grassrootspeace.org

November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website, traprockpeace.org, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to PeaceJournal.org, a multimedia blog and resource center.

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

See Kevin Benderman website for updates and non-tax deductible donations.

National Day of Action for GI's on Eve of Courts-Martial
Kevin Benderman - Pablo Paredes

On May 10, 2005 a national day of action took take place in support of Navy Petty Officer Pablo Paredes and US Army Sergeant Kevin Benderman and other military personnel who have refused to fight in the current war and occupation of Iraq. Kevin Benderman in Fort Stewart, Georgia and Pablo Paredes in San Diego face courts-martial on Wednesday, May 11. More funds are needed for Kevin Benderman's defense.

The call for a national day of action was initiated by family members of Paredes and Benderman, and by Courage to Resist, a newly formed group of veterans, military families, and community members in a campaign to support military objectors.

Press advisory continues below


photo © 2005 Charles Jenks

May 10th gathering in downtown Greenfield, MA organized by Traprock Peace Center.


photo © 2005 Charles Jenks

May 10th demonstration in front of the federal building (with recruiting office) in Springfield, MA. The event was endorsed by the Holyoke Community College Anti-War Coalition (Campus Antiwar Network); International Socialist Organization; Lokapala Organization; Traprock Peace Center, Western Mass American Friends Service Committee.


photo © 2005 Charles Jenks


photo © 2005 Charles Jenks


photo © 2005 Charles Jenks

See also Page 2 for more photos


Support actions are being organized in 20 cities, including San Diego, Baltimore, Buffalo, Burlington, Charlotte, Deerfield, Helena, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York City, Orlando, Ventura, Providence, Rochester, San Francisco, Springfield, and other cities and towns across the country.

Four demonstrations of support are being organized in western Massachusetts: at 8:30 on Tuesday morning in Deerfield, Massachusetts, beside Route 5 and 10 at the foot of Woolman Hill; in Greenfield, at noon at the intersection of Main and Federal Streets, in Springfield from 4-6pm at the Federal Building, 1550 Main Street, and in Northampton at the intersection of Bridge Street and Bridge Road, near Route 9 and 91 at 7pm.
Sgt. Kevin Benderman will be represented by military and civilian attorneys in court at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Traprock Peace Center has gathered and sent $1,790 to support his legal defense. On January 5th, 2005, Benderman refused to deploy for a second tour of duty with his Third Infantry Army Division in Iraq. "U.S. military personnel," Benderman said, "are increasingly killing non-combatants. On my last deployment in Iraq, elements of my unit were instructed by a Captain to fire on children throwing rocks at us."

Traprock's Executive Director, Sunny Miller says, "It's hard a hard choice soldiers make when they stand up and speak up about the wrongs they have seen. I know what good people sign up for the military. And some good people have to leave, after the painful conclusion that they simply cannot participate. I think we glorify our own participation in a society engaged in mass murder, when we reduce it to a simpler concept and call it war."

The U.S. Military Code of Justice states that military personnel have a right and a duty to disobey illegal orders. The War Crimes Tribunals held in Nuremberg after World War II declared that, "... anyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent the commission of crimes."

Supporters will also attend the courts-martial. In San Diego, Paredes says that he intends to "put the war on trial. After all, it's the real crime here."
On December 6, 2004, Pablo Paredes refused to board his Navy ship. Paredes explained, "Like all members of the military, I have been trained to recognize my personal responsibility for participating in war crimes. Since the war is itself illegal and has been characterized by repeated and consistent violations of international laws and treaties, of the Geneva Convention rules of war, and of generally accepted standards of human rights, I have a reasonable belief that my training required me to avoid participating in these crimes."

Courage to Resist organizer Aryeh Shell said, "Objection and resistance by military servicepersons is a healthy and important assertion of democracy in a country where the decisions to invade Iraq, to maintain an occupation, and engage in widespread human rights violations and torture were made undemocratically in violation of international law and based on continuing lies and disinformation."

Paredes and Benderman were denied conscientious objector status by the Army and Navy and now challenge sentences to jail time and forfeiture of pay and benefits for their public stand of conscience. According to a US Supreme Court decision rights to Conscientious Objector status can be based on religious, moral, ethical or philosophical opposition to present and future wars.

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More info about Kevin Benderman:
http://www.BendermanDefense.org
(non-tax deductible donations and updates)
More info about Pablo Paredes:
http://www.defendpablo.org/
http://www.SwiftSmartVeterans.com
More info on May 10 Day of Action:
http://www.notinourname.net/courage.htm


May 11, 2005 - page created by Charlie Jenks and Sunny Miller