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News :: Peace
Support GI Resister Katherine Jashinski Now!
Current rating: 3
by Courage to Resist
Email: courage (nospam) riseup.net (unverified!)
21 Dec 2005
GI resisters, conscientious objectors and dissent within the military deserve our support as they stand up for human rights and dignity,
democratic rights, and international law.
Widespread public support and pressure can help protect these courageous individuals from feelings of isolation and from repression of
them and their rights!
Welcome to the first Courage to Resist GI Resistance Support Newsletter!
We are excited!
We plan to send out this newsletter of breaking news and updates about GI
resistance to war, occupation and empire every month and additional urgent
alerts as needed. This newsletter will keep you up to date about how
service women and men within the US military are taking action, and
following their conscience in standing up for human rights, democratic
rights and against illegal and unjust war and occupation. We will also let
you know how you, your organization and your community can support them.
GI resisters, conscientious objectors and dissent within the military
deserve our support as they stand up for human rights and dignity,
democratic rights, and international law. The other reason to support
these soldiers is that they have the power-- as in Viet Nam-- to shut down
the war. Widespread public support and pressure can help protect these
courageous individuals from feelings of isolation and from repression of
them and their rights. The fact that soldiers, veterans and military
families have re-inspired the US antiwar movement and successfully
countered the story of the war on terror is incredibly hopeful.
Courage to Resist is a small all volunteer group of antiwar activists,
veterans, and military families who saw a need to build support for
antiwar resistance and dissent within the military. This newsletter and
the campaign to support GI resistance has incredible potential and is
urgently needed, but it's success depends on you, your group and your
1) Signing up to participate on our GI Resistance Alert Network to receive
Action Alerts about GI resisters who need phonecalls, emails, public
education and demonstrations of support.
2) If you know of stories or needs for support of GI resisters and
objectors please let us know at email@example.com. You can sign up on our
website as either an individual or for your organization.
a better world is possible,
Courage to Resist
****URGENT: SUPPORT KATHERINE JASHINSKI NOW!****
"My name is Katherine Jashinski. I am a SPC in the Texas Army National Guard. I was born in Milwaukee, WI and I am 22 years old... I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason."
On the morning of November 17, 2005, Katherine Jashinsky became the first woman from within the military to make public her resistance to the Iraq war. Katherine is a National Guard Specialist on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year, and was seeking Conscientious Objector (CO) status from the military. At the gates of Fort Benning Georgia, surrounded by supporters, Katherine held a press conference announcing her planned refusal to be deployed to the Middle East. Her announcement at Fort Benning coincided with the annually-held protest gathering demanding the closure of the notorious School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC).
Katherine's Personal Statement made at the gates of Fort Benning on November 17, 2005.
Katherine is currently stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and could, at any time,be charged with refusing a direct order!
Read Katherine's Letter from Ft. Benning
We urge you to support Katherine's couregeous stand NOW!:
1) GET THE WORD OUT NOW!:
organization and community about Katherines courageous stand-- send out
her statement to your friends and e-mail lists, post it to your groups website, send it to your local media,etc.
2) DECIDE NOW, AS A GROUP, TO SUPPORT KATHERINE:
Katherine has a right to conscientious objection and to resist illegal and immoral war and
occupation-- it is not a crime!
Talk to your group now and decide to support
Katherine as part of a sustained campaign to support GI Resistance.
Will you hold a public vigil/demonstraion ?
Organize a fundraiser to support Katherines case?
Consider now what you and your group can do to support Katherine.
3)JOIN THE NATIONAL GI RESISTANCE ALERT NETWORK:
We urge you to join us in a National GI Resistance Alert Network!
It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of the thousands of courageous men and women who have in many different ways followed their conscience to uphold international law and to take a principled stand against the unjust, illegal war and occupation of Iraq.
Courage to Resist will send out alerts about GI resisters in need of support. We are asking concerned organizations, communities, and individuals to join us and commit to a sustained campaign of support for GI resistance and conscientious objection.
“The only way to bring peace to the world is to let the people of the world decide for themselves what they want to spend their efforts on. I feel that in this day and age governments start wars, and not people, and since the governments want the wars then why don’t we let the government fight the war? All of the politicians that want to fight a war are free to trade places with me at any time. I will gladly go and learn war no more.”
After serving in the military for eight years, including a tour of duty
in Iraq, Kevin Benderman filed for conscientious objector status in December 2004.
His application was quickly denied, and on the weekend of Jan. 7, 2005
Benderman refused to re-deploy to Iraq with his unit.
“As I went through the process which led to my decision to refuse
deployment to Iraq for the second time, I was torn between thoughts of
abandoning the soldiers that I serve with, or following my conscience,
which tells me: war is the ultimate in destruction and waste of
humanity." As stated in Benderman’s article, "A Matter of Conscience."
Sergeant Kevin Benderman was sentenced by U.S. court-martial on July 28th, 2005 to a 15 month sentence of imprisonment for failure to return for a second tour of duty with the US Army in Iraq. Kevin is a conscientious objector to war who has been callously imprisoned and refused his C.O. status by the U.S. Armed Services. Kevin’s legal team continues appeals of the verdict.
Kevin Benderman has been declared a “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International, and has been widely supported by many who oppose the U.S. war in Iraq. Kevin and his wife, Monica are prolific speakers and writers who have waged a very personal and courageous campaign to bring the true horrors of war to light.
Kevin remains imprisoned at Fort Lewis, Washington State.
For more information on Kevin Benderman and the history of his case
“…if there's anything I could be guilty of, it is my beliefs. I am guilty of believing this war is illegal. I'm guilty of believing war in all forms is immoral and useless, and I am guilty of believing that as a service member I have a duty to refuse to participate in this war because it is illegal,"
On December 6, 2004, Pablo Paredes refused to board the war-bound USS Bonhomme Richard leaving from San Diego,CA. Facing charges of "Missing Movement" and "Unauthorized Absence" Pablo was court martialed on May 11, 2005 for refusing to fight in a war, he challenged, was illegal.
Pablo Paredes’ court martial on May 11th, 2005 at the San Diego, California Naval Base was one of the motivations for a nationwide Day of Action to Support GI Resisters called for by Courage to Resist on May 10th and taken up by dozens of groups across the nation!
Pablo’s court martial in San Diego turned out to be an enormous political victory for Pablo and his supporters. Many creative actions in and outside the courtroom were mounted in Pablo’s defense. From brilliant testimony in court by witnesses and attorneys, to nightly political and cultural events, the mobilization around Pablo’s case was truly inspirational! Photos
Due the strong legal case put forward as well as nationwide political pressure, Pablo Paredes was sentenced to no jail time for his act of courageous resistance. He was convicted of “Missing Movement” for failure to board ship with his unit, and sentenced to two months restriction, three months hard labor without confinement, and reduction in rank to E-1.
In early October, ten months to the day after he refused to board the war-bound USS Bonhomme Richard, and some 9 months before the scheduled expiration of his active duty obligation, Pablo Paredes is once again a civilian!
On October 4, he completed his court martial sentence, and on October 6, he was discharged. Pablo is continuing his legal battle with the Armed Services, and his lawyers are currently challenging the Navy’s rejection of Pablo's request for Conscientious Objector status in the Federal Court system.
For more information on
Pablo Paredes and the history of his case
Captain Ian Fishback:
"Despite my efforts, I have been unable to get clear, consistent answers from my leadership about what constitutes lawful and humane treatment of detainees"
Troubled by the abuse of prisoners he witnessed in Iraq in 2003-2004, U.S. Army Captain Ian Fishback first went through the military chain of command to complain about what he and two sergeants under him had witnessed; beatings, exposing prisoners to extremes of heat and cold, stacking them in human pyramids, and depriving them of sleep.
(excerpt from letter to Sen. John McCain, September 16, 2005)
Fishback, a West Point graduate who served a tour in Afghanistan as well as one in Iraq said he wanted "clarity" from his superiors about whether or not the Geneva Conventions applied to the treatment of prisoners.
This clarity was not forthcoming, and for 17 months, Fishback's superiors took no action on his complaints.
Captain Fishback finally went outside the Army, first to Human Rights Watch, and then to the U.S. Senate. Fishback detailed the abuse he and his sergeants witnessed to Human Rights Watch researches, who issued a report of those abuses on September 23, 2005. He also contacted aides to Sen. John Warner of Virginia, and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
When the Army got wind of Fishback's plans to speak with Senate aides, they ordered him to report to military criminal investigators. Those investigators, he reported, seemed more interested in learning the names of the two sergeants who had told him of the abuse they had witnessed and in his relationship with Human Rights Watch than they were in investigating the abuse of prisoners.
Fishback refused to divulge the names because he had promised both sergeants he would not do so. A New York Times article quoted Fishback as saying: "We came forward because of the larger issue that prisoner abuse is systemic in the Army. I'm concerned that this will take a new twist, and they'll try to scapegoat some of the younger soldiers."
The Army has told Fishback he may face
criminal prosecution if he continues his refusal.
Read Captain Ian Fishback's letter to Sen. John McCain, "A Matter of Honor"
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