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Related Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Anti-War
View other events for the week of 5/14/2007
Iraq War Resisters in Watsonville
Date Monday May 14
Time 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location Details
United Presbyterian Church of Watsonville
112 E. Beach
Event Type Speaker
Organizer/AuthorBob Fitch
SAVE THIS DATE, May 14, 7pm

Military Intimidation of War Resistors Camilo Mejia, Agustin Aguayo, and Robert Zabala Marine/Army Iraq CO War Resisters In Watsonville Monday, May 14

Information, interview contact: Bob Fitch, 831/722-3311

Three Iraq war resister will meet with Watsonville resident, tell their stories and answer questions on Monday May 14th at 7pm, at the United Presbyterian Church of Watsonville, 112 E. Beach.

"By putting my weapons down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being" was the declaration of Camilo Mejia, Iraq Marine war veteran and first Iraq war resistor who filed for, and was denied, a Conscientious Objector (CO) discharge. Mejia went AWOL. After self-surrender he was court marshaled, spent a year in the stockade and was given a Bad Conduct discharge. His recently released book -- Road from Ar Ramadi - is described by imminent historian Howard Zinn as an "extraordinary journey [of] what happens when a young man decides to challenge the entire military establishment."

"It is wrong to destroy life.it is wrong to use war" is the belief of Augustin Aguayo whose Conscientious Objector discharge from the Army was delayed for three years and thwarted by deployment to Iraq three times. "Forced" to go AWOL in Germany, he finally he returned to the US to turn himself in. He was court marshaled, sentenced to 6 months confinement and is scheduled to be released with a bad conduct discharge. His Watsonville appearance will be a first public appearance in the Monterey Bay area.

"The entire purpose of the military is...the destruction of human life, not only the lives of military personnel, but also the lives of innocent civilians. I cannot and will not participate in this" declared Marine enlistee Robert Zabala who was horrified by the brutal environment and "kill" focus of boot camp. His Conscientious Objector application was delayed and denied four years until a Northern California Federal Court ordered the Marines to grant an Honorable Discharge and immediate release. His case is featured in MISSION REJECTED, authored by former
CBS correspondent Peter Laufer,

"Military intimidation of Conscious Objectors resistors," says Paul Cox, Founder of Veterans for Peace Chapter 69, Bay Area Veterans for Peace, "is blatantly demonstrated by armed forces treatment of these men.

"Instead of honoring truly held and demonstrated beliefs," says Cox, "as required by military law and Supreme Court decisions, CO applicants are being harassed with delayed processing and even deployment to war. They are being ordered into impossible situations for which the only defense is drastic action like federal court intervention or unauthorized departure."

The evening is sponsored by the GI Rights Hotline & Draft Alternatives program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), the Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, the Watsonville Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) and the Watsonville Brown Berets, Santa Cruz Veterans for Peace Chapter 11.

Immediate wireless Spanish translation will be available. Tickets at the door: sliding scale $5-$25. $1 scholarship tickets are available for students and people with limited funds - phone 831/722-3311.

The RCNV GI Rights Hotline & Draft Alternatives Program provides information and counseling for enlisted military seeking legal discharge, and for young people and families concerned about Selective Service registration, a potential draft and comprehensive information about military enlistment. For information contact the program's 7-day-a-week hotline 831/359-0202 or http://www.rcnv.org/rcnv/co.htm

Camilo Mejia - more info.
* Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camilo_Mejia
* Camilo Mejia campaign: http://www.freecamilo.org/ and
http://www.notinourname.net/troops/mejia-17mar04.htm
* Dan Rather Interview:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/29/60II/main609216.shtml
* Truth Out:
http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/38/9042
* Amnesty International:
http://www.notinourname.net/troops/mejia-4jun04.htm
* New Press (publisher) of Road from ar Ramadi:
http://www.notinourname.net/troops/mejia-4jun04.htm
* Amy Goodman interviews Mejia:
http://www.democracynow.org

Agustine Aguyo - More info.
Courage to resist:
http://www.couragetoresist.org
Aguyo defense organization: http://www.aguayodefense.org/
Counterpunch: http://www.counterpunch.org/russom03032007.html
CA Indy Media: http://indybay.org/newsitems/2006/09/27/18314785.php
Added to the calendar on Wednesday Apr 25th, 2007 8:09 PM
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