Saturday, April 07, 2012

Parades and baseball

Last week, Stephanie Casanova (Daily Wildcat) reported hundreds turned out in Tuscon for a Welcome Home Veterans Parade organized by Alan Toppel:

Tucsonans gathered along the parade route and clapped as vehicles cruised by with veterans and community members holding “Welcome Home” and “In Loving Memory of …” signs. From children to those who served in the Vietnam War, a diverse group of people came together to honor those who “enable our freedom,” said Alex Shemesh, a physiology senior.

KVOA offers video here. Today a parade was held in Houston, Texas. Demond Fernandez (KTRK -- link is text and video) reports, "The city of Houston saluted the local men and women who served this country during the Iraq war with a downtown parade, winding from the corner of Texas and San Jacinto to Minute Maid Park." Click2 Houston quotes (link is text and video) Houston Mayor Annise Parker declaring, "Houston has one of the largest veterans populations in the country. This is our opportunity as Houstonians to come forward and not do something we do every year, and not do something that is routine, but a special opportunity to say thank you to veterans who served in Iraq and are now coming home." The Houston Chronicle offers a photo essay, notes thousands turned out and that "KTRK-Channel 13 reports that uniformed veterans who participated in the parade, and their family members, got free admission to the baseball game."

On the topic of baseball, Matt Synder (CBS Sports) posts video today of the first pitch at Thursday's Pirates and Phillies match up which was thrown by Iraq War veteran Jeremy Feldsbusch.

Turning to the top of contractors, Charles Glass' new feature "The Warrior Class" (Harper's magazine) details the actions of various private contractors and they've posted clips of Blackwater in Iraq committing various abuses.

The following community sites -- plus Ms. magazine -- updated last night and today:

And we'll close with this Veterans for Peace press release:


NATIONAL OFFICE: 216 S. Meramec Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63105

PHONE: (314) 725-6005 FAX: (314) 725-7103 E-MAIL:

6 April 2012


Contact: Leah Bolger,, 541-207-7761

David Swanson,, 202-329-7847

20-Year Veteran to Face Jail Time for Act of Civil Disobedience

Disruption of Congressional “Super Committee” could result in 6-month sentence

Retired Naval Commander Leah Bolger will appear in court Thursday, April 12th 2012 on charges stemming from her arrest on October 26th, 2011. Bolger, who is a peace activist and the President of Veterans For Peace, interrupted a public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, commonly known as the Super Committee.

In a calm, articulate manner Bolger spoke for nearly a minute in the well of the Senate hearing room before Capitol Hill police escorted her out and placed her under arrest. Prominent social activist Ben Cohen praised Bolger for her courageous stand in this video which includes footage of her action: Bolger accused the sole witness, Chief Budget Officer Douglas Elmendorf, of obfuscating the true costs of military spending, and implored the Committee to enact the people’s plan for reducing the deficit—end the wars and tax the rich.

Ralph Nader, a member of Veterans For Peace, applauded retired Naval Commander, Bolger's effort to challenge the Super Committee for a minute of an un-scheduled reminder that cutting much needed social programs that saves lives rather than cutting the bloated military budget and taxing the 1% is Congressional insanity. "The government is dysfunctional, working for corporate interests rather than providing for the peoples necessities. Bolger showed what active citizens should be doing peacefully-- confronting the corruption head on and making sure the public knows what is really going on. She should be honored for her actions."

Bolger was a member of the Occupation of Washington, DC at Freedom Plaza. The occupation protested the Super Committee by holding an Occupied Super Committee hearing which was aired on C-SPAN, see CSPAN Coverage of Occupied Super Committee Hearings, and produced its own report. By cutting military spending and taxing the wealthy, the Occupied Super Committee reached the ten year deficit targets set by President Obama and Congress in two years, and was able to fund a jobs program, forgive student debt and secure social programs. See The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending. As a result of the actions of Bolger, the Occupy movement and other activists, the Super Committee, which had been on course to cut Social Security and Medicare, decided not to issue a report.

A press conference will be held at 8:30 am, Thursday April 12th in front of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 500 Indiana Ave NW, Washington DC. Those scheduled to speak and/or answer questions include:

Leah Bolger, defendant, President of Veterans For Peace (VFP)

Mark Goldstone, attorney for the defendant

Art Brennan, NH Retired Superior Court Associate Justice, member of VFP

Kevin Zeese, Co-director, Its Our Economy, organizer of Occupy Washington, DC

David Swanson, author, activist, radio host, member of VFP


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