Darrell Anderson -- who spent seven months in Iraq, received a Purple Heart and later deserted from the Army -- set up camp [C.I. note: This is Camp Resistance.] in a school bus earlier this month across the freeway from Fort Lewis. As soldiers exited the base, Anderson offered them a power fist of protest.
Sometimes the soldiers responded with jeers and raised middle fingers. Sometimes, they cheered and clenched their own fists or flashed a peace sign.
"A lot of them have families to take care of. They can't resist. They have too much to lose," Anderson said. "They don't want to be like me with nothing, by the side of the road, talking about how wrong it is."
Anderson was drawn to the Northwest by the upcoming court-martial trial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis officer who faces up to six years in prison for his refusal to serve a first tour of duty in Iraq and for attacks on the Bush administration's conduct of the war.
The trial has become a rallying point for Northwest anti-war activists, who have scheduled a "citizens hearing" on the legality and conduct of the war in Tacoma this weekend. And Anderson, speaking at rallies, schools and meeting halls, has emerged as a vivid protest voice against the wrenching emotional toll of fighting a war amid a civilian population.
The above is from Hal Bernton's "Upcoming Watada trial drew Army deserter to Northwest" (Seattle Times) and we'll be addressing (or that's the plan) at The Third Estate Sunday Review tomorrow. The trial is Citizens' Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq which started today and concludes Sunday at the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus (10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day).
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