headlinesMom facing Afghanistan deployment, jail
Courage to Resist rallies national political, legal, and family support of Alexis Hutchinson, the single mom jailed by the Army for refusing to deploy after being unable to find care for her 11-month old son Kamani.

Campaign wins Army objector discharge!
In August, we launched a campaign to “Free Army objector Dustin Stevens and the end illegal pre-trial punishment of the Fort Bragg 50.” With your help, we did just that!

D.A.M. report from Israel/Palestine
Update from Sarah Lazare, Courage to Resist Project Coordinator, and Iraq War resister Stephen Funk who are traveling throughout Israel/Palestine with the Dialogues Against Militarism project.

"Undeployables" to the Afghan Front
Dahr Jamail and Sarah Lazare take a look at the situation Army-wide for Echo Platoon-type of situations across the country for TomDispatch. (link only)


Support Alexis Hutchinson, single mom still facing Afghanistan deployment, court martial

Please make a tax-deductible donation to Alexis’ legal and family support fund.

By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist. November 16, 2009

“I currently don’t have a family care plan, but they told me they did not care and for me to get ready to go to Afghanistan,” explained Oakland, California native Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a 21-year-old soldier based at Hunter Army Airfield outside of Savannah, Georgia.

As I spoke to Alexis on the phone, I believed if I found her a civilian lawyer to work with the military, a reasonable resolution would be quickly found. Unlike most service members Courage to Resist assists, Alexis was not refusing to deploy. She was not looking to speak out against war. She was simply asking for more time to find someone to care for her 11-month old son Kamani. Within a few days, however, the Army had tossed Alexis in the stockade and turned Kamani over to the Chatham County (Georgia) foster care system.

In response to a public outcry, growing media attention, and congressional inquiries, the Army backed off of their pledge to deploy Alexis last night, November 15. Alexis’ lawyer Rai Sue Sussman of San Francisco notes that “The Army maintains that she may still be sent to Afghanistan for a court martial.” That has left Ms. Sussman contemplating travel to Afghanistan to represent her client.



Campaign wins Army objector discharge!

stevensSpc. Dustin Stevens discharged,
Echo Platoon disbanded

By Courage to Resist.
November 10, 2009

In August, we launched a campaign to “Free Army conscientious objector Dustin Stevens and the end illegal pre-trial punishment of the Fort Bragg 50!” With your help, we did just that!

Dustin is certain that he would still be facing over a year in the stockade if it were not for your support. It is not everyday that we win an outright victory for GI resisters.

Dustin Stevens was one of about 50 soldiers held at the 82nd Holdover Unit awaiting likely AWOL and desertion charges. They lived in a legal limbo of poor living conditions, verbal abuse, and arbitrary punishments while waiting for up to a year to be actually charged and court martialed. These soldiers were subjected to many months of unjust and illegal punishment prior to their day in court.

Shortly after Dustin first contacted us, staff organizer Sarah Lazare traveled across the country and not only met with Dustin and other members of his unit, she also recorded an interview with their commanding officer! After her first article was published, living conditions improved. After her second article, co-authored with Dahr Jamail, “Echo Platoon” was disbanded. And after we mailed hundreds of petitions to military authorities on behalf of supporters like yourself, Dustin’s court martial for desertion was canceled. He was discharged last week.

Dustin intends to continue fighting for GI resisters:

I was let out because I have a big mouth and a lot of people backing me up. The guys and girls that stay quiet are still getting screwed. How do we fix this, how do we help these people? Fort Bragg is just one problem, there are many more.

I am eternally grateful for the help that I received from Courage to Resist and others like them. But I am far from finished. My fight is for every single person that has the right to choose. I will fight for the soldiers with a conscience. I will not stop my fight, ever.



Dialogues Against Militarism in Israel/Palestine Image

Update from Sarah Lazare, Courage to Resist Project Coordinator, and Iraq War resister Stephen Funk who are traveling throughout Israel/Palestine with the Dialogues Against Militarism project.

By Sarah Lazare and Stephen Funk. November 11, 2009

About 25 of us trudged towards military prison 400, just outside of Tel Aviv, coils of razor wire and lookout towers looming above us, fields of mud and dry grass to our right. As we walked past, soldiers in the towers yelled out to us in Hebrew: “We are prisoners, too” and “We don’t like the cops either!” referring to the two police vehicles trailing us. When we reached our destination – an opening in the field, nestled between the fences marking the perimeter of the prison – we began setting up the sound system and preparing for the day’s goal of reaching earshot of Or Ben-David, a young Israeli being held in prison for refusing the army draft.

Our gathering consisted predominantly of young Israelis who had themselves been conscientious objectors, some of whom had been held in that same prison quite recently, some of whom had just refused and were scheduled to report to prison in a few months. The crowd also included some older radicals, a smattering of internationals, and of course us – U.S. War resisters, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and anti-militarist organizers, here to lend our support to Israeli and Palestinian movements against occupation.

Raz Bar-David, a military resister who had spent time behind those bars, explained that we were at the point where we could best be heard by Or. And it is a good thing she could, because the sounds being emitted over this barren military landscape were worth hearing.

Photo above: D.A.M. activists Stephen Funk, Sarah Lazare, Clare Bayard. Bil’in, Israel/Palestine 11/13/09


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