Thousands lined the roads, the overpass leading to the gate, and a nearby field where many spoke and sang out their support, often speaking of other resisters who have taken similar stands of conscience, most without the enormous outpouring of support afforded Lt. Watada. None faulted him for this, yet many urged the crowd to educate themselves about some of the other soldiers whose lives have been equally devastated, both by their experiences in Iraq and their treatment by the military machine.
And the high price is paid as well by their families, their wives, children and parents. Many of those who spoke that day were these family members. This is a video of three of these, all women, two mothers and one wife. Their stories are deeply disturbing, and their sacrifices which go far beyond the injustices suffered at the hands of their government, in the name of patriotism and Democracy make a mockery of both.
The three women are: Anita Dennis, mother of Darrel Anderson, Iraq Veteran Against the War; Sarah Rich, mother of Suzanne Swift, who refused redeployment to Iraq under the command of the same individuals who allowed her to be raped and sexually harassed; and Helga Aguayo, wife of Agustin Aguayo, a medic, who after refusing to redeploy to Iraq and applying for Conscientious Objector status, is facing up to seven years in prison.
They speak passionately and eloquently, pleading not only for their own loved ones, but for all soldiers, all those who might have the Courage to Resist, if they felt they had the support and strength of the larger Community. All of these GI resisters have incurred enormous debt fighting for their freedom; all have suffered the loss of what armed forces benefits they earned; all face a life much different than envisioned when they enlisted, thinking they were providing a service to their country.
There are many ways we all can participate in the growing resistance to this illegal and immoral imperialism. We can all do something, whether it be contacting our elected leaders, marching in the streets, or taking on the work shirked by our mainstream media. And too, support those brave soldiers who have stood up for the Constitution, who have endured the agony of Occupation and quite often derision and condemnation back here in the States.
There are many perhaps who need but a little nudge to do the right and honorable thing: refuse to be a part of the warfare machine and stand besides the growing number of fellow GI's now joining with the people in open defiance.
This video file is about 12 minutes in length.
Women Speaking Out, RealPlayer, DSL/CABLE Stream
Women Speaking Out, RealPlayer, 56K Stream
During the afternoon Rally, the Tacoma Puppeteers held a Court of the People of the United States of the World in order to try George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld for their crimes against the people of the world. Charges were read, witnesses heard and a verdict was rendered by both the people and the presiding magistrate,the Honorable Let History Be The Judge.
This video is about 15 minutes in length.
Peoples Court of the World, Multiple Capacity RealPlayer Stream