One of the Bravest folks of the year is Lt. Ehren Watada, the young Asian American Army officer resisting what he calls an "illegal and immoral" war. He is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq. For refusing to participate in the war, Lt. Watada is facing 6 years in prison and a military court martial on Feb. 5, 2007 and a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 4, 2007. Now is the time to show your support for this courageous young man.
The Watada Support Committee and APIs Resist! and others are organizing events today in San Francisco, including a walk from JapanTown to the Federal Building with a 1pm 'die-in' on the steps. Our local events coincide with the Declaration of Peace and others' National Day of Action to support Watada.
Join the Watada Support Committee and APIs Resist! at the JAN. 4 - VIGIL & "Die-In"
NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL
WHILE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ARE DYING IN THIS SENSELESS WAR!
TO BE SILENT IN THE FACE OF WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY DONE BY OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMPLICITY WITH THOSE CRIMES!
NO MORE FUNDING FOR THE KILLING AND DYING AND WAR AND OCCUPATION IN IRAQ!
January 4th also marks the first day of a pre-trial hearing for US Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse orders of deployment to the Iraq War. Lt. Watada is facing 6 years imprisonment at the maximum security military prison at Ft. Leavenworth: 2 years for refusing deployment to the Iraq War and 4 years for publicly speaking out about his decision of conscience and why he believes the war is illegal and immoral. The military's intention IS to SILENCE VOICES OF RESISTANCE and make an example out of Lt. Watada.Lt. Watada's bold actions have raised the consciousness of thousands of Americans about the illegality and immorality of this war, but his actions alone will not stop the Iraq war. If Lt. Watada is willing to sacrifice his freedom, then we, too, must voice our opposition and take action to end the war.Jan. 4, 2006 Schedule (Your participation at any point in the schedule is appreciated)
11:15 am Watada supporters gather at SF Japantown Peace Plaza (Post & Buchannan)
11:45-12:15 pm Watada supporters walk from Peace Plaza and meet up with members of Unitarian Universalist Church
12:15 -12:30 pm Watada and UUC folks walk to Federal Building (450 Golden Gate Ave.) to join the Vigil (which starts at noon)
12:30 pm – 1pm join silent VIGIL at the Federal Building
(sponsored by Watada Support Committee, APIs Resists!, Declaration of Peace, First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, American Friends Service Committee, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Episcopal Peace Fellowship and San Francisco Friends Meeting, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.)
1pm "Die-In" program and civil disobedience demonstration at the Federal Building
(sponsored by Declaration of Peace, First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, the Watada Support Committee and APIs Resist!)
In remembrance of the 3000 US soldiers and over 650,000 Iraqis who have died during the Iraq War, participants will lie down blocking the Federal Building doors and cover themselves with white sheets in lieu of shrouds with the message, “No business as usual while the killing and dying continue in Iraq.
PLEASE JOIN US! Support Lt. Watada--Refuse Illegal War!
Photo to the right - Former WWII Draft Resister Frank Emi speaks out in support of Lt. Watada at a forum organized by NCRR [Nikei for Civil Rights and Redress]
To me, Lt. Watada is a modern day Frank Emi, a tremendously courageous individual standing up for his rights in the midst of tremendous racism and repression. Frank was a leader of the Fair Play Committee, a group formed in the U.S. concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyo. during World War II. He and 85 other Japanese detainees refused induction into the U.S. armed forces to protest the incarceration of Japanese Americans during the war.
Ironically Frank had an 18-month old toddler at the time and would not even have been drafted. Emi and six other leaders were convicted of conspiracy to evade the draft and of counseling others to evade the draft.They spent a total of 18 months in jail before an appeals court overturned their conviction. The other draft resisters also served time and were eventually pardoned by President Truman.
Frank stood up for his community and for his constitutional rights during WWII. Lt. Watada needs our support today as he stands up to resist the illegal war on Iraq.
For more information, please contact: Grace Morizawa firstname.lastname@example.org or 510/289 1285 - http://www.thankyoult.org/
Emi and other Fair Play Committee members are featured in the documentary, "Conscience and the Constitution," by Frank Abe - http://www.resisters.com/ - and in local SF filmmaker/cinematographer Emiko Omori's beautiful film Rabbit in the Moon.