Oaktown Pirate

oaktownlive:

Via IVAWSF:

NO MORE KILLINGS, NO MORE APOLOGIES

What:

Direct action in fremont CA to protest the US occupation of afghanistan and to hold the military accountable for the trauma it inflicts.

When:

2:00pm – Meet at Fremont BART
2:30pm – March to Army Recruiting Center (39194 Paseo Padre Pkwy)

Why: 

Communities in Oakland have been struggling against police violence, surveillance, criminalization, and incarceration for generations. Police here are becoming more and more militarized daily, there are joint trainings between local police, the U.S. military, IDF, and Bahrainy security forces. Soldiers, trained killers returning from war, are joining the local police forces. Local police departments are investing in and using military grade weapons for low intensity warfare upon civilians here. We experienced the raids and night raids here in Oakland. Many of us were beaten or brutalized by rubber bullets, bean bags, and tear gas canisters; even more of us were witness to those violent actions on the part of the Oakland police department. Now imagine that situation under the conditions of actual warfare with soldiers using live rounds, grenades, and bombs.

Those are the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan every single day. The massacre of 16 Afghans in Panjwai, Kandahar, nine of whom were children, is not an isolated incident. It just happened to get media attention. We’re outraged not only about this latest atrocity, but by the drone attacks, the night raids, the “kill teams” murdering for sport and collecting body parts as trophies, the urinating on dead Afghan bodies while filming it, and the burning of Qurans. In addition to the recent wave of atrocities, there is an agreement being negotiated known as the “U.S./Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement,” which, if passed, will extend U.S. military presence in Afghanistan until 2024 and beyond.

In Afghanistan and throughout the worldwide Afghan community, people are rising up to military and police violence and holding mass protests. As Afghans, Muslims, and people of color, we call upon communities of resistance, upon Decolonize Oakland, Occupy Oakland, Occupy SF, and other allies, to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people. We ask you to stand up and join us and our nonviolent direct actions. We encourage you all to have your own autonomous actions as you see fit as well. We need to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people and end the military occupation that is having devastating consequences on communities both at home and abroad. We also need to stand in solidarity with economically disenfranchised youth of color who are targeted by military recruiters and end up joining the military as their only way out of systematic oppression at home. Recruiters with quotas target our children, not only in high school but middle schools, so we are talking about 12 year olds.

For these reasons, as our first nonviolent direct action, we have chosen to shut down the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Fremont.

*** We’d like to clearly state that this is a NON-VIOLENT direct action. ***

Organized by:
Afghans for Peace
Autonomous Afghans
SF Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War

Endorsed by:
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
Courage to Resist
World Can’t Wait SF Bay

For more info:

http://AfghansForPeace.org/

http://facebook.com/AfghansforPeace

http://occupyoakland.org/2012/03/1-for-31512-ga-proposal-for-afghan-solidarity-action/

TOL will be Live & Direct from this action starting ~1:45ish

Previously:

-“Empty Boots”, A poem by US Army veteran Ruben Paul Santos, who lost his battle w/ PTSD in 2009. RIP.

-481 pairs of boots, dunno how many shoes, and an hour & 45 of silence: “Eyes Wide Open (California), one last time

My hand grips the seat, awkward in debate
500 vacant boots lying, tagged, awaiting voyeurs of war
One name I know is there, Spc. John K. KLeinsmith, Jr, age 25
And I can’t face it
Unable to face myself, my ailment
I imagine paying respect as I did in Baghdad
Saluting the onyx bag, the gleaming of the planes lights
Refusing to tear
Coward that I am, I choose not to go, not to cry, not to dissolve my fear
Not to see more names I know
I hear of those that went
Of mothers and fathers who kiss and hug their children’s boots and clench those that are with
To smell them one more time to light memory
I bristle and breathe, fighting
Buckets of water splashed onto windows
Wipe tear and snot onto sleeve or tissue
Holding onto denial that is burning cancer into hope
and furthers immerseive video games
As long as it’s played, the thoughts are kept in reserve

Ruben Paul Santos was an Iraq War veteran and poet who lost his battle with PTSD on October 16, 2009.

On March 19th, 2012, the 9th anniversary of the Iraq War, Ruben’s mother Paula, with her husband Ruben present, shared their son’s poem Empty Boots at IVAWSF’s display of the “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit to highlight the ongoing problem of PTSD and veteran suicide. (Video of the day)

Apologies for any mistakes made transcribing.

RIP, Ruben.

(via oaktownlive)

oaktownlive:

@IVAWSF #EyesWideOpen #Veterans #Suicide #Iraq

On March 19th, 2012, Iraq Veterans Against the War SF commemorated the 9th anniversary of the Iraq War by displaying the American Friends Service Committee exhibit “Eyes Wide Shut” across from San Francisco City Hall.

Part 1: The reading of the names on the boots, as well as the names (and often nameless details) of a small fraction of the Iraqi dead due to the war.

00-~32:00: Reading the names of the California Iraq War dead. Apologies if I missed a name or two off the front end.

~33:15: Farah, an Iraqi Native, reads some of the names of the Iraqi civilian war dead.

55:00: Melanie Yates(sp?) (IVAW), a public affairs specialist in Iraq. “My job was to make the war look good.”

58:50: Ryan Holloran (IVAW), active duty soldier from Ft. Hood

1:02:00: Michael Blecker(sp?), Vietnam Vet, from Swords to Plowshares

1:05:45: Scott Olsen (IVAW), the Marine veteran of 2 tours in Iraq who was shot w/ a beanbag round by riot police in Oakland

1:11:00 - Farah M. of the Iraqi Student Project, speaking as a member of the Iraqi community in the Bay Area

1:17:50 - Jason M. (IVAW) reads a staemenmt from Graham Klumpner (sp?) (IVAW) who lives in Denver, re: Afghanistan

1:23:00 - Marilyn Saner, mother of an injured Iraq Veteran, speaks about toll of multiple deployments

1:28:00 - Dottie Guy (IVAW), member of the SF Veterans Affairs Commission

1:30:15 - Paula Santos, along with her husband Ruben. Their son Ruben jr, an Iraq vet, lost his battle with PTSD and committed suicide. They read a poem he wrote on why he couldn’t come see the “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit when he had the chance, choosing instead to play video games.

1:35:30 - IVAW announces they will observe 1 second of silence for every military suicide since the beginning of the Iraq War, while blocking the intersection across Polk st in front of the City Hall steps. This will take 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 30s

Recorded live on my iPhone on 3/19/12 at 12:04 PDT

oaktownlive:

Today Iraq Veterans Against The War laid out the American Friend’s Service exhibit “Eyes Wide Open” for the last time:

Eyes Wide Open, the American Friends Service Committee’s widely-acclaimed exhibition on the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, features a pair of empty boots honoring each U.S. military casualty.  The exhibit started in January 2004 when the US casualties in Iraq numbered 500 as a local project in Chicago.  As the casualties grew so did the exhibit and it toured the country extensively until May 2007, when the casualties in Iraq numbered 3500 and it was determined to split the exhibit up into smaller state-based exhibits.  Eyes Wide Open has been seen by millions of people across the country and has involved thousands of volunteers. Eyes Wide Open continues to tell the story of the human cost of war in 46 states with boots representing US deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and shoes representing Iraqi and Afghan civilians.

TOL, along with CourtneyOccupy, PunkBoyInSF, and PixPls were streaming today. And I found it profoundly moving.

I’ll probably have more to say about this tomorrow, after I sleep on it and process a little more.

The war is over, and yet the violence in Iraq continues. The damage that so many vets have brought home with them continues.

Today members of IVAWSF held a press conference where they read out each the 481 names of military Californians killed in Iraq. Then a member of the Iraqi community in the Bay Area read out a mere fraction of the names of Iraqis killed.

Then in the memory of every veteran who died by suicide since Sept. 11th, 2001, the vets observed ONE SECOND OF SILENCE while standing in pretty ordered ranks blocking the crosswalk across Polk st in front of the SF City Hall stairs.

One second per veteran suicide since Sept. 11th, 2001 took an hour and forty minutes. While there was some doubt for a while, in the ind SFPD allowed the action to go forward and didn’t arrest a bunch of Iraq vets observing their fallen comrades by blocking one of the lesser used stretches of San Francisco.

Good call, that.

Today was the ninth anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq. President Obama declared it a “National Day of Honor”. Great. So how much are you increasing the VA’s budget?

I’ll write more tomorrow, maybe just expand this post. But for now, I’m gonna embed some links and call it a night.

-Pirate, on behalf of TOL

Pt 1: IVAWSF “Eyes Wide Open” Press conference

Pt 2: IVAWSF observes 1 second of silence for every US military suicide since Sept 11th, 2001.

"Eyes WIde Open", SF, March 19, 2012

Grandmothers Against The War