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War Resister Support Action Team
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War Resister Support Action Team

Supporting those opposing the endless wars

Counter-Recruiting
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Counter Recruiting

Opposing the militarism of students

Free Chelsea Manning
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Free Chelsea Manning

Celebrate heroic WikiLeaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning's release from prison. More to follow soon.

About VFP92
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Veterans For Peace Chapter 92

(VFP 92) is the local chapter of Veterans For Peace in the greater Seattle area.

Veterans For Peace calls on the Mayor to fire Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole over recent police shooting

The Seattle Chapter of Veterans For Peace calls on Mayor Murray to fire police Chief Kathleen O’Toole over the police killing of Charleena Lyles. 
Veterans For Peace believes someone must be held accountable in this unnecessary death in order for justice to be served for Charleena and her family.
The police officers involved in the shooting will not be held accountable because of the impossible bar set for conviction under state law– using deadly force with “malice” or “evil intent”. It is clear that the police chief, who is ultimately responsible, has failed to ensure that her officers were adequately trained, carrying the right equipment, and knew how to de-escalate a situation.
Five years into police reform and the consent decree, the officers should have known how to deal with the situation. Five years into police reform and the consent decree and the officers did not have a Taser for use of less than deadly force. Five years into police reform and the consent decree, the officers did not employ an alternative to less than deadly force by using pepper spray and/or their batons. Five years into police reform and the consent decree, the officers did not respond to the situation that clearly called for de-escalation tactics to subdue a 90 pound pregnant woman that they knew had mental health issues.
While we wait for the official review and investigation to be completed, we already know enough that a reasonable person would conclude that the killing was not warranted nor justified. The SPD failed to do everything in their power to not take a life. Five years into police reform and the consent decree, the officers went with a shoot first policy. And ultimately, the chief of police has to be accountable for the killing of this human being.
Do black lives matter in “progressive” Seattle? Not unless the Mayor holds the SPD accountable and fires police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and we get the real police reform that would have saved the life of Charleena Lyles and would have provided her with the help she needed. Mayor Murray, it's time to act and do the right thing.
Greater Seattle Chapter of Veterans For Peace is part of national organization of veterans who went to war and now work for peace.
 
Letter opposing "Israel Anti-Boycott Act"
Versions of the following letter were recently given to Rep. Adam Smith and the office of Sen. Maria Cantwell:
 
As veterans and as members of Veterans For Peace, we renounce wars of aggression, colonization and the oppression of vulnerable peoples. In an attack on the First Amendment’s fundamental right of free speech the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S.720 and H.R.1697)  would  impose denial of loans, fines and even potentially jail time – on companies complying with “international governmental organization” (1) calls to boycott Israeli settlement products.  Penalties include a  $250,000 civil penalty and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years imprisonment, under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Thus, it seeks to drive a wedge between the Palestinians and those who would sympathize with their cause.  
 
 
For almost 70 years, Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through colonization, racial discrimination, and military occupation. For 50 years, official US policy has recognized “that Israel’s settlements are violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and illegal under international law. The bill seeks to undermine this determination by penalizing companies refusing to do business with Israeli settlements and conversely attempts to legitimize their status.”(2)    
 
 
As Palestine Legal has noted, “The Supreme Court has held that ‘speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection.’”... The Court has specifically held that political boycotts, like boycotts for Palestinian rights, are unquestionably protected under the First Amendment.[Id.]The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, by seeking to penalize corporations which exercise that right, is an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of speech.”(3)  This bill is an attempt to stifle our own efforts as part of the broader Palestine solidarity movement to pressure corporations to cut ties to Israel (for its violent denial of Palestinian rights) or even with  blatantly illegal Israeli settlements. 
 
 
We strongly urge that you not cosponsor or vote for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act because the bill is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech and an attempt to legitimize illegal Israeli settlements constructed on stolen land in occupied territory in violation of international law.   
 
 
All veterans took an oath to defend the Constitution and to stand for the right of free speech.  The right to express solidarity (and join) with the BDS movement is a fundamental right; it is also a clear expression of the First Amendment.  Many of our soldiers sacrificed their lives defending our Constitution and the right of free speech.  Let it not be in vain.
 
 
 
1    Includes the United Nations and the European Union 
4    “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity..”  -- https://bdsmovement.net/what-is-bds