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Call for a National Day of Action for GI Resisters on May 10, 2005

Call for a National Day of Action for GI Resisters on May 10, 2005

May 1, 2005

We urge you to join us in a "National Day of Action for GI Resisters"
on Tuesday May 10, 2005. This is the day before the US military is
planning to bring sailor Pablo Paredes and soldier Kevin Benderman
before military court martial tribunals for their opposition to the
Iraq War. They face forfeiture of pay and benefits, and military
jail time.

On December 6, 2004, Navy Petty Officer Pablo Paredes refused to
board his ship as it left the San Diego Naval Station in support of
the Iraq War and occupation. At the time of his refusal, Pablo said
he hoped his protest might inspire other GI's to refuse to take
part in the war.

On January 5, 2005, Kevin Benderman refused to deploy for a second
tour of duty in Iraq with the Army's Third Infantry Division. At the
same time seventeen other soldiers from his unit went AWOL, two
tried to kill themselves and one had a relative shoot him in the leg to
avoid deploying.

Both men applied for discharge from the US military as conscientious
objectors. The military has wrongly rejected both claims.

It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of
Pablo, Kevin and the thousands of other courageous men and women
who have followed their conscience to uphold international law and to
take a principled stand against the unjust, illegal war and occupation
of Iraq. It's time we had their backs.

Objection and resistance by military servicepersons is a healthy and
important assertion of Democracy in a country where the decisions to
invade Iraq, to maintain an occupation, and engage in widespread human
right violations and torture were made undemocratically in violation of
international law and based on continuing lies and disinformation.

Please join us by organizing a public demonstration, vigil or rally
of support on May 10. Every action, no matter how large or small is


* Send letters of support and donations to cover legal fees to Pablo
and Kevin via their websites listed below.

* Come to San Diego, California (Pablo) or Fort Stewart, Georgia
(Kevin) to show your support during their trials.

* Write letters to the editor, and help educate your organization,
church, union, school, co-workers and community.

Resisting illegal occupation and war is not a crime! The right to
conscientious objection is being systematically violated by the
military. Those objectors who are publicly asserting their rights
are being singled out for punishment. We demand that military personnel
retain their right to follow their conscience, publicly dissent and
that their basic democratic rights be respected.

A better world is possible.

Initial signatures

* Monica Benderman - spouse of Kevin Benderman
* Victor Paredes - brother of Pablo Paredes
* Aimee Allison - Gulf War CO; Oakland City Council Candidate
* Medea Benjamin - CodePink, co-founder; Global Exchange, founding Director
* Leslie Cagan - United for Peace and Justice, Nat'l Steering Cmte
* Stephen Funk - former Marine and first public Iraq War resister
* Susan Galleymore - MotherSpeak; military mother; Courage to Resist
* Lynn Gonzalez - San Diego Military Counseling Project
* Jack Heyman - Int'l Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, Exec Board member
* George Johnson - Veterans for Peace, Nat'l Exec Board member
* Ragina Johnson - College Not Combat
* Naomi Klein - activist; writer
* Sharon Lee Kufeldt - Veterans for Peace, Nat'l Exec Board VP
* Barbara Lubin - Middle East Children's Alliance, Director; ANSWER, Nat'l Steering Cmte member
* Efia Nwangaza - Afrikan Am Institute for Policy Studies
* Siri Margerin - United for Peace and Justice, Nat'l Steering Cmte; Iraq Peace Panel Project
* Steve Morse - GI Rights Program Coor, Central Cmte for Conscientious Objectors
* Jeff Paterson - Not in Our Name; former Marine and 1991 Gulf War resister
* David Solnit - People Powered Strategy Project; Courage to Resist
* Vida Shahamat and Brain Barry - South Bay Mobilization Against the War
* Aryeh Shell - Courage to Resist; Popular Education and Action CollectivE
* Samina Faheem Sundas - American Muslim Voice
* Fernando Suarez del Solar - father of Marine Jesus Suarez killed in Iraq
* Fr. Louie Vitale, O.F.M., St Boniface Church; Korea War veteran
* Bob Wing - War Times
* Howard Zinn - historian; author

(organizations listed for identification purposes only)

More info about Pablo Paredes:

More info about Kevin Benderman:

For May 10 actions, leaflets, and more:
Contact:  courage@riseup.net
Not enough time 07.May.2005 16:46


I'd love to organize a rally but with three days, what can be done? Things need to be planned to make them effective. If anyone has already started planning for this day please let me know so i can be included in planning or at least so i can spread the word.

more helpful 09.May.2005 02:40


would an hour or two from time to time helping a real resister