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Rally for Suzanne Swift 7/15 at Ft. Lewis, starts at noon

RALLY IN SUPPORT OF ARMY SPECIALIST SUZANNE SWIFT NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION
Saturday, July 15 at noon.
At the overpass off of Exit 119 on I-5, just outside of Fort Lewis. There is plenty of parking across from the base, on the other side of I-5.
This notice appeared on the Olympia indy cite. Thought others might find it helpful.
**Carpool from Olympia at 11:15 AM, at the old Rainy Day/Apollo's parking lot, corner of Harrison and Division**


We are calling for an HONORABLE DISCHARGE for Suzanne Swift and for the military to take accounts of sexual abuse seriously.

I-5, exit 119: You can park in the small gravel lot just northwest of the overpass.

Press conference with Swift's mother, Sara Rich, at 3:00 PM.

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ABOUT SUZANNE SWIFT

Suzanne Swift joined the military on a five-year term as an MP (instead of the usual four years) because the Army recruiter lied and said she wouldn't have to go to Iraq that way. However, a month after she finished basic training, the Army shipped her to Iraq. There she faced continual sexual harrassment from two different sargeants, one of whom forced her into sexual relations in what is known in the military as "command rape."

She attempted to seek redress through the appropriate military channels but was rebuffed. She was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Upon returning to Fort Lewis after her first tour in Iraq, she was the subject of sexual harrassment by a third sargeant. Again, she sought redress but was accused of being equally responsible for the harrassment. The Army also sped up her redeployment date by 7 months, requiring her to return to Iraq in less than a year. Rather than return to the abuse that she had been subjected to, and which the military failed to address, Spc. Swift went AWOL.

On June 11, police in Eugene, Oregon apprehended her at her mother's home, and she was sent back to Fort Lewis, where she has been confined.
Initially when she returned to Fort Lewis, she was returned to the command of one of the sargeants who had sexually harrassed her. She could still face charges for desertion.

This Saturday is Suzanne Swift's birthday. She is turning 22.

Because she is not allowed to leave Fort Lewis, her mother will be coming to her, and she is inviting all of us to join her in supporting her daughter.

Let's go and convey the following...

- Honorable discharge for Spc. Swift.

- Demand prosecution of sexual harrassment and sexual assault in the military. The military must take seriously reports of sexual abuse.

- Stand in solidarity with other victims of sexual abuse in the military.

If the military isn't doing what it's supposed to do in order to "support the troops" and the soldiers aren't allowed to complain, then the rest of us need to step in.

For more info:
 http://suzanneswift.org/

Two recent interviews with Swift's mother:
 http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/11/144224
 http://www.counterpunch.org/swanson07082006.html

Sign the petition at:
 http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/441448013
Vancouver, WA Support 12.Jul.2006 16:44

gk

I call on those not going up the freeway the 15th to assemble at the Evergreen I-5 overpass from noon to 2 pm. in solidarity with SPC. Suzanne Swift.