Robin Long was the guest speaker Tuesday at the group's rally in Thunder Bay. The 23-year-old native of Boise, Idaho joined the U.S. Army in 2004 and was stationed at Fort Knox when he was told he was being shipped to the war in Iraq. Long says it wasn't an easy decision to abandon the army and move to Canada but his conscience wouldn't allow him to join a war he didn't support.
Long is currently fighting a deportation order, and splits his time between Nelson, B.C., and Marathon, where he has an 18-month old son.
The above, noted by Vince, is from "War Resisters group lobbys on behalf of U.S. deserters" (Thunder Bay's Source). Actions continue and you can make your voice heard by the Canadian parliament which has the ability to pass legislation to grant war resisters the right to remain in Canada. Three e-mails addresses to focus on are: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (email@example.com -- that's pm at gc.ca) who is with the Conservative party and these two Liberals, Stephane Dion (Dion.S@parl.gc.ca -- that's Dion.S at parl.gc.ca) who is the leader of the Liberal Party and Maurizio Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua.M@parl.gc.ca -- that's Bevilacqua.M at parl.gc.ca) who is the Liberal Party's Critic for Citizenship and Immigration. A few more can be found here at War Resisters Support Campaign. For those in the US, Courage to Resist has an online form that's very easy to use.
Feminist Peace Network's Lucinda Marshall has a letter to the Los Angeles Times entitled "Rape in the U.S. military:"
Unfortunately, this mind-set is consistent with the Pentagon's very poor record of prosecuting sexual assault and rape within the ranks while at the same time disregarding and further victimizing those who report these heinous crimes. To put these cases in perspective, there were 2,947 reports of sexual assaults in the military in 2006, an increase in reports of 24% over 2005. However, very few of these cases tend to be prosecuted. A Pentagon report [PDF] in March 2007 found that more than half of the investigations dating back to 2004 resulted in no action. When action was taken, only one third of the cases resulted in courts-martial.
Indeed, in many cases, the military seems more intent on intimidating and harassing the victims than investigating and prosecuting the charges. In 2004, after Lt. Jennifer Dyer reported being raped by a fellow officer at Camp Shelby, Miss., she said she was held in seclusion for three days, read her Miranda rights and threatened with criminal prosecution for filing a false report. After finally being given two weeks leave, she was threatened with prosecution for being AWOL when she would not report for duty to the same location where the man she had accused -- who was later acquitted on assault charges -- was still posted.
Lance Cpl. Sally Griffiths was also accused of lying after she reported being raped by a fellow Marine while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. It wasn't until she got access to her case file and found a statement by the Marine that confirmed her story that she was able to obtain the discharge she sought. The Marine she accused was never prosecuted. He continued to serve in the military and was promoted several times.After Army Spc. Suzanne Swift went AWOL instead of staying in the same unit as the soldiers who she accused of sexually harassing her, the Army court-martialed her when she refused a deal that would have forced her to remain in the military and sign a statement saying she had not been raped.
More recently, there have been the well-publicized cases of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who was murdered after accusing another Marine of rape, and Jamie Leigh Jones, who says that she was gang-raped while working for Halliburton/KBR in Iraq. Jones claims that after she reported her rape, the company put her in a shipping container and warned her that she would lose her job if she left Iraq for medical treatment. The rape kit collected by military medical personnel was lost after it was turned over to Halliburton/KBR. The Pentagon has refused to investigate or to testify before Congress.
In Green news:
Roger Snyder, Green Party of Suffolk, Chair(631) 351-5763
firstname.lastname@example.org / chair at gpsuffolk dot org
Kimberly Wilder, Green Party of Suffolk, Press Secretary(631) 422-4702 email@example.com
Green Party of Suffolk sponsors "End Global Warming" poster contest
The Green Party of Suffolk invites everyone to showcase their artistic talent and their commitment to end global warming by entering its second annual poster contest. The contest is open to everyone. The deadline for entry is April 9, 2008. Rules and a release form are available on-line at www.gpsuffolk.org. Or, you may contact the Green Party of Suffolk at (631) 351-5763.
There is a different poster contest theme each year based on the four pillars of the Green Party: non-violence; grassroots democracy; social and economic justice; and ecological wisdom. Last year’s contest theme sought an end to the War in Iraq. The 2007 Bring Home Our Troops Poster Contest winners were: David A. Komorowski of Miller Place, Alberto C. Castro of Tennessee, and Maya Gouw of South Setauket.
The categories have been expanded in 2008 for the End Global Warming Poster Contest. Four prizes of $25 will be awarded with the first category for Fifth Grade and under; the second for Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade; the third for Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade; and the last for Adult.
The Green Party has been at the forefront of the movement to address climate change and end global warming. The Green Party of New York State platform encourages: converting from fossil fuels; using renewable energy such as wind and solar; focusing on energy conservation; and restructuring the energy industry.
Winners of the End Global Warming Poster Contest will be announced at the Green Party of Suffolk Earth Day Fundraiser. Winners do not need to be present to claim their prize.
Green Party enrollees interested in working on this contest, or other Green Party projects, should attend the Saturday, March 8, 2008 Green party of Suffolk membership meeting at the Bellport UU. More information about the meeting and the fundraiser can be found at www.gpsuffolk.org or by calling (631) 351-5763.
The Green Party is an alternative to the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. In New York, voters can enroll in the Green Party by checking off the "other" box on a voter registration form, and writing in the word "Green." Background: www.gpsuffolk.org# # #
"Nobody's free until everybody's free"
What are the local greens up to?
Great place for cultural events, letter-writing campaigns, action alerts and more:
The People's President Page: Listing almost everyone running as independent, third party, or major party candidate.www.peoplespresidentpage.com
Remember Kimberly Wilder (On The Wilder Side) regularly features news on the latest in the Green Party.
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.