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Questioning War- Organizing Resistance- War Resisters Radio Show
Monday, May 21, 2007, 7-9 pm (PST) on the Questioning War- Organizing Resistance internet radio show, the show will be devoted to War Resisters with guests- Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia, Michael Wong, Jeff Paterson. The show is hosted by Carol Brouillet.
Listen 7:00- 9:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guests-
Pablo Paredes was a Petty Officer Third Class and weapons-control technician in the United States Navy who refused to board the USS Bonhomme Richard as it deployed to the Persian Gulf, December 6, 2004 as part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During his 2002 tour in Japan, Paredes met several people who were highly critical of the US military interventions. After his return to the United States in 2004, Paredes tried unsuccessfully to switch to the military police in order to avoid involvement in the war. Paredes then applied for discharge as a conscientious objector on January 4, 2005 but was denied by the Navy in July of that year.
After an unauthorized absence, he returned to the Navy on December 18, 2004 The same day he made a statement to local press saying that he was fully aware of the possible repercussions of his decision.
As his court martial took place, around 50 supporters performed a play "Put the War on Trial", which Pablo wrote. He received unexpectedly lenient treatment at his court-martial sentencing May 12: a three-month sentence at hard labor (which really means menial duties on base). Observers attributed this to a sympathetic judge and the powerful testimony of local law professor Marjorie Cohn, who made a convincing case that the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia violated international law and U.S. treaty commitments and therefore a servicemember who refused duty there could fall under the Nuremberg principle which allows — indeed, requires — a soldier to refuse an order that could make him or her complicit in war crimes.
He is now working at counter-recruitment and with the G.I. Hotline.
Camilo Mejia, member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, author of Road From Ar Ramadi. Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejía became the new face of the antiwar movement in early 2004 when he applied for a discharge from the Army as a conscientious objector. After serving in the Army for nearly nine years, he was the first known Iraq veteran to refuse to fight, citing moral concerns about the war and occupation. His principled stand helped to rally the growing opposition and embolden his fellow soldiers.
Despite widespread public support and an all-star legal team, Mejía was eventually convicted of desertion by a military court and sentenced to a year in prison, prompting Amnesty International to declare him a prisoner of conscience.
Now released after serving almost nine months, the celebrated soldier-turned-pacifist has written his story, from his upbringing in Central America and his experience as a working-class immigrant in the United States to his service in Iraq—where he witnessed prisoner abuse and was deployed in the Sunni triangle—and time in prison. Far from being an accidental activist, Mejía was raised by prominent Sandinista revolutionaries and draws inspiration from Jesuit teachings. In this stirring book, he argues passionately for human rights and the end to an unjust war.
Michael Wong, member of Veterans for Peace. He also contributed to the book- Veterans of War- Veterans of Peace and is featured in the film Sir, No Sir. He was a first lieutenant in high school Army ROTC who believed fervently in the Army and our government leaders. Then came the real Army. His story in Veterans of War- Veterans for Peace: “Honor’s Death,” tells of his Army experience and why he turned against the Viet Nam war and deserted to Canada; “To Take a Street,” tells of one small protest. He was a member of a hippie counterculture community known as Rochdale College.
He wrote in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Fifth Book of Peace: “We were a world unto ourselves, with our own government, a free medical clinic, a movie theater, a library, a health food restaurant, a store, a dance studio, and a host of other features of a community. We even had our own hippie ‘police force,’ Rochdale Security ... ”
"A war of attrition by the Canadian government and police against Rochdale formed for me a counterpoint to the war in Viet Nam. The war hawks lost the war to control South Viet Nam. We hippies lost the war to save Rochdale College. I deserted the U.S. Army, only to serve on Rochdale Security. I never faced the guns of the Viet Cong, but I faced—unarmed—the guns of the Toronto Police Department. My closest comrade, Cindy Lei, was one of those who died for Rochdale. I was never the same."
During a protest against the first Gulf War, he met a group of Viet Nam veterans who welcomed me him with open arms. he joined them and has been an active member of Veterans for Peace and the Veterans Writing Group ever since.
Jeff Patterson 1991 Gulf War military resister. Marine Corporal Jeff Paterson was the first public military objector who sat down on the runway to refuse deployment. He has tirelessly spoken out and organized against war since then and is actively involved with www.couragetoresist.org
On the frontlines of the resistance to war, our guests will share their experiences and insights. The show is hosted by Carol Brouillet a longtime activist who organized three conferences on Strategies to Transform the Global Economy and (the first) marches on her Senators and Congresswoman in January 2002 to Demand a Congressional Investigation of 9-11. She publishes the Deception Dollars, and Co-Founded the 9-11 Truth Alliance, and the Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance.
David Solnit and Aimee Allison wrote this in Army of None:
Michael Wong, Veterans for Peace
Road From Ar Ramadi- The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia