Carolyn Ho, mother of Lt. Ehren Watada.
Event in New York City featuring Carolyn Ho, Mother of Lt. Ehren Watada; and, Gloria Pacis, Mother of Refusenik Stephen Funk, USMC

On December 8th at the prestigious “Church to the United Nations” 777 1st Avenue, an evening event was held featuring Carolyn Ho and Gloria Pacis.  This event was co-sponsored by United for Lt. Watada and World Can’t Wait, Drive Out the Bush Regime.  Endorsers included Peace Action of New York State, Vets for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Granny Peace Brigade and the Raging Grannies, Citizen Soldier, New York City Labor Against the War and CodePink.

The meeting room was filled to capacity, probably 180 people attended the event including the press from WBAI, “Law and Disorder” radio program; KPFK from Philadelphia, and others.

The lineup of speakers began with a rousing speech from Carolyn Ho.  She explained the entire circumstances from her son’s enlistment to his “Matter of Conscience” moment.  He decided that after being an Officer in the Army, he could not command his soldiers to fight an illegal and immoral war.  He could not elicit orders that were illegal from the beginning.  The audience was totally riveted and enlightened by her speech.  After that, we showed the speech that Lt. Watada gave this past August at the Vets for Peace conference in Seattle.  This speech should be required viewing!  Everyone felt after listening to this, that he was not only a man of his convictions, but a true leader that should not spend one minute behind bars.  He is greatly needed to continue leading the movement of resisters within our military.

Margaret Prescod of KPFK, Philadelphia and leader of the Global Women’s Exchange, gave a rousing speech following this.  She is totally committed to supporting Lt. Watada and asked that we all follow her lead.

Gloria Pacis spoke about her son Stephen Funk, who refused deployment to Iraq.  He continues to resist and works closely with others in the movement.  She also asked for our support for her son.

The audience was involved, asked many questions and showed complete support for both mothers and their sons.  The speakers followed up after the Question and Answer period and each organization who endorsed this event was humbled by the courage of Lt. Watada, and pledged complete support in his fight that is upcoming this January.

Report by:  Elaine Brower,  World Can’t Wait, Drive Out the Bush Regime Steering Committee