On December 8th API Resists joined Courage to Resist’s call to support the courageous military resistors who are refusing deployment to Iraq with a screening of Ground Truths, the powerful documentary about GI’s speaking out against the war by telling the stories of their experiences in Iraq and their return home.  The documentary was followed by a conversation with Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi, father and stepmother to Lt. Ehren Watada, the first officer to refuse going to Iraq.

After the screening Michael Wong, a Viet Nam War resister with Veteran for Peace spoke.  He told the crowd that a key factor in ending the war in Viet Nam was the resistance of the GI’s. He told them that Ehren Watada, was the kind of man that could speak directly to the enlisted soldiers as he had already ignited them at the Veterans for Peace national conference in August.  He said when Ehren spoke the GI’s would listen and he could build up a movement in the military. He told us the Veterans for Peace had contacts at many of the bases across the country and if Ehren were free he would be in a unique position to call and support military resistance.

Bob Watada laid out the legal process that Ehren is facing. He said that the military wanted to make an example out of Ehren and the plan is to send him to Ft. Leavenworth, not a country club prison.  Ehren is facing six years at Ft. Leavenworth. Two years for refusing to deploy to Iraq and four years for speaking out against a war he believes is immoral and illegal.

On January 3 and 4, the first phase of the court martial would begin with pretrial motions.  February 5th is the scheduled date of the actual court martial. Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi, Ehren’s father and stepmother have been campaigning across the country speaking out against the war and building support for their son. To support Lt. Ehren Watada and for more information go to www.thankyoult.org .

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