Yeah, it's short notice. So what? Everyone's been itching for more action and now they're gonna get it.
After the "Funk the War" event in downtown Portland this Wednesday, everybody is invited to join an action to blockade the gates of the Oregon Army National Guard's Camp Withycombe just south of Clackamas Town Center. This is presuming the dance-actions at the offices of local war profiteers are going to be over too quick and be far too symbolic to satisfy many of us. By all means we should keep those actions going as long as we can, but if they run out of steam there's a surefire way to liven things back up: we can square off against the military ITSELF.
From the possibly outdated map of Camp Withycombe at this link ( http://www.mil.state.or.us/AGI-PNP/CWMPExecSumm.pdf), it seems there is a "commercial entrance" on SE Mather Road and a "main entrance" on SE Clackamas. We will block any and every entrance and stay there until we get our point across. Which means until we are forcibly removed. The people of Portland will not tolerate the Clackamas Armory suppplying these occupations right out of its backyard if they know of its existence. Or will we?
Read more about what they do out there:
Oregon's "Adjudant General," General Raymond F. Rees, should be around to get our message. He is in charge of all sorts of operations that feed the inferno that is Iraq, and he is supposedly housed on the premises of Camp Withycombe. Let's make sure he is housebound until he is willing to have a frank discussion with us about what we heard in the Winter Soldier testimony this weekend.
To anybody who has not heard this weekend's Winter Soldier testimony, it's recommended that you not come to this action until you have. Hear it, see it, read it at IVAW.org or warcomeshome.org. If you understand what is at stake, you are not going to chicken out. This weekend the Vets said these things very clearly:
1. If there are not IMMEDIATE and UNCONDITIONAL withdrawals of U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, the violence is only going to escalate.
2. Veterans need full benefits upon their return despite their discharge status. They have been shafted too, not just Afghans and Iraqis (though this is an issue that is secondary to most of us as long as Iraqis are being tortured, maimed and slaughtered).
3. Reparations must be paid to the people of Iraq for the damage the U.S. has done to their lives, even though money can never compensate them for what has been done to them.
4. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the Vets emphasized that if they do not feel the PUBLIC is behind them, they are not going to find it as easy to find the guts to speak out agaist the futility of the occupations. So we need to tell active duty servicepeople and their bosses here in Oregon, at Camp Withycombe, "We support you in your decisions to quit fighting. We're here for you if you desert. It is okay to tell your commanding officers that NO you will NOT fight illegal wars and occupations just so those officers can rise up the chain of command or for whatever warped reasons they have." Remember that people enlisted in the military have been listening closely to the Winter Soldier testimony, and they are frustrated. Many of them are sick of war. This week they are joining Iraq Vets Against the War too fast for IVAW to even register them. With this kind of momentum, with everyone acting in concert, we have a shot at shutting down this war machine, IF we act NOW.
We will be making sure General Raymond Rees hears what the IVAW is saying, even if the media blackout of Winter Soldier and the blinkered official Pentagon position on it insulated him from what was actually said.
So we'll see you THIS WEDNESDAY, AFTER "FUNK THE WAR," JUST SOUTH OF CLACKAMAS. And for all you chickens out there, come on out and work the video cameras for us at least :) Unless extraordinary circumstances prevent it, this action will continue beyond Wednesday. So on Thursday if you aren't at the blockade already all you kids joining the walkout downtown are welcome to join. Even if it is a long bus ride, you are not going to want to miss this...