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Showing posts from November, 2006

A Tale of Two Campaigns

I was on a Declaration of Peace Conference Call last night. It was exciting to begin to hear the peace and justice movement getting ready to launch into its next phase following the midterm elections. The main thrust of the call was the campaign to defund the illegal and immoral war and occupation of Iraq.

As part of this campaign, and probably the most intense, will be what Voices for Creative Nonviolence and the National Campaign of Nonviolence Resistance will undertake beginning February 5th and lasting through March -- visiting and probably sitting in at many congress people's offices. The Declaration of Peace Coalition has decided to join this effort. It is expected that during the month of February and into early March Congress will likely pass record-large supplemental budgets paying for the continued war and occupation. It is expected that the military requests will amount to somewhere between $100 Billion to $120 Billion.

This intense phase will be called The Occupation Pro…

Call it exactly what it is...

It appears the mainstream media will now begin to call the deep sectarian violence in Iraq exactly what it is -- a civil war. The conflict has been increasing in its bloodshed for several months now. Just a couple days ago I saw General Odom say it was time to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from this disaster immediately.

I truly hope this is the beginning of the end. Here is The Boston Globe article:

Bucking White House, NBC says Iraq in 'civil war'
Usage increasing in news media
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | November 28, 2006

WASHINGTON -- NBC's "Today Show" host Matt Lauer yesterday told millions of American television viewers, many sitting at their breakfast tables, that the network would buck the White House and from now on describe the Iraq war as a "civil war."

The new policy, which NBC News said would cover all its news shows, could become a benchmark in public opinion about the war, according to media specialists.

Some media analysts compared it to CB…

Agustin Aguayo's case

I attended the appeals hearing today of conscientious objector Spc. Agustin Aguayo, 34, at the D.C. Circuit Federal Court downtown. It was interesting, and there was some hope that Agustin will in fact prevail in his quest to be declared an official war objector and be released from the Army.

When Agustin first signed up for the Army as a medic, recruiters told him he would not have to carry a gun. This was latter proved to be false. On occasion he did carry a gun in Iraq, but refused to load it.

Elsa Rassbach, an American peace activist residing in Germany, was there and she has become a dear close friend to Agustin and his wife Helga. Attorney Peter Goldberger presented some persuasive arguments to the three judges hearing the appeal. Other peace activists J.E. McNeil, Gael Murphy, Kevin McCarron and myself were also on hand this morning to hear the oral arguments. Goldberger said it will likely take the judges 5-10 days to come to a decision and present a written decision.

Helga and A…

Pelosi and a Mandate for Peace

Hello my bloging readers! I write this essay today, having completed a protest jury trial and preparing myself to organize for a late January anti-war mobilization being lead by coalition leaders I'm not very enthusiastic about to say the least.



At this point, the Dems have won a solid majority in the House and a slim majority in the Senate. It remains my sincere belief that the only way to end the war and occupation in Iraq (and probably stop an attack on Iran) is to utilize the power of the purse. This would be to cut off funding of continued war and occupation of Iraq, to call for all groups to continue and intensify their negotiating process and begin with paying repair expenses to that nation's infrastructure. Military funding in this theater should be solely used for an orderly phasing out of U.S. troops from Iraq, and I believe this could be completed by April 2007.


In Congress' last session Jim McGovern of Mass. introduced HR4232. This bill essentially called for all…

Mistrial declared in our Rumsfeld case

Rumsfeld has been replaced by Robert Gates, former CIA director. The timing could not be better! Below is the press release I wrote late Thursday afternoon.

Defendants Receive Mistrial in Rumsfeld Protest

WASHINGTON – Three peace and justice protestors tasted victory yesterday when a District of Columbia jury of 12 men and women failed to reach a verdict in their trial stemming from a nonviolent action on May 18 th at the residence of Donald Rumsfeld, the former secretary of defense.
The defendants were surprised by the deadlocked jury. After more than four hours of deliberation the six men, six women jury informed Associate Judge Harold Cushenberry Jr. of the D.C. Superior Court that they held strong opinions and could not reach a unanimous verdict. The charge leveled against David Barrows, Pete Perry and Mari Blome is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $100 fine.
The nonviolent protestors were arrested in the fro…

Rumsfeld Trial Continues

Today the trial of the remaining Rumsfeld three continues today. We have what I think is a diverse and fair jury. Maximum sentence is six months in prison for nonviolently delivering an anti-war and anti-torture message to Donald Rumsfeld's residence at 2206 Kalorama Road in May.

I wish I could write more, but I can't right now. No media coverage yet, as this is obviously a tough time with the elections going on.

Please note, a couple days ago the Army Times, Navy Times and Marine Times published an editorial calling for Rumsfeld to step down as secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld 4 Jury Trial to Begin Monday

WASHINGTON – Four peace and anti-torture activists will appear in court Monday, November 6 th in a jury trial stemming from a protest against a war with Iran, at Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's home in May.
The four nonviolent protestors were arrested on May 18th by the Secret Service when they entered the front yard of Rumsfeld's mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood of northwest Washington. They are charged with unlawful entry and face a maximum sentence of six months in prison, and $100 in fines.
Pete Perry and David Barrows of the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) will defend themselves, with Washington attorney Mark Goldstone serving as attorney advisor. Mari Blome and Katie Heald, affiliated with Code Pink are represented by Washington attorney Ann Wilcox.

"We were not breaking a law," Perry said. "We were peacefully delivering an anti-war and anti-torture message to a public official we hold responsible for the unlawful entry of Iraq and the sanc…