“Thank you for all your help. Without Courage to Resist, I would
be in jail.”
—Army Spc. Alexis Hutchinson
April 6, 2010
With the help of about 1,500 donors last year, we were able to wage
a number of successful campaigns. I need to ask for your help now going forward:
For example, Ft. Stewart officials backed off from court
martialing single-mom Spc.
Alexis Hutchinson (photo above with year-old Kamani) for refusing
deployment to Afghanistan, objector Sgt. Travis Bishop was
released three months early from the Ft. Lewis stockade a week ago, Spc. Dustin Stevens was discharged and the Echo
“punishment” Platoon at Ft.
Bragg disbanded, and former Canada refuge seeker Spc. Cliff Cornell walked
out of the brig at Camp Lejeune
a month early. Each of these victories was
directly related to
political and/or legal appeals funded by
Courage to Resist supporters
in the last few months.
facing one of our most challenging cases. Army Spc. Marc Hall (photo below-right) served 14
months in Iraq and returned with PTSD. When he was told last July that he
wouldn’t be able to leave at the end of his enlistment, he produced an angry
rap song railing against the Army’s continuing “stop-loss” policy.
months later, Marc filed an official complaint with
the Army’s Investigator
General over inadequate mental health care provided to him at Ft. Stewart,
Georgia. Within days, he was jailed
on the pretext of his song.
mustered civilian legal aid and mental health services for Marc in Georgia, the Army kidnapped Marc and took
him to Kuwait where he remains under
pre-trial confinement awaiting
a virtually secret trial. Our federal court
appeals failed to
stop this “extradition”, but
we continue to work every day on his behalf.
Marc is now schedule to be court martialed in Iraq on April 27. We are working to make sure that Marc has civilian legal representation and mental health witnesses at trial in
that’s dependent on money and resources for
travel expenses and more.
Why has the Army gone to such extremes to
make an example out
of Spc. Marc Hall? Because he is only one of
tens of thousands of “walking wounded” trapped in the military, and the military can’t afford to provide real treatment or let them
of US soldiers who have died in the Afghan war has reached 1,000. A grim
milestone in the conflict launched more
than eight years ago,” began a news story last week. “We must steel ourselves
for harder days yet to come,” declared Admiral Mike Mullen, in defense of
the endless occupation of
Afghanistan. In addition to the 100,000 US troops that remain today in
Iraq, the surge in US forces to Afghanistan continues. Foreign troop levels are
expected to reach 150,000 soon.
military has a big problem. Even with relatively solid recruiting due to
historically high unemployment, they are still unable
to convince (bribe) enough
troops to reenlist after their first
stint. That’s where “Stop-loss” and the Individual Ready Reserve
(IRR) come in
to form the “back door draft” that is
reviled throughout the ranks.
become the place to call for hundreds of IRR members questioning continued
service—thousands if you include those that rely
on our extensive web resources alone. For
example, google “IRR recall”
and you’ll see that Courage to Resist is the first resource listed.
last time I asked for your support, we identified
significant reductions in our budget
and made hard decisions—including reducing staff hours by 50% and moving our
Oakland-based workspace saving 40% on office-related
expenses. These actions, along with the continued support of many, have allowed
us to move forward in our
mission by maintaining an amazingly
effective, bare-bones organization.
the same is not true for a long time ally of war resisters, The Central
Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO).
Founded in 1948 to help people escape military enlistment, CCCO played
a critical role in supporting objectors
during the Vietnam War and
on through the 90’s. Recently they closed of
their office and website
“due to the economy.” CCCO
once played a central role in the GI Rights Network. However, having planned
ahead, the new GI Rights Hotline—a consortium of over 20 groups—is now
taking responsibility for the
free 877-447-4487 hotline. Over the
last five years, I believe Courage
to Resist has also stepped
into this void by providing the material, moral, and political
support to objectors that CCCO was once known for.
for the challenges ahead. We need to increase our monthly sustainers by
at least $1,000 so that we can focus more on the work
at hand, and less on fundraising in
the months ahead. I’m asking that you consider a contribution of $35 or more, and possibly becoming a
sustainer for only $10 a month. Regardless of the amount, we need your
help end war by supporting the troops who refuse.
Project Director, Courage to Resist
First US military service member to refuse to
fight in Iraq
P.S. If you've recently donated, thank you! If not, I hope you’re able to become a monthly sustainer, or
will be able
to make a larger-than-you-first-thought contribution, so that we can continue to organize
the “support of the people” when soldiers become part of the solution in
building a better world.
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