Courage to Resist is proud of our record of supporting US service members who have objected to endless war for empire. Here are a few highlights of our collective’s efforts since 2003.

2016

Clemency campaign for Chelsea Manning

Having launched a campaign for a presidential pardon for whistle-blower Chelsea Manning in 2013, Courage to Resist and the Chelsea Manning Support Network made a final push to press the issue in the final days of the Obama presidency. Tens of thousands sign a new whitehouse.gov petition, Courage to Resist sent it’s 50,000th individual letter to Obama, and supporters gathered again at Fort Leavenworth to protest Chelsea’s conditions of confinement. Meanwhile, Chelsea Manning contingents continued to be fixture at Pride parades worldwide.

Shut Down Creech and Demand an End to Killer Drones

Courage to Resist was proud to sponsor the second “Shut Down Creech” protest at Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, to demand the end to the Obama administration’s murderous drone campaigns. “We know that under President Obama, the drone wars have continued to escalate, and this election year, we must take an even bigger stand against these killing machines,” we wrote before the protest, “We must educate the public so they understand the fallacy that these machines keep us ‘safer’. We know that drones create more terrorists, through killing innocent civilians and terrorizing entire communities.” Over 20 activists were arrested at the action. “We are acting in solidarity with whistleblowers and current drone warriors who have suffered moral injury from their work at Creech, yet who are unable to take this kind of direct action without severe consequences, and on behalf of victims of drone war crimes,” said activist Renee Espeland. Read more

Activists Gather for 10th Annual Berkeley Peace Flag Raising

Courage to Resist was proud to participate in the 10th Annual Berkeley Conscientious Objectors’ Day (and War Resisters’ Day) at the flagpoles in front of Berkeley’s City Hall. The event was sponsored by the City of Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. Read more

2015

Objector Robert Weilbacher Finally Freed

We celebrated Conscientious Objector Robert Weilbacher, a medic stationed in South Korea, becoming a free man after he received an Administrative Honorable Discharge from the Army. “Moral injury is a real thing. I was being forced to participate in an organization that I had a moral and ethical dilemma against,” declared Robert, “Yet the Army was hell-bent on sending a statement to other potential objectors that you should not apply for this as it will cost you a lot mentally and physically. I want to tell you to stand up against this system of injustice and immorality. If we are silent, we are complicit.” Weilbacher singled out Courage to Resist’s Jeff Paterson for his consistent support: A lot of the people who supported me while I was overseas..I got to thank them, personally, for their support—including Jeff Paterson. His support and the support of all of the donors to my case gave the ACLU the appropriate ability to put significant pressure on the Army to release me.” Read more

Anti-Drone Protesters Arrested at Creech Air Force Base

150 antiwar activists protested at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada, drawing attention to the Obama administration’s killer drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Although the protest was nonviolent, and no one was injured, 33 of the protesters were arrested for “blocking the road and trespassing”. In 2005, Creech Air Force Base secretly became the first US base in the country to carry out illegal, remotely controlled assassinations using Predator drones. “Americans have been led to believe in the fantasy that drones are special weapons that can stop terrorism,” said activist Nick Mottern, “but the solution to ‘terrorism’ is obviously not for the United States to do more killing.” Courage to Resist was proud to sponsor the event, along with CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Nevada Desert Experience, Veterans For Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Read more

Honolulu Presentation: Chelsea Manning and War Resisters

Presentation by Courage to Resist and Chelsea Manning Network’s Jeff Paterson, former Kaneohe Bay Marine who publicly refused to deploy to the Gulf War which featured Jacob Bridge, active duty Kaneohe Bay Marine officer Conscientious Objector applicant. Kyle Kajihiro, advocate for downsizing the US Army on Oahu, Hawaii Peace & Justice activist Nancy Aleck, evening moderator, Executive Director of Hawai’i People’s Fund. Read more

“Spring Rising” Anti-war Actions

“Spring Rising” was a  four day event of creative resistance; theater, teach-ins; rallies and marches marking the anniversary of the United States’ “shock and awe” attack on Iraq and subsequent illegal war. Courage to Resist was proud to be one of many organizations participating and endorsing the events. Read more

2014

Objector Sara Beining Released From Jail

Military war resister Sara Beining was sentenced to time already served in pre-trial confinement, and given a “bad conduct” discharge. Sara originally faced a decade in prison on two counts of desertion, so this was a major victory. Sara benefited greatly from the representation of attorney James Branum of Oklahoma City. Mr. Branum’s services and expenses were paid for by Courage to Resist and our supporters nationwide. Read more

West Coast GI Coffeehouse Tour

In a campaign reminiscent of Vietnam War days, military veterans and family members traveled to ten west coast cities promoting GI outreach centers in Texas, Washington state, and Germany. The tour kicked off in San Diego and was sponsored by Courage to Resist, Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, War Resisters League, Military Law Task Force, Center for Conscience and War, March Forward, Center for Conscience in Action, Catalyst Project, and GI Rights Network. “This unique tour reminds us of the key role GI’s have played in ending wars,” said Iraq veteran Malachi Muncy.  “It is critically important to address the complex needs of today’s veterans, active duty GI’s, and family members, who have suffered much from multiple deployments to the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Read more

SOA Watch’s 25th Anniversary Vigil

Courage to Resist was proud to be an endorsing organization for the School of the Americas Watch’s 25th anniversary vigil at Ft. Benning, Georgia. We joined others to remember the martyrs and denounce continued SOA violence against our brothers and sisters in Latin America. Read more

Welcome Home Bowe Bergdahl

Courage to Resist celebrated Sgt. Bergdahl returning home. “Nothing exposes the decadence of American militarism and the ideology of American exceptionalism better than the explosion of emotion sweeping the internet, Congress and the news media over the prisoner exchange of Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban,” wrote Winston Warfield at Counterpunch, “He is being vilified as a deserter and personally responsible for the deaths of fellow soldiers missioned to find him [a claim debunked by the NY Times]. The American right-wing located in the Republican party, some liberals like Chris Matthews and Dianne Feinstein and some of his fellow soldiers are all calling for his head in a display of vengeful nastiness bordering on psychotic. Bergdahl’s motivations for walking away from the bizarre U.S. counterinsurgency expedition in Afghanistan, a ‘dirty war’ seemingly without purpose or end, are being lost in the fog of infantile political temper tantrums.”  Read more

Chelsea Manning Celebrates Formal Name Change

It was an exciting day when Chelsea was able to formally change her name from “Bradley Edward Manning” to “Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.” “I’ve been working for months for this change, and waiting for years,” she said. “It’s worth noting that in both mail and in-person, I’ve often been asked, ‘Why are you changing your name?’”, she continued, “The answer couldn’t be simpler: because it’s a far better, richer, and more honest reflection of who I am and always have been –a woman named Chelsea.” Read more

2013

Kimberly Rivera Released From Military Prison

Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera was released from Miramar military confinement facility in San Diego, California. “Kim is officially released and here with me. God bless all of you for your help and support. Love you all,” exclaimed her husband Mario. Courage to Resist, Amnesty International, and tens of thousands of individuals worldwide unsuccessfully appealed to Fort Carson Senior Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Bills to use his clemency authority to grant Kim an early release. Shortening her sentence by only a couple of weeks would have allowed Kim to have her baby in a civilian hospital, and not be separated from her newborn. Kimberly served a ten month military prison sentence for having taken her family to Canada in order to refuse redeployment to Iraq. Read more

A Week of Action for Chelsea Manning

Courage to Resist organized one thousand people to march on Manning at Ft. Meade to kick off a week of international actions, as Chelsea Manning’s court martial finally began. Dozens of solidarity events took place across the world, including: Seoul, Toronto, London, Heidelberg, Cardiff, and Honolulu. In calling for support, we reiterated the importance of the case: “The outcome of this trial will determine whether a conscience-driven 25-year-old WikiLeaks whistle-blower spends the rest of his life in prison. [Chelsea] believed that the American people have a right to know the truth about what our government does around the world in our name. We the People must send a message to the military prosecuting authority, and President Obama, that [Chelsea] Manning is a patriot and heroic truth-teller. Later in year, Chelsea was found not guilty of “aiding the enemy”, but still sentenced to 35-years in prison. Read more

Berkeley Benefit for Chelsea Manning

Courage to Resist and KPFA Radio presented a benefit for Chelsea Manning, featuring whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and journalist Kevin Gosztola. The event was held at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. Read more

Epic Chelsea Manning Contingent Storms SF Pride

Over 1,000 supporters of Chelsea Manning, marched in the Chelsea Manning Support Network contingent in the SF Pride Parade, organized in collaboration with Courage to Resist. It was the largest non-corporate contingent in the Parade, second only to Google overall. The contingent featured former military strategist and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and featured dozens of supporters riding a trolley car, the Brass Liberation Orchestra marching band, and a synchronized dance group doing a routine to Michael Jackson’s “They don’t care about us”. Read more

Tear Down the Walls Conference

Members of the Courage to Resist and the Manning Support Network joined other activists at the Tear Down the Walls Conference hosted by the Alliance for Global Justice in Tucson, AZ. Modeled in part on the U.S. Social Forum, Tear Down the Walls, drew people working on many different of issues (ranging from immigrant rights to and demilitarization) in order to discuss how to better integrate our varied but interconnected struggles. Read more

2012

300 March on Ft. Meade in Support of Manning

At least 300 supporters gathered outside Fort Meade, Maryland, where the military was in its second day of a preliminary hearing process for Chelsea Manning. Manning supporters gathered and then set off for a two-mile march to a gate nearer the military hearing site. Following the march, a number of speakers addressed the crowd and discussed Manning’s case. After the final speaker singer-songwriter Dave Rovics led the group in singing Happy Birthday to Manning, who was turning 24. Read more

Rallies at Obama Offices for Chelsea Manning

Six veterans and activists in Oakland, and six more in Portland, were arrested at Obama 2012 campaign offices for occupying the spaces in solidarity with Chelsea Manning. Dozens of veterans and anti-war demonstrators also coordinated a West Coast set of actions that also included protests in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle. One of the protesters was Iraq War vet Scott Olsen. “We occupied the President’s campaign office to raise awareness about the injustices [Chelsea] Manning has endured,” he explained,  “Bradley has sacrificed for us, doing what was right despite potentially spending the rest of his life in jail.” Read more

Presentation by Chelsea Manning’s Lawyer

Chelsea Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs gave his first public presentation to an audience of over a hundred people at All Souls Church in Washington DC. Additional speakers included Emma Cape and Kevin Zeese of the Chelsea Manning Support Network, the late Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, and Marsha Coleman-Adebayo of the National Whistleblower Center. Mr. Coombs specifically noted the ongoing support of Courage to Resist and its efforts to free Manning. Read more

Free Chelsea Manning Events

Courage to Resist organizers Jeff Paterson and Emma Cape toured Minneapolis, Washburn, Madison, Ann Arbor, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, Ventura, Palm Springs and San Diego and presented multimedia presentations on Chelsea Manning’s case. The presentations included an overview of the case, reports from the pre-trial motion hearings and updates on  the international grassroots campaign. Read more

2011

Manning Supporters Rally at Quantico

Over 150 people risked arrest at the gates to the Marine Corps base at Quantico in order to protest the inhumane conditions Chelsea Manning had been held in for, at that point, seven months. Earlier in the day, many of these activists rallied outside FBI Headquarters in Washington to protest raids on antiwar organizers in Chicago and Minneapolis. These actions were organized by Courage to Resist and other organizations, including the Defending Dissent Foundation, WarIsACrime.org, DC Bill of Rights Coalition, Progressive Democrats of America, World Can’t Wait, DC National Lawyers Guild, CodePink, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, Witness Against Torture, and the Backbone Campaign. Read more

Campaign Ends Torturous Treatment of Chelsea Manning

After thousands across the globe pushed for better treatment of Chelsea Manning her lead defense attorney, David E. Coombs, confirmed that she was no longer under harsh pretrial conditions but Medium Custody confinement. “We won this battle because 600,000 individuals took the time to write letters and sign petitions, because thousands called the White House switchboard, because 300 of America’s top legal scholars decried Bradley’s pre-trial conditions as a clear violation of our Constitution’s 5th and 8th Amendments,” declared Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist and the Chelsea Manning Support Network. “We won this battle because over a hundred concerned citizens engaged in civil disobedience at the White House and at Quantico, and because our grassroots campaign shows no sign of slowing.” Read more

Manning Supporters Cause Ruckus at President’s Fundraiser

Pressure on Obama was applied by Chelsea Manning supporters right away. President Obama met with 150 donors to his 2012 reelection campaign and nearly two dozen of his contributors on the treatment of Chelsea Manning. Fundraiser attendee Logan Price had an opportunity to speak to the president for a few minutes. “I explained to the president that [Chelsea] Manning..is in fact the Daniel Ellsberg and Pentagon Papers of my generation,” she said, “We need to stand up for whistleblowers. President Obama disagreed with me, noting that he ‘could not conduct open source diplomacy.’ But when I asked him about the democratic revolutions in the Middle East, he backpedaled.” Read more

PayPal Reinstates the Courage to Resist Account After Protests

After a massive backlash PayPal agreed to reinstate the account of Courage to Resist. PayPal had frozen the account after Courage to Resist refused to link its PayPal account to its checking account, which would give the online payment provider access to funds in the checking account. Courage to Resist’s Jeff Paterson released a statement after the account was restored: “Thank you to all of our supporters – many of whom contacted PayPal individually or signed the petition hosted by Firedoglake – who helped us restore our account. We are extremely grateful to everyone who raised their voice today. While PayPal was never a primary channel for our online donors, it is especially valuable to our international supporters who do not use US-based credit cards or checks. I hope you will now help us get back to our real work in support of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower [Chelsea] Manning.” Read more