US Soldiers Resisting the Iraq War
Santa Cruz, CA
01 May 2005 06:22 GMT
“By putting my weapons down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being,” said Camilo Mejia, the first US soldier to actively resist the Iraq War. The former US Army staff sergeant went AWOL in October 2003 while home on a two-week leave. It wasn't until March 15, 2004, that Mejia turned himself in to military commanders and filed for discharge as a conscientious objector, becoming the first veteran from Iraq to publicly challenge the morality of the war. In May 2004, he was convicted of desertion, and sentenced to nine months in the brig. Having recently been freed, Mejia is now on a speaking tour of the West Coast, and will visit Santa Cruz, on Wednesday, May 4th, 7:00 p.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Building, 846 Front St., next to the post office. Immediate wireless translation from English to Spanish translation will be available.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, CA, Navy sailor Pablo Paredes' request for conscientious objector status has been denied. His court martial is scheduled for May 11, inside the San Diego 32nd St. Naval Station. Various support activities and protests are being planned for May 10-13 in San Diego.
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