PO Box 31947, Seattle WA 98103 info@vfp92.org

The Orders Project

“Military personnel are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a federal statute that criminalizes the disobedience of orders, among other offenses. If the Nation faces civil unrest requiring the deployment of military personnel or federalized National Guard personnel, questions may arise as to the legality of orders they receive. Given the authorized maximum punishments for disobeying orders, this is a serious matter. Military personnel should be fully informed of their rights and responsibilities before taking any action that might expose them to criminal prosecution or adverse personnel actions.
Military personnel have a right to consult counsel…”
http://www.ordersproject.org/

Follow Your Conscience

Press Release from Veterans For Peace Chapter 92

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 11, 2020

Seattle, WA. The Seattle Chapter of Veterans For Peace (VFP) placed a full-page “Follow your Conscience” advertisement – see below – today in the weekly newspaper, The Ranger. The paper serves the military community of Army and Air Force units stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) as well as National Guard units based at nearby Camp Murray. The publisher, Northwestmilitary.com, claims a circulation of 20,000 copies of the free weekly. The Ranger has been distributed on base and in the surrounding communities for generations.

The message calls on soldiers to follow their conscience if deployed opposite civilian protestors who are demonstrating in the wake of recent deaths of fellow Americans while in police custody. All service members swear an oath to uphold the right to free speech and assembly which are essential protections under the Constitution of the United States.

“All soldiers have a conscience,” said Kelly Wadsworth. A former Army Chaplain, Wadsworth served in the Guard/Reserves from 2001 – 2011. She is now a pastor in Seattle and a leader in Seattle’s Chapter 92 of VFP. She said, “I served alongside many phenomenal soldiers who exercised a deep capacity to hold more than one perspective at the same time. Many are curious as to what kinds of moral questions will arise during their time in uniform. This is one of those times. Civilian protestors need civilian changes, not a war savvy militia.”

“We know most soldiers did not sign up to be used against their own people,” said Michael McPhearson, past executive director of VFP and a Captain in the Army during the Gulf War. He is now a member of Seattle’s VFP Chapter 92. “They are in a gut-wrenching predicament,” he said. “Our Veterans For Peace chapter felt the compassionate thing to do is to reach out to those still in uniform. We wanted to let them know we feel the pain of their predicament.”

“We are also concerned history is repeating itself,” McPhearson went on to say. “This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings when the Ohio National Guard shot 13 unarmed Kent State students, killing four. We don’t want to see that happen again.”

Michael Dedrick, who served as a sergeant in Vietnam, and is now a member of Chapter 92, said “I take seriously my enlistment oath. Soldiers and veterans need to defend free speech, not repress it.” In addition, he pointed out, “Our Chapter wanted to remind the Brass and the country that this is not the first-time similar circumstances have elicited widespread refusals among soldiers to engage in civilian riot duty.”

In 1968, for instance, troops from Ft. Hood, TX were ordered to go to Chicago for riot control duty at the Democratic National Convention. This deployment led to one of the most powerful rebellions by GIs during the Vietnam era, and the celebrated case of the “Fort Hood 43.” (For additional stories of resistance, see David Zeiger’s award-winning documentary movie, “Sir! No Sir!”.) GI resistance at home encouraged GI resistance overseas, which raised urgent questions about the Vietnam war. This, in turn, encouraged military personnel to further resist back in the States.

Seattle VFP wants personnel on active duty as well as in the Guard/Reserves who are concerned about mobilizing to know that they have some options and support. Servicemembers can 1) call the national GI Rights Hotline at 877-447-4487 for confidential advice; 2) contact the Seattle VFP Chapter 92 (info@vfp92.org), or 3) visit Courage to Resist (couragetoresist.org) to talk through options for the tough situation they are in.

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Veterans For Peace Chapter 92 is the Seattle chapter of Veterans For Peace (VFP). Founded in 1985, VFP is a U.S. based nonprofit and educational organization with over 100 chapters in the US and several international chapters. VFP members include veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as non-veteran allies. The mission of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.

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Veterans Condemn Deployment of Troops– Leaflet with Seattle contact info

Link to pdf below. Please distribute widely_ and safely! If possible get it to or read it out to military personnel deployed at protests!

veterans vs deploy 6.2.20

Veterans Condemn Deployment of Troops

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/our-work/position-statements/veterans-condemn-deployment-troops
Veterans For Peace condemns the inflammatory statements by Donald Trump. His declaration of calling for military troops on U.S. soil to quell people exercising their first amendment right is inflammatory and incredibly dangerous. We stand unequivocally with the protestors who are in the streets calling for an end to senseless police killings and white supremacy.
In addition to the 200,000 troops already deployed across the world, U.S cities are being occupied by military force. Thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and police have been deployed to cities across the nation as Trump calls on the military to “dominate the streets” and that he’d override any local control if governors refuse to deploy the national guard. Threats and intimidation are tactics of terror by this administration. Trump’s statements, as well as past statements, are incendiary and effectively declare war on our communities.
Across the country, tear gas, flash bangs, and other “non-lethal” weapons have been used on peaceful protesters. Reporters have been targeted, arrested and injured. Children have been tear gassed. Elders have been harassed. People have been killed as a result of police and National Guard violence in Louisville and many more hospitalized across the country. These actions should be condemned and most importantly, we must refuse to participate in these unjust actions by speaking out and talking to our friends and families who are currently serving in the military.
Veterans For Peace calls on all military leaders and personnel to refuse deployment. We, as veterans, know the terrible aftermath of participating in actions that are morally wrong against communities in other countries. Now is the time to refuse to participate in orders that are unjust.
GI rights hotline: https://girightshotline.org/
NLG Military Law Taskforce: https://nlgmltf.org/programs-and-services/
Center on Conscience & War: https://centeronconscience.org/

Veterans & Supporters for International Womxns Day 2020

Veterans & Supporters for International Womxns Day 2020

https://www.facebook.com/events/225775068592030/

Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 12:15 PM, Doctor Jose P. Rizal Park, 1008 12th Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98144
Less than 1% of the population are womxn who have served in the military. According to the Defense Department, women now make up 20 percent of the Air Force, 19 percent of the Navy, 15 percent of the Army and almost 9 percent of the Marine Corps.

While many people think about veterans and how to honor these brave individuals, honoring women veterans specifically is often overlooked. Women veterans can often face additional obstacles when they transition back to civilian life.
International Womxns Day can be a space where many of us come together and push for change that makes us less invisible or under represented and affirm that we have many common struggles as women. While women have made many historical strives, sacrifices, and accomplishments, it’s clear that this is a time we have an opportunity to stand united and affirm each others needs and identities to achieve new heights together where nobody is left behind.
Military and veteran women face excessive gender based challenges and violences and more so for those of us who have marginalized identities of color and LGBTQI2S. When we leave the military we carry burdens in to a system and society that confounds our burdens:

– gender discrimination
– wage gap
– sexual violence
– interpersonal abuse
– professional glass ceilings
– traumas of war
– moral injury
– economic disadvantage
– barriers to resources
– racial oppression
– untreated medical needs
– unstable housing
– single parenthood
– mental health challenges
– (and more)

PLEASE JOIN US TO HEAR PROFOUND VIGIL IN THE BEGINNING AT JOSE RIZAL PARK AND A FINAL PROGRAM OF SPEAKERS AT THE COURTHOUSE PARK. IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE, PLEASE JOIN THE MARCH BETWEEN THE TWO LOCATIONS.
Invite your organization and veteran womxn friends to meet before hand, make signs, bring flags, or wear gear that reflects who you or your org is and share time to build community, honor womxn, and our stories.

Questions or volunteers!   CONTACT: VFPSeattle.president@gmail.com

This event is happening in partnership and support of API CHAYA and coalition who has historically organized on this year. Read more here about the event and the organization:
https://www.apichaya.org/events/2020/3/8/international-working-womxns-day-api-chaya-25th-annual-vigil

Global Day Of Solidarity Seattle – No War On Iran

 

2pm Saturday Westlake Park Seattle

Veterans For Peace strongly condemns any and all U.S. aggression towards Iran

January 7, 2020
The assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a senior Iranian military leader, is just the latest unilateral action by this administration that has brought us to the brink of war.
This latest act is part of a long list of hostile actions the U.S. has taken against Iran. Trump has filled his cabinet with warmongers like Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo; pulled out of the historic and successful Iran nuclear deal; embarked on a “maximum pressure” campaign that sent thousands more U.S. troops to the Middle East; and imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iran.
War with Iran would be yet another bloody disaster in the region and initiate another endless war. It is clear, based on extensive evidence, including the release of the Afghanistan Papers just last month, that the U.S. has had no strategy or accountability in conflict zones and only perpetuates chaos, confusion and violence… (read entire statement)

See our Take Action: No War on Iran page!

Veterans Demand Accountability for Afghanistan Papers

“The release of the Afghanistan Papers this week has laid out in clear detail the failed policy and the catastrophic level of malfeasance that reach the highest levels of the U.S. government. Every level of government bears responsibility for misleading the American public and for creating the conditions in which an unchecked military operates without accountability…”

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/our-work/position-statements/veterans-demand-accountabilty-afghanistan-papers