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Indybay Feature
Thu May 5 2005
May 10, 2005 National Day of Action for GI Resisters
National Events Shows Solidarity with Two Men in Advance of Courts Martial
The War on Trial, 5/12 update: For refusing to serve in a war zone, Navy Petty Officer Pablo Paredes was demoted and sentenced to three months of hard labor, two months of which he will be restricted to the naval base. His conscientious objector status is still pending.
The War on Trial, 5/11 update: Pablo Paredes was convicted of "missing movement" in his court martial at the San Diego Naval Base. During the pre-sentencing phase, however, the military judge declared that, in examing the defense's expert witness Marjorie Cohn (NLG; professor of law), the military prosecution had demonstrated that any servicemember had reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal. Paredes described the hearing as a small victory in a building movement to resist illegal invasion, occupation, and war crimes from Iraq to Guantanamo Bay.

After the hearing, war resisters Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia, Aidan Delgado, and parents of Gold Star Families for Peace, who have lost loved ones in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, spoke in San Diego (MP3 audio). San Diego activist Lynn Gonzalez spoke of the need for volunteers to support servicemembers and military families, including counciling. Paredes, still facing up to a year in prison, will be sentenced on 5/12. Coverage at San Diego Indymedia Sgt. Kevin Benderman's court-martial was postponed.

A new national coalition called Courage to Resist called for a May 10th, 2005 National Day of Action to Support Military Resisters. (Flyer ) Navy Refuser Pablo Paredes and Army Objector Kevin Benderman will both appear before court martial tribunals (in San Diego and Fort Stewart, Georgia, respectively, and people are invited to attend to show their support for the two resisters). on May 11th for their refusal to participate in the Iraq war and occupation. Both men face military jail and forfeiture of pay and benefits if they are found guilty in the courts martial. Protesters plan to tell the U.S. military on May 10th that they believe that it is not a crime to resist a war and occupation that are illegal, and to respect conscientious objection.

An event in San Diego on May 10th kicked off a 4-day series of events in solidarity with Pablo Paredes in that city. "Voices of Resistance" will feature Pablo Paredes, Aidan Delgado, and Camilo Mejia, who will speak at the Bayview Baptist Church at 6134 Benson Ave (at 61st St, between Imperial Ave and Skyline Dr), at 7pm. Detalles en español
In San Francisco, a Bay Area Support Rally was held Tuesday, May 10th at 12 Noon, at the War Memorial Veterans Building. Photos: 1 | 2 | Video
A caravan to San Diego for Pablo Paredes's court martial left San Francisco after the rally.
In Orlando, Florida, there will be a protest at the Military Recruiting Center at Colonial and Maguire Streets on Tuesday the 10th from 11am to 1pm. Events in other cities, including Baltimore, Maryland; Deerfield, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; and Ventura, California

Courage to Resist | Citizens for Pablo | Kevin Benderman Defense Committee | Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors | GI Rights Hotline | War Resisters from Within the US Military | Refusing to Kill | War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada) | Camilo Mejia speeches: March 11th in Miami and May 4th in Santa Cruz
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