Campus Anti-war Network]
We urge you to join us in a "National Day of Action for GI Resisters" on Tuesday May 10, 2005.
This is the day before the US military is planning to bring sailor Pablo Paredes and soldier Kevin Benderman before military court martial tribunals for their opposition to the Iraq War. They face forfeiture of pay and benefits, and military jail time.
On December 6, 2004, Navy Petty Officer Pablo Paredes refused to board his ship as it left the San Diego Naval Station in support of the Iraq War and occupation. At the time of his refusal, Pablo said he hoped his protest might inspire other GI's to refuse to take part in the war.
On January 5, 2005, Kevin Benderman refused to deploy for a second tour of duty in Iraq with the Army's Third Infantry Division. At the same time seventeen other soldiers from his unit went AWOL, two tried to kill themselves and one had a relative shoot him in the leg to avoid deploying.
Both men applied for discharge from the US military as conscientious objectors. The military has wrongly rejected both claims.
It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of Pablo, Kevin and the thousands of other courageous men and women who have followed their conscience to uphold international law and to take a principled stand against the unjust, illegal war and occupation of Iraq. It's time we had their backs.
Objection and resistance by military servicepersons is a healthy and important assertion of Democracy in a country where the decisions to invade Iraq, to maintain an occupation, and engage in widespread human right violations and torture were made undemocratically in violation of international law and based on continuing lies and disinformation.
Please join us by organizing a public demonstration, vigil or rally of support on May 10. Every action, no matter how large or small is important.
[This from a student organizer in WMass]:
<<On Tuesday May 10th from 4pm to 6pm there will be a protest held
outside of the federal building in Springfield, Mass. This event is
in solidarity with the Campus anti-war network, as they have called
for a national day of action to defend, war resister, Pablo Paredes.
Pablo applied for conscientious objector (CO) status after refusing an
order to transport a ship of marines to Iraq. He was denied CO status
and charged with desertion, and his courtmarshall will begin on May
11th. The following link has more information of Pablo's story and an
on-line petition that you can sign and forward to your friends:
Parades is indeed displaying extreme courage to resist a war that he
knows is unjust. It is important that we show him, as well as the
government, that he has our full support. Students and professors
from Holyoke Community College and the Northampton branch of the
International Socialist Organization are organizing this event. there.
nudewavescsny (at) yahoo.com >>
This work is in the public domain