They call themselves Gold Star Families for Peace. Organized less than two months ago, it is part support group and part activist organization, with members united by grief and the belief that their loved ones died in a war that did not have to happen. They represent a small percentage of the families that have lost someone in Iraq — 50 families out of more than 1,450.
Source: February 22nd, 2005 4:15 pm. For Some, a Loss in Iraq Turns Into Antiwar Activism; Gold Star Families Band Together to ‘Make People Care.’ By Evelyn Nieves / Washington Post. Archived at MichaelMoore.com
AN OPEN LETTER TO GEORGE BUSH
November 4, 2004
You don’t mind if I call you George do you? When you sent me a letter offering your condolences on the death of my son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, in the illegal and unjust war on Iraq, you called me Cindy, so I naturally assume we are on a first name basis.
George, it has been seven months today since your reckless and wanton foreign policies killed my son, my big boy, my hero, my best-friend: Casey. It has been seven months since your ignorant and arrogant lack of planning for the peace murdered my oldest child. It has been two days since your dishonest campaign stole another election…but you all were way more subtle this time than in 2000, weren’t you? You hardly had to get the Supreme Court of the United States involved at all this week.
Source: Casey’s Peace Page
FORT STEWART – While Army Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia faced his desertion court-martial this past week at Fort Stewart, his mother, Maritza Castillo, stood vigil for two nights in front of the base with about two dozen family members and friends.
She planted herself outside the main gates, holding up a sign expressing how she felt: “Follow your conscience and give peace a chance.”
Source: Mother and soldier son follow their conscience. Even in jail – “I will never abandon him.” Lewis Levine. For Savannah Morning News. Web posted Saturday, May 22, 2004.
I was routinely cleaning toilets in my dorm at Pekin Federal Prison Camp when the loudspeaker summoned me to the Administration Building. “You’re going next door,” said the guard on duty. “Someone wants to talk with you.” During a five-minute ride to the adjacent medium-security men’s prison, I quickly organized some thoughts about civil disobedience and prison terms, expecting to meet a journalist. Instead, two well-dressed men stood to greet me and then flashed their FBI badges. They had driven to Pekin, Ill., from Chicago, where they work for the FBI’s National Security Service.
Source: A Visit from the FBI: A Change Gonna Come. CounterPunch (May 20, 2004)
Heckler: Mr. Rumsfeld, you’re fired! Your foreign policy is based on lies. The war in Iraq is unjust and illegal, and the occupation is immoral. There are U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq —
Heckler: Go home!
Heckler: — every day! Still dying! Bring the troops home now.
Heckler: Tell us when the troops are coming home!
Hecklers: (Chanting.) Hey, Rumsfeld, what do you say? — How many troops did you kill today?! Hey, Rumsfeld, what do you say? — How many troops did you kill today?! Hey, Rumsfeld, what do you say? — How many troops did you kill today?! (Hecklers escorted out of room.)
Souce: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). News Transcript, On the Web: http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=3151, Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132, Public contact:, http://www.dod.mil/faq/comment.html, or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1. Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. September 10, 2003 1:15 PM EDT.
Secretary Rumsfeld Remarks at National Press Club Luncheon
First conscientious objector imprisoned for refusing to fight Iraq War, anti-war hero Stephen Funk returned home from six months in North Carolina military prison to a community celebration in Oakland, California March 14, 2004. The event was announced on the front page of the local news section of the San Francisco Chronicle and was covered by most Bay Area television stations, Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now!, Indymedia, and many others. A dozen progressive organizations presented Stephen with an “Anti-War Hero” plaque in recognition for his courageous stand against an unjust war.
Source: March 15, 2004. Update: Stephen Funk is Free! Not in Our Name.
The Israeli bulldozer that ran over and killed American peace activist Rachel Corrie, 23, in the Gaza Strip had killed before. A few weeks ago, on March 3, an Israeli bulldozer killed a nine-month pregnant Palestinian woman, Nuha Sweidan, while destroying the house next door in a dilapidated Gaza refugee camp. Palestinian witnesses said that Mrs. Sweidan, 33, bled to death under the rubble as she cradled her 18-month-old daughter. Her unborn baby also died.
Source: Rachel Corrie, Nuha Sweidan and Israeli war crimes. By Steve Niva. Daily Times (Pakistan) Tuesday, March 18, 2003.