emailMySpace operations underway!
Days after Courage to Resist launches MySpace outreach effort, Army bans MySpace and other sites. Make Courage to Resist one of your top MySpace friends!

Hundreds welcome Army Spc. Agustín Aguayo across Northern California
Along with fellow Iraq War resisters Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes, and Robert Zabala, Agustín has shared his story of resistance to hundreds at gatherings in Sacramento, Carmel, San Francisco, Stockton, Berkeley and Watsonville—all in the last week!

Soldier forced to go AWOL to get PTSD help
"They don't want the liability so they deny I have a problem, and because I tried to help myself, now they want to make me a criminal," says Spc. Eugene Cherry. Send letter of support!

Message from Bob Watada & Rosa Sakanishi
Army First Lt. Ehren Watada's dad and step-mom
"Courage to Resist is providing a vital role to those soldiers who are aware that they are being used for the corporate gain of our leaders."
Support Courage to Resist!


Courage to Resist launches MySpace operations

Make Courage to Resist one of your top friends!
U.S. Army bans MySpace!

Courage to Resist. May 17, 2007

In the name of limited bandwidth and national security, the Army has banned MySpace, YouTube, and nine other social networking websites. Not only does this come only days after Courage to Resist launched our own MySpace outreach effort, it comes the day after the Army itself opened a YouTube channel dedicated to sharing the “good news that goes unreported” in Iraq! No word yet that has been banned.

Last month the U.S. Army ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer. The April 19 directive was the first clear, blanket restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. If followed “by the book,” it would mean the end of all military blogs. However, more likely, it’ll simply be another tool for the Army to shut down voices to it doesn’t like.

ImageRonn Cantu, an Army infantryman stationed in Iraq, posted on the forum, “This is worse than I had first anticipated. It turns out that this affects ALL DoD computers and network, not just work computers….This affects computers at the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) centers as well. In fact, those computers are set up SPECIFICALLY so that service members can keep in touch with families. There's already websites set up to bypass these restrictions though. It will be impossible to silence the troops.”

Under the policy, troops will still be allowed to access the sites from non-military computers, although few soldiers in combat areas carry private computers. At this time, troops still have some access to the banned sites via Internet cafes that are available in many areas of Iraq. Work-arounds, including the use of proxy servers, are being widely discussed among troops.

Akinoluna, a woman Marine blogger added, “Blocking to prevent "the disclosure of combat-sensitive material" is pointless…. The ban is only on the military network, the Internet cafes and private connections aren't affected so if some idiot wants to spill classified info via MySpace, they still can.”

The Washington Post noted the story of Mitchell Millican of Trafford, Alabama. Mitchell said he had relied on MySpace to stay in touch with his son Pfc. Jonathan M. Millican until he was killed in January by an attack on his compound in Karbala, Iraq.

For its part in cracking down on bad news coming out of Iraq, the U.S. controlled Iraqi government has banned reporters from covering the site of resistance attacks until after the area can be cleaned up. Iraqi troops have already begun enforcing this ban by firing automatic weapons over the heads of journalists to keep them away for battle scenes.

Make Courage to Resist one of your top MySpace friends!


Hundreds welcome home Army Spc. Agustín Aguayo

Iraq War resisters Agustin Aguayo, Robert Zebala, Pablo Paredes & Camilo Mejia, Watsonville CA 5/14/07. Photo Jeff Paterson

Agustín joined by other Iraq War vets and resisters on whirlwind speaking tour

“Before I left for Iraq I searched deep within me, I concluded that if I go over there I can’t take a life. I ultimately say I’ll go, but I’m definitely a conscientious objector. I’m not willing to cross that line, no matter what I can’t take a life.” Two years later, after his application for discharge was a conscientious objector was denied by the Pentagon, Army Spc. Agustín Aguayo went AWOL in order to resist redeploying to Iraq.

Last Thursday, Courage to Resist supporters joined his wife Helga at the Sacramento airport to welcome Agustin home from a U.S. military prison in Germany where he was held for eight months as a prison of conscience for his unjust conviction for desertion.

Since then Agustín has shared his story of resistance at community gatherings in Sacramento, Carmel, and San Francisco. Highlights of Agustín’s first week as an anti-war activist also included presentations to day labors, farm workers, and their families in Stockton, and high school and college students in Watsonville.

At the Mexican Community Center in Stockton (photo below), Agustín joined community members in brainstorming about ways to counter the influence of military recruiters among immigrant communities in California’s Central Valley.


In Carmel, Agustin was joined by fellow Iraq War resisters Camilo Mejia and Pablo Paredes at the local Unitarian Church. Students from nearby Hartnell Community College raised hundreds of dollars for these resisters with a bake sale for peace.

In San Francisco, with the help of Veterans for Peace and Codepink, a hundred supporters packed a large meeting room in the Veterans War Memorial Building to hear these courageous resisters.

Earlier in the day, these war resisters were joined by Iraq veteran Sean O’Neill at a large Mother’s Day ceremony and press conference to declare the San Francisco Unitarian Church a peace church. Agustín was joined by California State Assemblyman Mark Leno in urging the congregation to support war resisters.

The resisters also introduced screenings of the documentary film “The Short Life of José Antonio Gutiérrez” at a theater in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. Marine Lance Cpl. Gutiérrez was a Guatemalan immigrant, a “Green Card” soldier, and was the first US casualty of the Iraq War.

In Watsonville, recently discharged Marine conscientious objector Robert Zabala joined Camilo, Pablo, and Agustín in speaking to over a 130 people at the United Presbyterian Church. With half of the audience being students, there was no shortage of questions about the realities of military life and the Iraq occupation. Robert made national news last month when a federal judge ordered his release from the Marines as a conscientious objector, despite the military denial of his claims. Courage to Resist organizer and 1991 Gulf War military resister Jeff Paterson presented Robert and Agustín with gold-plated “Courage to Resist” medals for bravery in the name of peace.

For International Conscientious Objector Day on Tuesday, May 15, Agustín joined Berkeley city council member Kriss Worthington in hoisting a peace flag in front of the Berkeley City Hall by proclamation of the city council and mayor.

On this morning’s Democracy Now! radio and television show, Agustín shared:

My time in prison was a time of deep reflection. I felt completely free there, as free as I had not been in so long. I was able to share my experience with others, and that brought me a sense of joy. It was also painful, since I was separated from my wife, but this was something I was willing to pay or something I was willing to do in order for me to save my sanity and not go against my conscience.

Now at home, Agustín is celebrating the birthday of his twin daughters who turned 12-years-old today. A welcome home celebration is being organized for June 1 in Los Angeles. Stay in touch for details coming soon.

View the Courage to Resist photo gallery of Agustin's Northern California tour.

Thank you Agustin Aguayo for your courage to resist!


Spc. Eugene Cherry forced to go AWOL to get PTSD help

Army Spc. Eugene Cherry. Photo Different Drummer Cafe

SYRACUSE, NY -- A 10th Mountain Division soldier facing a bad conduct discharge for going AWOL says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is being court martialed because he went home for help after the Army failed to provide him with adequate treatment.

"They don't want the liability so they deny I have a problem, and because I tried to help myself, now they want to make me a criminal," Spc. Eugene Cherry said in a telephone interview from Fort Drum, where he is restricted to post pending a court martial.

Cherry served as a combat medic in Iraq for a year with the division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, returning to Fort Drum in June 2005. That November, he took an unauthorized leave from the Army, returning to his native Chicago to live with his mother and find mental health treatment.

Send Eugene letters of support!
Eugene Cherry, c/o Different Drummer Cafe
12 Paddock Arcade, 1 Public Square, Watertown NY 13601



A message from Bob Watada & Rosa Sakanishi

Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi with son Lt. Ehren Watada, Fort Lewis WA, 1/4/07. Photo AP

Father and step-mother of Lt. Ehren Watada

The terrible United States' invasion of Vietnam came to an end because of soldier resistance to the wanton killing of the Vietnamese people.

Today, the United States has again invaded and occupies another country--Iraq, for corporate greed by our leaders. The plunder, torture, rape, and murder of innocent peoples and the senseless use of our citizen soldiers as a weapon against innocent peoples must come to an end.

Courage to Resist is providing a vital role to those soldiers who are aware that they are being used for the corporate gain of our leaders. Where soldiers know that there is a support system in the community, their choice to resist will be of great comfort. Courage to Resist actively supports the soldier.

Please make a donation to support the work of Courage to Resist.


Lt. Ehren Watada update from Courage to Resist: In the wake of Lt. Watada's mistrial victory in February, the Army had scheduled pre-trial motions for a new trial to begin this week with the second court martial to take place in July. However, these proceedings have been postponed with no new dates yet announced. Lt. Watada continues his daily duties at Fort Lewis, Washington and is scheduled to be promoted to the rank of captain soon. His lawyers will soon be asking the federal courts to bar the Army from holding a second trial based on the double jeopardy clause of the U.S. Constitution. No dates are available for those hearings either.