A group of approximately 15 Minnesotans, which includes members of Veterans for Peace were inspired to attend a national anti-war demonstration and civil disobedience event in front of the White House on December 16 in Washington D.C. In addition to the local delegation, members from various anti-war groups and veterans groups nationwide attended this largest U.S. veteran-led civil resistance to a war in many years.
In addition to veterans, the civil resistance included a number of prominent national figures such as “Pentagon Papers” whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, and prominent anti-war activists such as Cindy Sheehan. Participants from across the spectrum demonstrated the strong and growing commitment to changing the course of their nation’s war machine.
“During this season of peace, many of us will be traveling thousands of miles to risk arrest,” said Barry Reisch, Minnesotan Veteran for Peace, before the event. “The time to end these wars that cause so much suffering here and abroad is now. We are willing to put our bodies on the line to do just that.”
Peace advocates say the current polls show a majority of the Afghan people want the U.S. military to depart their country just as the President’s Afghanistan strategy review gets underway.
The advocates point to another source of hope from the documents and videos released by Wikileaks over the past year, that more Americans are now aware of the disastrous, untenable course of the U.S wars and the lack of real diplomacy carried out for decades under their name. From the release of “Collateral Murder” to the recent arrest of Julian Assange, the whole world has become more focused on our damaging foreign policy that has spanned administrations.
“By exposing the war crimes that many of us suspected, we must not forget that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and whistle-blower Bradley Manning have changed the way that many are viewing foreign policy right now,“ said Melissa Hill and Coleen Rowley. “We don’t want to see another generation of young men and women fight in illegal and immoral wars that the Obama administration refuses to stop escalating.”
For more information, visit the national website at www.stopthesewars.org or call Melissa Hill, 612-250-7178 or Barry Reisch, 651 757-8012.