It is important to emphasize that the reason why I’m spending so much time and energy focusing on – what – one War Protest in Washington, DC when over the past decade or so there have been hundreds?
Before Christmas, I went through every video posted on YouTube, Facebook (and other social media sites), and I was not surprise to see that there was enough independent coverage of this one event to make an hour documentary movie.
Point: The videos clearly show that mainstream media is (1) intentionally ignoring dissenting views on Iraq and Afghanistan (Media Blackout of the Wars – no surprise there), or worse yet (2) mainstream media is being prevented from getting anywhere near the war protesters by law enforcement efforts to keep both the media and public from getting anywhere near the Peace activists, even if mainstream media had an interest.
This after action report was sent into VT by Steve Fryburg, the Dayton Ohio rep for Veterans for Peace.
Bobby Hanafin, Veterans Issues Editor, VT News Network
These are the times that try men’s souls…
Winter Soldiers Confront the White House: Mass Arrests as They Put Their Bodies on the Line for Peace
Steve Fryburg, of Dayton, participated in the Veterans for Peace action at the White House last week, and was arrested. That’s him looking at the camera. Below the picture is a little of what Steve wrote about the experience. Steve’s son was in Iraq at the start of the war, and he is himself a veteran.
“Share by all means. The media didn’t do anything with it and the public needs to know that Veterans, including a Police Officer, a Doctor, and many other Americans are willing to go to jail in increasing numbers, because our leaders won’t listen to reason about Afghanistan.
I felt I was in wonderful company. Most of us bonded out of jail, so we won’t have to return. The misdemeanor charge was failure to obey a lawful [police] order.
“I got out of jail at a little after 5pm and got back to my car by 6 to drive back to Ohio. I arrived back in Dayton around 3am. I had the honor of sharing a jail cell with Daniel Ellsberg for a little while during processing. He has always been one of my heroes so that made my day. Only bad part about it was my old body rebels against having my arms cuffed behind my back for several hours, so I’m feeling a little sore today. But compared to School of the Americas, I’m sure this was a picnic. As a law enforcement officer, it was a really strange feeling being on the receiving end of the arrest.”
The complete YouTube video footage I was able to shoot can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg7CsI679oE . The last part of the video I had stepped down from the fence to take another video shot and that is when the police got me, I was number 52 to be arrested. We, Veterans for Peace will be returning in April 2011 for another such action.
Chris Hedge (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent) gave a very inspiring speech before the action that can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOde31QYbI0.
[Below is a moving photo Steve posted of the family members who had lost loved ones in Afghanistan in the last weeks. This was one of the most sad and touching images to come out of the civil disobedience action on 16 Dec 2010.]
Saturday, December 18, 2010
These are the times that try men’s souls…
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Thomas Paine, The Crises, 12-23-1776.
- Bill Homans, [musician] Watermelon Slim (VVAW) was in D,C. in the company of other VVAW members, who were there in support of Veterans For Peace’s call to action for Civil Disobedience; that of chaining themselves to the White House fence at the end of a march from Lafayette park, to the White House. Slim had come to town with Zach Choate, a Southeast Region IVAW member, that is an Operation Recovery activist and spokesperson.
Those in the photo below right (courtesy of Bill Perry), are Al Kovnat, Dr Jon Bjornson, Sam Adams, and Bill Perry of the Philly Chapter of VVAW, and Jim Baldridge (holding the flag staff) of the Baltimore Chapter. I have no idea who it was that is kneeling in front, or holding up the flag tip on the right side; but, thanks for being there with my brothers. These folks joined with others at the White House fence, and handcuffed or chained themselves to it in solidarity, and with unity of purpose; that of ending the continuing war in Afghanistan…all were arrested, as seen in the compelling video (below) of the speech by Chris Hedges, and the accompanying arrests of all Winter Soldiers present and accounted for…
In all, 131 Peace activists from Veterans for Peace (VFP), Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), including Daniel Ellsberg (member of VFP) and members of supporting organizations were arrested as a result of their Civil Disobedience.
It was reported that two-thirds were Veterans, and the remainder were from Code Pink and other organizations that were there to Take A Stand For Peace On Earth. They were unified in purpose in calling for an immediate end to the continuing war in Afghanistan.
Join us as the resistance continues to grow:
Cartoon from VT public domain source –
Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I’ve posted on Veterans Today, I’ve had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner.
My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me.
Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000.
I’ve been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I’m now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house.
I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.