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Indybay Feature

War Resister: Warehouse Party/Benefit for Marc Hall

marc-hall-benefit.jpg
Date:
Friday, March 26, 2010
Time:
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Event Type:
Fundraiser
Organizer/Author:
Location Details:
The Studio Space
34 Janis Way #H
Scotts Valley, CA

Friday, March 26, 2010
8:00pm
The Studio Space
34 Janis Way #H
Scotts Valley, CA

The Reliques - Psychedelic Rock and Roll
and The Vibrant EYEris - Open ended Hip Hop

http://www.digitalintrospect.net/reliques/reliques.php
http://www.reverbnation.com/vibranteyeris

Donations Accepted:
Local Musicians, Artists, and GI rights supporters are coming together in benefit of Marc Hall, an Army combat veteran who is currently being held in jail awaiting a military trail for producing a song that he wrote about being stop-lossed.
The song can be heard at http://www.stoplossmusic.org

The Studio Space (Free Marc Hall): http://www.webhawks.org/~dm70machil2059/proj3/index.html

http://www.girightshotline.org
http://www.ivawsantacruz.org
http://www.couragetoresist.org
http://www.ivaw.org/node/5824
Added to the calendar on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 10:58AM
§Marc Hall
by
marc-hall.jpg
§Stop Loss
by
Listen now:
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§Iraq War veteran Army Spc Marc Hall writes from jail
by via Courage to Resist
marc_hall.jpg

War objector with PTSD jailed and ‘extradited’ to Kuwait for secret trial

Donate to help defend Marc - 86 people have given $2,686 of the $3,600 spent on legal fees so far. Because the Army kidnapped Marc to Kuwait for trial, we will need to raise at least $10,000 to provide a civilian defense lawyer. Critical expert witnesses to could be another $5,000. And all of this has to happen within a few weeks.

After filing an official complaint over inadequate mental health services at Ft. Stewart, Georgia, Army Spc Marc Hall was jailed on December 12, 2009 on the pretext of an angry song about “Stop-loss” he produced in July 2009. The Army has recently shipped Spc Hall to Kuwait where he remains jailed awaiting a virtually secret trial.

By Army Spc Marc Hall. February 20, 1010

I never thought that I would join the Army only to one day be incarcerated by the Army. I have never been to jail in my life, until now. The Army is charging me with Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, “communicating threats” towards my chain of command. Yet I was only communicating how I felt about what I have experienced in the Army and how I felt about the Army’s “Stop-loss” policy. That policy meant that I could not leave the Army when I was supposed to, and after I had already served in Iraq for 14 months.

I guess this all started with a hard core “rap” song I made about the Army’s very unpopular “Stop-loss” policy back in July 2009. Like any “rap” or rock song, I was expressing my freedom of expression under the US Constitution. Being that the Army’s “Stop-loss” policy was a Pentagon decision from what I had heard on the news, I decided to send a copy of my song directly to the Pentagon.

I don’t know if anyone at the Pentagon listened to my song, but somebody in Washington DC mailed the package back to my chain of command. My First Sergeant called me into his office to discuss it. I explained that the rap was a freedom of expression thing. It was not a physical threat, nor any kind of threat whatsoever. I explained that it was just hip hop. He told me that he kind of liked the song, that it sounded good.

1st Sgt Chrysler and Capt Cross, our company commander at B-CO 2-7 IN [Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment] at that time, just recommended me for mental counseling and evaluation. I attended mental counseling at the behavioral health clinic on Ft. Stewart from late July 2009 through November 2009. I had about four visits to the clinic, but I couldn’t attend all the appointments because we were always training in the field. In the end this counseling still left me feeling the same way about Army life, “stop-loss” and war in general.

I spoke to our chaplain and told him my feelings, including all of the domestic things I had gone through with my estranged spouse and my three-year-old daughter over the last four years. I let him hear the “Stop-loss” song and I explained that he shouldn’t take anything in the song personally. He said he liked the song but wished it was not “gangster”.

Later, when we trained in the field in Georgia and at the National Training Center (NTC) in California, I was made to train without a weapon due to the song and my ongoing counseling. However, during that time of training without a weapon I felt a surprising sense of peace for the first time.

At NTC, in October 2009, I spoke again to our chaplain after attending services one night. I explained to him how I still felt hurt by the Army policies. He replied that my chain of command had already “forgiven” me about the song. But that didn’t really help me with what I was going through and trying to deal with.

After we came back from NTC, in November 2009, I got to go on leave. I thought maybe two weeks leave would do me some good. But during my leave, from November 21 to December 7, a deep depression sunk into me. I just wanted to be alone. I did not want to be around people. I stayed at home alone. My friends and family were worried that I had turned my phone off. I did not feel like talking to people. I barely made it to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving. I thought about all the depressing things that brought me to this state of mind. I thought about how it all pertained to war. I thought about the times I spoke to the chaplain at basic training at Ft. Knox, and the legal assistant at Ft. Stewart, about my divorce and the safety of my daughter and my rights as a father, and how neither of them could help me. I thought about “Stop-loss” more and more. I started drinking hard every day to help me forget the hurt and pain I was feeling. I thought about how war brought me to this war, and the war I would have to face to remove myself from the presence of war in order to keep my sanity.

When I returned to Ft. Stewart, on December 7, 2009, I really felt from that point on that I did not belong there. I realized that I was not fit for war anymore. I was burnt out and war was the cause of it. I was feeling a little unstable and shaky and I didn’t know what to do about it. The very thought of holding and being around a loaded weapon again gave me the chills. I did not know who my enemies were anymore.

About a week later I spoke to my commanding officer, Captain Wynn of F-CO BSB, about how I am still feeling. I explained to him that I felt a little unstable, angry and depressed about war and how unfit I was for war. I said I did not want to get anybody hurt in this war—being that my battle buddies might have to depend on me. I did not want to be a misfortune to anybody. I explained that I had made an official I.G. complaint (with the Army Investigator General) about the treatment I felt I had not received from my last visit to behavioral health, and the unfair treatment and words that came from my direct NCOs. Behavioral health just rushed me out the door and left all decisions up to my chain of command to decide if I was fit or not.

I know my behavior health treatments were pushed aside so that 2-7 IN could have more bodies for this deployment. I believe that this was not fair to me, and it’s not fair to my battle buddies to put a troubled solder on the battlefield knowing that I still have issues.

Capt. Wynn got me in to speak to the Lt. Colonel about my mental state. I tried to explain about the indirect way I might hurt other soldiers in uniform due to how I was burnt out. But he took it as a threat, basically read me my rights, and put me in the Liberty County Jail in Hinesville, Georgia.

I realize now how going to war can bring unwanted results. Now I sit in jail at the hands and mercy of our US Government vs. little old Marc A. Hall on a charge that was not a threat before, but all of a sudden became a threat now. I communicated an extended need for mental evaluation—not a threat.

The negative sworn statements used to jail me are false. One of the Soldiers who wrote a negative statement told me that same day that he did so because he thought it was a way to “help me out” as he knew what I was going through. Another Soldier who wrote a statement said that I was “his hero” because I stood up for what I believed. These negative statements were also the results of jokes that my battle buddies said about me—and I had played along with them at the time when the jokes were presented—while passing long boring hours at the NTC in California. I do appreciate the “help” guys, but the Army is now saying that talk were real threats, and now they have me in confinement awaiting court martial.

I have to say that I have never been so humiliated in my entire life. I’m in jail with and next to people who have committed real crimes, including murder. And I’m in here for trying to get real treatment, voicing my feelings, and for asserting freedom of expression through my art.

Sincerely,
Marc A Hall

§Objector Marc Hall in route to Iraq for secret trial
by via Courage to Resist
marc-watercus-hall.jpg
Donate to defend Marc - 86 people have given $2,686 of the $3,600 spent on legal fees so far.
Sign the petition | Leaflet | stoplossmusic.org

By Courage to Resist. February 27, 2010 Update

Army Spc Marc Hall, who had been jailed in Georgia county jails since December 12, 2009 for producing an angry hip-hop song about "stoploss" was placed on a military flight bound for Iraq last night. Marc flew out of Hunter Army Airfield, with a stop in Spain today, before arriving in Balad, Iraq. He is expected to be transported to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait for continued pre-trial confinement. The Army has made it clear that Marc will face a General Courts Martial that could result in years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. Eleven violations of Article 132 are now being cited going into the Article 32 (pre-trial) hearing. While we had all hoped to be able to stop this 'extradition', hopefully this underscores the seriousness of the situation and will serve to "jump start" our efforts. We have a lot of work to do if we are going to free Marc.

By Courage to Resist. February 19, 2010

Jailed hip-hop soldier SPC Marc Hall unsuccessfully petitioned the Southern Georgia federal court Monday, and then the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today, to stop the Army from sending him to Iraq for a secret court martial over his angry "Stop-loss" song. Marc had simply asked for a public Fort Stewart trial. The Army is now free to send Marc to Iraq in shackles as early as this evening. We have just begun to organize in Marc's defense, and we will not stop until he is free.

Today's court filings: Our appeal | Army's response | Denial

Also: "Army soldier jailed for rap lyrics to face court-martial in Iraq"
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout.org. February 18, 2010

FORT STEWART, GEORGIA (February 16, 2010)– Attorneys for jailed hip-hop soldier SPC Marc Hall filed a petition with the US District Court of the Southern District of Georgia yesterday in an attempt to stop the Army from transferring SPC Hall to Iraq for court martial. SPC Hall currently remains incarcerated in the Liberty County Jail, Hinesville, Georgia as of this morning.

Court filings included: The brief | Our petition | TRO | Exhibits | Army JAG supporting | Army's response | Denial

David Gespass, civilian attorney for SPC Hall explained, “Not just the Constitution, but the rules for courts-martial, prohibit prosecutors from holding a court-martial in a combat zone as a pretext for depriving an accused of a public trial, counsel of his choice and necessary witnesses. Whatever the Army may claim, that is exactly what the Army is doing to Marc.” Mr. Gespass is the president of the National Lawyers Guild. He is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

“[SPC Hall] alleges violation of his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial, as well as the First Amendment right of the public and media to attend the trial and report on it. He has alleged violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel of his choice and of the right to call witnesses in his favor…” summarizes the brief filed in federal court.

“Among the numerous issues of significant public debate involved in SPC Hall’s case include: The military’s “Stop-loss” program, the limits on artistic expression by Soldiers, the treatment of Soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while on active duty, and opposition to the continuing Iraq occupation from within the military. We are concerned that the Army appears to be planning to conduct the court martial in virtual secrecy,” declared Jeff Paterson in a supporting exhibit filed with the court. Mr. Paterson is the project director of Courage to Resist (couragetoresist.org), an Oakland, California-based organization dedicated to supporting military objectors. SPC Hall is also a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (ivaw.org), another organization working to provide legal, moral, and political support for SPC Hall and his family.

BACKGROUND

SPC Marc Hall produced and distributed an angry hip-hop song in July 2009 when he discovered that he would not be allowed to leave active duty due to the Army’s “stop-loss” policy. SPC Hall continued to serve with his unit for the next four months undergoing command and mental health counseling as requested. “I explained to [my first sergeant] that the hardcore rap song was a free expression of how people feel about the Army and its stop-loss policy. I explained that the song was neither a physical threat nor any threat whatsoever. I told him it was just hip-hop,” explained SPC Hall.

When SPC Hall continued to express strong objections to redeploying to Iraq, his unit used the hip-hop song as a pretext to incarcerate SPC Hall on Dec. 12, 2009. The command likely believed SPC Hall would refuse to deploy anyway creating discomfort among other soldiers.

SPC Hall was charged Dec. 17, 2009, with five specifications in violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Conduct, two of those for wrongfully communicating a threat based on song lyrics. Article 134 is the vague rule that outlaws anything “to the prejudice of good order and discipline.”

On Feb. 1, 2010 SPC Hall underscored his non-violent outlook by formally applying for discharge from the Army as a conscientious objector. His application explains the transformation he went through during his year-long deployment to Iraq. The Army’s attempts to now deploy him violate AR 600-8-105 (Military Orders) and the Army's Conscientious Objector regulations.

On Feb. 3, 2010 Fort Stewart, Georgia officials confirmed that the Army would transfer SPC Hall to Iraq for court martial "within a few days." The Army's press release stated, “The jurisdiction transfer ensures a full and fair trial for both SPC Hall and the United States.” Nothing could be farther from the truth, at least for SPC Hall as detailed by yesterday's petition.

The Army continues to implement its stop-loss policy despite President Obama’s promise to end the unfair practice that involuntarily extends the active duty service term of many soldiers. According to the Pentagon 120,000 soldiers have been affected by stop-loss since 2001 and 13,000 are currently serving under stop-loss orders.

§Marc Hall jailed for angry 'Stop-Loss' Hip Hop song
by via Courage to Resist
marc-hall_stop-loss.jpg
On a posting on his website (http://marcwatercus.com/stoploss.html), Marc co-authored and published the following statement regarding his situation:
Specialist Hall is a soldier in the US Army Schedule to leave the ARMY February 27th 2010. He is in a Unit that's deploying back to Iraq some time in November, December of 2009 or early next year. That's right before he get out. There's a possibility that the ARMY want's to have its cake and eat it too. With the ARMY all ready meeting its numbers the ARMY don't want to let go used troops. After explaining Specialist Hall's situation with Congress and the Pentagon , and his company commanders and Sergeants at 1st BRIGADE B-CO "2-7 IN" and 1st BRIGADE F CO BSB at Fort Stewart Georgia about his inability to perform this deployment operation this time around-- showed little encouragement; But once again they don't take heed to the warning signs of soldier's morale when it came to them being effected in dangerous ways when it came to the "Stop Loss", "Stop Movement" and or "Fenced In" policies. The Army can call the Stop Loss Policy a different name But it all means the same thing--"Stop-Loss". Specialist Hall's wish is to get out the ARMY on time like his Active Duty contract states- Three years and 28 weeks of Active Duty. His ETS Date is as stated "February 27th 2010". By the will of God he said to our editors he shall be release back to his life as a civilian and a father. The way a Father should be there after serving the people of the United States of America.
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