Mike Ferner is a former Navy hospital corpsman and a former President of Veterans For Peace
This letter invites you to join what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars and occupations in recent history, Washington, D.C., December 16. www.stopthesewars.org.
During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King called our government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." That was true then—and is even more so today.
A few years before that, in 1964 Mario Savio made his great speech at Berkeley; at the end he says, "There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"
There are children being orphaned, maimed or killed every day, in our name, with our tax dollars; there are soldiers and civilians dying or being maimed for life in order to generate profits for the most odious imperialistic corporate war machine ever, again in our name. How long are we going to let this go on? Until it is too late, until this destructive machine destroys all of us and the planet to boot?
Wikileaks has revealed the documented horror of U.S. war-making, beyond what any of us imagined. It's time veterans and others express our resistance directly and powerfully by putting ourselves on the line, once again—honestly, courageously and without one drop of apology for doing so. It is not we who are the murderers, torturers or pillagers of the earth.
Profit and power-hungry warmongers are destroying everything we hold dear and sacred.
In the early thirties, WWI vets descended on Washington, D.C, to demand their promised bonuses, it being the depths of the Depression. General Douglas MacArthur and his sidekick Dwight Eisenhower disregarded President Herbert Hoover's order and burned their encampment down and drove the vets out of town at bayonet point.
We are today's bonus marchers, and we've come to claim our bonus--PEACE.
Join activist veterans marching in solidarity to the White House, refusing to move, demanding the end to U.S. wars, whether conducted by occupation troops, drones or proxy, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine.
If we can gather enough courageous souls, nonviolently refusing to leave the White House, willing to be dragged away and arrested, we will send a message that will be seen worldwide. We will carry forward a flame of resistance to the war machine that will not diminish as we effectively begin to place ourselves, as Mario Savio said, "upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus." and we will make it stop.
We believe that the power of courageous, committed people is greater than that of the corporate warmongers. But we will only see our power when we use it collectively, when we stand together.
With courage, persistence, boldness and numbers, we can make this monstrous war machine grind to a halt, so that our children and all children everywhere can grow up in a peaceful world.
The action will take place on December 16, 2010. If you want to join what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to the wars in recent history go to www.stopthesewars.org
For a world in peace,
Nic Abramson - Veterans For Peace, Elliott Adams - Past President, Veterans For Peace, Laurie Arbeiter - Activist Response Team, Ken Ashe -Veterans For Peace, Ellen Barfield-Veterans For Peace, Brian Becker - ANSWER Coalition, National Coordinator, Medea Benjamin - Co-Founder CodePink For Peace, Frida Berrigan - War Resisters League, Bruce Berry-Veterans For Peace, Leah Bolger - Veterans For Peace, Elaine Brower - Anti-war Military Mom and World Can't Wait, Scott Camil -Veterans For Peace, Ross Caputi - Justice For Fallujah Project, Kim Carlyle -Veterans For Peace, Matthis Chiroux - Iraq War Resister Veteran, Gerry Condon - Veterans For Peace, Will Covert -Veterans For Peace, Dave Culver -Veterans For Peace, Matt Daloisio - War Resisters League, Ellen Davidson - War Resisters League, Mike Ferner - President, Veterans For Peace, Nate Goldshlag -Veterans For Peace, Clare Hanrahan - War Crimes Times, Mike Hearington -Veterans For Peace, Mark Johnson – Exec. Dir. Fellowship of Reconciliation, Tarak Kauff -Veterans For Peace, Kathy Kelly - Voices For Creative Nonviolence, Sandy Kelson -Veterans For Peace, Joel Kovel -Veterans For Peace, Erik Lobo - Veterans For Peace, Joe Lombardo - United National Antiwar Committee, Ray McGovern, Ken Mayers -Veterans For Peace, Nancy Munger - co-President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Fred Nagel -Veterans For Peace, Pat O'Brien - Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Bill Perry - Vietnam Veterans Against The War, Vito Piccininno - Veterans For Peace, Mike Prysner - co-founder, March Forward, Ward Reilly -Veterans For Peace, Laura Roskos - co-President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Cindy Sheehan - Peace of the Action, David Swanson - author, Debra Sweet - National Director, World Can't Wait, Mike Tork - Veterans For Peace, Hart Viges - Iraq Veterans Against the War, Father Louis Vitale - SOA Watch, Jay Wenk -Veterans For Peace, Linda Wiener - Veterans For Peace, Diane Wilson -Veterans For Peace, Col. Ann Wright - Veterans For Peace, Doug Zachary - Veterans For Peace
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