By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist Project Director
September 24, 2009

Dear Friend,

I’m writing today out of urgent necessity. Over the past 12 months, we’ve continued to support GI resisters to the best of our abilities, yet many of our supporters reduced the amount of their contributions—for a number of understandable reasons. As a result, Courage to Resist has depleted nearly all of our resources.

We have identified significant reductions in our budget and have made hard decisions—including reducing staff hours by 50% and moving our Oakland-based workspace saving 40% on office-related expenses. We are making these changes now so that we can provide critical support for the growing opposition to the Afghanistan occupation from within the military tomorrow.

We’re taking these steps so that we will be here to continue our support of Army Spc Dustin Stevens and the Fort Bragg 50, prisoner of conscience Travis Bishop, imprisoned resister Cliff Cornell, European Union asylum seeker André Shepherd, those seeking safe haven in Canada, hundreds of Individual Ready Reserve refusers, and to help answer questions from troops daily that may change their lives. For an overview of current actions efforts, check out “Take action today to support GI resistance.”

I’m asking your help today because we need to be able to “get there from here.” Meaning we need to pay off our bills (including resister legal expenses), relocate our office, give staff a few weeks to transition into volunteer roles—all the while continuing and building political initiatives in the support of the troops with the courage to resist.

Please know that we’re up for the challenge ahead. We need to raise $10,000 now in order to bridge this gap. We also need to increase our monthly sustainers by at least $1,000 so that we can focus more on the work at hand, and less on fundraising in the months ahead. I’m asking that you consider a contribution of $100 or more, and possibly becoming a sustainer at $20 a month—basically becoming 1% of the solution. Regardless of the amount, can we count on your continued support?

Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist Project Director
First U.S. military serviceperson to refuse to fight in Iraq

Top photo by Mathieu Grandjean

P.S. These are far from insurmountable fund raising goals; however, all of us have felt the economic meltdown in some way. We are not expecting, nor are we even hoping, that any one supporter will carry us at this time. The future of our work will be based on an expanding grassroots effort—one that I hope you will be a part of.