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PORTSIDE  August 2010, Week 4

PORTSIDE August 2010, Week 4

Subject:

War Veterans/Military Family Members Successfully Blockade Fort Hood Deployment to Iraq

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Date:

Thu, 26 Aug 2010 22:39:54 -0400

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text/plain (242 lines)

War Veterans/Military Family Members Successfully
Blockade Fort Hood Deployment to Iraq

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2010


CONTACT: War Veterans/Military Family Members
347-613-8964 or [log in to unmask]

http://forthooddisobeys.blogspot.com/

KILLEEN, Texas - August 23 - Five peace activists
successfully blockaded six buses carrying Fort Hood
Soldiers deploying to Iraq outside Fort Hood's Clarke
gate this morning at around 4 a.m. While the activists
took the width of Clarke Rd. and slowed the buses to a
halt, police made no arrests, but instead beat the
activists out of the streets using automatic weapons and
police dogs so the deploying Soldiers could proceed.

Among those blockading were three veterans of the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan and one military spouse. (See
attached bios) The action, organized by a group calling
themselves "Fort Hood Disobeys," was aimed at preventing
the deployment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Soldiers to what the veterans termed an illegal and
immoral occupation.

While standing in the street, the activists held banners
reading "Occupation is a Crime" and "Please Don't Make
the Same Mistake We Did. RESIST NOW." From the TX HW-190
overpass, additional supporters attempted to hang larger
banners that read, "Tell the Brass: `KISS MY ASS' Your
family needs you more" "Sick of Fighting Your Wars" and
"Col. Allen [3 ACR Commander]: Do not deploy wounded
Soldiers."

This latest deployment comes less than two weeks after
President Obama announced the second end to combat
operations in Iraq. FHD organizers denounced this as a
lie, and pointed to the deployment of the 3rd ACR, a
combat regiment, to Iraq as clear proof. They have
stated they will continue to organize direct action in
the Fort Hood community to oppose the wars as long as
troops continue to deploy.

The action organizers have established a website at
http://forthooddisobeys.blogspot.com/ [1] where they
will be posting statements, photographs and video from
the actions as they become available during the next 48
hours. As well, for the length of the day, FHD ran live
webcasts updating their supporters and depicting
portions of the direct action. All live broadcasts from
the day are archived at http://bit.ly/b1WEyv [2].

For more information or to arrange coverage of today's
events, call 347-613-8964 or write to
[log in to unmask] [3].

See attached bios for more information on those who
participated in today's action.

===

Participant Bios:

I am Bobby Whittenberg-James, a Marine veteran of the
war against the people of Iraq, a Purple Heart recipient
and a third generation military service member. I joined
the Marines in June of 2003, believing the lies about
weapons of mass destruction and an imminent threat to
our safety. I have since come to learn that these wars
and occupations do not keep the people of the United
States or the Middle East safe, but instead serve the
interests of politicians, capitalists and corporations;
the ruling elite.

These unjust wars and occupations rob the people of
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen of their dignity
and their right to self-determination and serve to make
the people of both the Middle East and the United States
less safe. They also serve to further destabilize a
region that has suffered under the boot-heel of western
colonialism for over a century. The US Empire also
supports both financially and militarily the brutal
apartheid regime that occupies Palestine. All of this is
done in our name with our money, and I am here to say
"Not in my name!"

The recent information leaks about the US Empire's wars
lay bare their war crimes and crimes against humanity.
We must face the truth, even if it makes us
uncomfortable or shows us something about ourselves that
we don't want to see. When we find the truth, we must
respond accordingly. I will not be complicit in the
killing of people. Since I do not believe that the
government or the capitalists will end these wars, I
will vote with my body.

Bobby Whittenberg-James
Disobedient

------------------------------

I am Crystal Colon. I was a sergeant in the Army for
five years, stationed at Fort Hood the entire time, save
two deployments to Iraq totaling 26 months. I was a
Signal Support Systems Noncommissioned Officer,
coordinating communications for various commands. I was
honorably discharged in Jan., 2010, and have been
organizing in the veterans peace movement ever since.

I first began to question the war in Iraq during my
first deployment in `05-'06. After my friend Robbie was
killed, I was very deeply affected. I started
questioning why we were in Iraq. It felt like he had
died for nothing. After returning from Iraq, I planned
to leave the military. I was stop-lossed and forced to
return to Iraq for 15 months, in total held beyond the
length of my enlistment more than 450 days. Since
leaving the military, I have been active with the
veterans peace movement, speaking out about my
experiences and supporting troops who refuse to fight.

I am doing this today because I can't allow this war in
which I have fought to continue. I can't allow other
Soldiers to make the same mistake I did, deploying in
support of a war crime. As a veteran of Iraq, how could
I not do this today? For the people I helped occupy, for
the friends I lost and stilI have over there, for the
Soldiers on those buses. How could I not do this today?
I should have disobeyed. I should have never boarded
those buses to Iraq. I wish someone had tried to stop
me.

Crystal Colon
Disobedient

----------------------

I am Matthis Chiroux, former Army sergeant and War
Resister. I was press-ganged into the Army by the
Alabama Juvenile "Justice" System in 2002. While in the
military, I occupied the nations of Japan and Germany
for more than four years, with shorter tours in the
Philippines and Afghanistan. I was a Public Affairs
Noncommissioned Officer specializing in strategic
communications. In reality, I was a propaganda artist. I
was discharged honorably to the Individual Ready Reserve
in 2007.

While I have always been against the war in Iraq, I
began resisting it actively in 2008, after I received
mobilization orders for a year-long deployment to Iraq.
I refused those orders in Congress in May of 2008,
calling my orders illegal and unconstitutional. I
believed appealing to Congress would end the war. When
13 Members signed a letter of support for my decision
and sent it to Bush, I thought we had won a victory for
peace. This was more than two years ago. The president
has changed, and the wars and destruction drag on.

Today, I am blocking the deployment of the 3rd Armored
Cavalry Regiment with my fellow vets and military family
members because the wars will continue to victimize our
communities until we halt this bloody machine from
within. I am putting my body on the line in solidarity
with the people of the Middle East, whose bodies have
been shot, burned, tortured, raped and violated by our
men and women in and out of uniform. I cannot willfully
allow Americans in uniform to put their lives and the
lives of Iraqis in jeopardy for a crime. We are here
because we have a responsibility to ourselves as
veterans and as humans of the world. I will not rest
until my people, ALL PEOPLE, are free.

In Struggle and Solidarity,
Matthis Chiroux
Disobedient

------------------------------

I am Cynthia Thomas, and I have been an Army Wife for 18
years. My husband has been deployed three times since
the wars began. During his second deployment, he was
severely wounded and medevaced to Walter Reed Army
Hospital on Life Support. Even though he had Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury,
suffered three fractures in his back, three fractures on
his pelvis and countless other injuries, the Army
deployed him a third time. This was devastating to our
two daughters, our step-son and to me.

Three months after my husband deployed for the third
time, our step-son called to inform me he was joining
the Marines. That was the exact moment I realized that
our children would be fighting these endless wars. I
decided that I needed to start resisting.

The reason I am doing this today is because for the past
3 years that I have been speaking out and advocating for
Soldiers, things have only gotten worse. I have heard
countless stories from Vets and Active Duty Soldiers
that give people nightmares. I have heard stories from
family members that would shock people awake if they
would just listen! Our military community is being
destroyed!

If these wars are destroying our Soldiers and military
families with 12 to 15-month, often repeat deployments,
how do you think the Iraqi and Afghan people doing? They
have been living these wars 24/7, 365 days a year for
nearly a decade! My youngest daughter is an Operation
Iraqi Freedom baby. She was less than one-year-old when
her father left to invade Iraq. I look at her, and I see
an Iraqi or Afghan child having to live in constant fear
with no end in sight! I am doing this for our community,
for my girls, for my husband and our Marine. I am doing
this for the Iraqi and Afghan People. Enough is enough.
If Soldiers really want to go fight, they'll have to go
through me.

Cynthia Thomas
Disobedient

==========

_____________________________________________

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