Supporters demand no court-martial for Lt. Watada
This just in from the lovely and compassionate Sallie Shawl of the South Sound Peace and Justice Center, regarding the upcoming events to support Lt. Watada:
(Ft. Lewis, WA)-- On August 16th, supporters from across Washington and the Northwest will converge on Ft. Lewis to rally in support of U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada on the eve of his Article 32 hearing and demand that he not be court-martialed for fulfilling his obligation under international law to refuse illegal orders.
In June Lt. Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. He has been charged with three counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, two counts (for the same statements) of contempt towards officials, specifically President G. W. Bush, and one count of missing movement. If found guilty of all charges, he could be sentenced to seven years in confinement, five of the years for speaking out.
Lt. Watada faces an Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury hearing, on August 17th. In such a hearing, the hearing officer may recommend the case be heard at a general or a special court-martial, receive non-judicial punishment or be dismissed outright.
Supporters will gather beginning at 4:00 p.m. for a 6:00 p.m. rally at the Interstate 5, Exit 119 bridge at the entrance to Fort Lewis.
Speakers will include Lt. Watada's father, Bob Watada; his civilian counsel, Eric Seitz; Jeff Patterson the first war resister to the Gulf War; and Lietta Ruger, Washington State Chapter Coordinator of Military Family Families Speak Out. The event will be MC’d by Phan Nguyen of the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace. Organizations from Bellingham to San Francisco are planning to attend.
South Sound Peace & Justice Center
(A program of Associated Ministries)
1224 South I Street
Tacoma, WA 98405
253-383-3056 ext 105
Categories: War & Peace, Local Groups