Iraq anti-war vet Matthis Chiroux Hearing March 12 with/Army reactivation to Iraq

Statement from Matthis Chrioux

February 2, 2009

I have a date with the military.

March 12, I'll attend a board hearing in St. Louis, Missouri, to determine what the nature of my discharge from the Individual Ready Reserve will be. The Army has alleged "misconduct" and they're shooting for a "general discharge," but I'm pushing for "honorable," as my refusal to deploy was not an act of misconduct.

I will attend this hearing in uniform as ordered, but only for the purpose of these administrative proceedings. I'm not contesting the fact that I did not report as ordered to deploy to Iraq. However, I intend to paint a clear picture of my convictions to the military, and I seek to corroborate them with first hand accounts of occupation.

No person is bound to act against the dictates of conscience, let alone their understanding of the law. I know the occupation of Iraq and further the Global War on Terror to be an illegitimate and ultimately murderous campaign waged for economic gain, fueled by misinformation and greed. I know it to be in violation of not only international law, but the U.S. Constitution. Far more importantly, it is against the dictates of my own conscience, and never again will I compromise my humanity to support or ignore the crimes of my government.

I will be working closely with Iraq Veterans Against the War to plan what we hope will reflect a Winter Soldier event in the form of our members testifying under oath to the military about their experiences in the Global War on Terror.

I seek only truth to be heard and considered by the military. If reconciliation is possible, I seek that, as well.

If we are a democracy, than ultimately we the people are responsible for the actions of our government. When those actions bring about crimes against humanity in the forms of occupation, torture and war profiteering, it is our duty as people to resist.

I stand for humanity, the rule of law and the rights of people, be they Arab or American, to cast off their oppressors, be they foreign or domestic...and even challenge them in court, which is what, in essence, I am doing.

The Army in no way has forced this hearing upon me. I demanded this hearing from them to oppose the General Discharge, and I thank them for providing me due process.

We are continuing to gather funds needed to cover travel expenses and accommodation for those who will be testifying. I hope anywhere from fifteen to thirty veterans, military family members, Iraqi civilians and constitutional experts will appear before my board. Please consider making a donation to my defense campaign either through my website,, or through

This information, when presented to the military, will provide a clear contrast to the official narrative of the Global War on Terror and establish a firm base for my actions in reality as recalled by those who lived it.

As well, I have recently returned to New York from Washington D.C. where in addition to watching our new president be inaugurated and demanding our old one be prosecuted, I visited the offices of the Congressional Signatories to my support letter from last summer.

As I write this, they are penning another letter of support which will be more widely circulated in Congress than the first to be sent to President Obama before my hearing. As well, several Members have expressed interest in appearing in person to voice support for me and troops like me in March.

I will mobilize as much media as possible to put the critical issue of war resistence to the American people for judgment, but I need your help to get the word out. Please forward this information far and wide, especially in St. Louis, and contact me if you'd be interested in helping organize or participating in a national day of action to support war resisters on March 12. I'd like to make it a day to send a clear demand to President Obama that he halt the military from prosecuting troops refusing to participate in the Global War on Terror.

In these most critical times for our service members and the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others, I ask the American people to consider that change will not manifest itself in this country until society halts the unjust practices of the past, among them prosecuting Soldiers of conscience.

We tried to bring this message to President Obama at the final presidential debate. Tragically, Joe the plumber took precedence that evening, and Nick Morgan the Iraq Vet was nearly crushed by a police horse during a violent crackdown on our peaceful demonstration.

Hopefully, President Obama will hear our voices this time and understand that enough blood has been shed in Baghdad, Kabul, Waziristan and Hempstead alike. It is time for a just peace, at home and abroad.

But for peace to exist, first must occur reconciliation, and for reconciliation to occur, first must exist truth.

Truth is what led me to resist, and it is that truth now that leads me to St. Louis. Win or loose, my life WILL reflect truth and is dedicated to preserving human rights. The truth is, there is no other path I can walk. The Army proved that to me and now I'll prove it to them.

More to follow on various fundraisers, events and our national day of action. As always, I am grateful to all for your interest, support and dedication to peace and justice. I look forward to the whirlwind of activism that will be the next 39 days.

Peace and Solidarity,

Matthis Chiroux

Statement by Luis Barrios concerning sentencing for protest to Close the School of the Americas

My Transgression Turns Me Into a Prisoner of Conscience

Father Luis Barrios

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of
great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. Dante (1265-1321)

A solidarity greeting and blessings

On Monday, January 26, 2009, in the city of Columbus, Georgia, the Honorable Judge G. Mallon Faircloth, Federal Court, found me along with five others – Sister Diane T. Pinchot, Louis N. Wolf, Theresa Cusimano, Albert L. Simmon, and Krysten L. Holm - guilty of crossing and entering the gates of the military base Fort Benning which houses the School of the Américas. This SOA is the military school where Latin American soldiers are trained in torture, disappearance, and assassination techniques, to protect anti-democratic governments and, of course, the imperialist interests of the political, economic, and military hegemony of the US government in Latin America.

At the time of our arrest, due to the act of civil disobedience, our message was clear and precise: shut down the school of the assassins! I added to this process the element of being able to bring justice for my saint and spiritual guide, San Romero of The Américas (San Romero de Las Américas), assassinated by graduates of the School of the Américas. This is my offering of gratefulness to him.

After the court hearing, four federal officials drove me to be finger-printed and photographed, and later to listen to other officials, who made sure to remind me on countless occasions that I now belong to the prison system. The sentence requires us to serve two months at a federal prison, the actual location to be selected by the prison system, and it will become effective in approximately three or four weeks. In the interim, I must report to an officer on a weekly basis so they can track my whereabouts and actions.

Why, then, a prisoner of conscience?

A prisoner of conscience (POC) is any person that has been imprisoned because of his race, religion, color of skin, language, sexual orientation, or creed, as long as the person has not committed or practiced violence. The term was created by the Association for the Defense of Human Rights Amnesty International, at the beginning of the 1960’s (

On this occasion, the action for which I am going to be imprisoned is of a social, political, moral, and spiritual character. This action was very well planed, within the context of non-violent, civil disobedience and resistance. I am not guilty of committing any crime against humanity. However, I recognize that I am guilty of being a transgressor of any “law” that pretends to justify oppression, exclusion, or assassination! I do it because these are not laws!

What did I want to make clear to the Judge?

First, that it is not correct when it is said that there are pre-established laws and that it is my duty to obey them. I told the judge very clearly that he was wrong, because unjust laws are not laws, thus it was not my duty to obey what is not just. Furthermore, I clarified that those were the exact reasons why Jesus disobeyed in Palestine, Mahatma Gandhi in India, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Cesar Chávez and Rosa Park here in the United States, Luisa Capetillo in Puerto Rico, just to mention a few. However, I want to emphasize that I am not comparing myself to these teachers of justice, their shoes being too large for me. I was humbly looking for examples that could illustrate my actions.

Similarly, the message was clear when it was explained that it is not correct try to divorce US government foreign policy from the creation of the School of the Americas. Namely, it has become clear, since the implementation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 –which promotes the isolationism of the new continent and the veto of the European nations’ intentions to intervene in the Americas, that there is a project of dominance and control that corresponds to the colonialist and imperialists interests from this government. All of this taking place with the intention of maintaining the pattern of US intervention and dominance over the countries in Latin America. Hence this doctrine gave the US government the opportunity to expand greatly its territories. Obviously, there was the need for institutions that would secure that “order.” These institutions were to protect this expansionist ideology. This is the reality that has victimized my homeland, Puerto Rico, since 1898, having become a US colony. This reality emerged as well from the School of the Americas, located from 1946 to 1984 in Panama, and then relocated to the military base of Fort Benning, in Columbus, Georgia.

Along the same line, I asked the Honorable Judge Faircloth, that if he truly believed in processes of justice, he could be of great help in achieving on one side that the International Penal Court conducts the hearings for the School of the Americas and those graduates who have committed the following crimes: Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes.

When will be the time?

For those that wrote or called to me with a melancholic and short-sighted message, saying that it was not the time for this type of action, I would like to respond to them that I very much appreciate their concern. Yet, only a single question emerges, which I am not sure that I could answer: when is the right time to fight for peace with justice to reign? If anybody knows the response, I kindly ask him or her to share it with me. Perhaps is that I am not up to date with all these affairs, which become pop culture references, and maybe I missed the recipe or season.

Something that I have always believed in are issues related to revolutionary activism –including Christians, Marxists, and atheists, among others. This labor towards justice allows for no vacation, no fixed location, no concrete moment, or particular people. Furthermore, these are not temporary, fashionable businesses. You and I know very well that the most effective way of criticizing is by acting. Namely, show me what you are doing in favor of peace with justice, and that way I will learn.

That remains clear, I do not play the idiocies of being neither hero nor great less to looking for personal recognitions. I overcame many years ago, this stage of egoism, narcissism or individualism. It is for this that I realize well that the struggle for the peace with justice is not a goal, but rather it is a process it continued. The wealthy classes invented the opportunist style in order to justify their lack of involvement or their quietness, so that they could escape the personal sacrifice that was realized for the benefit of the community. That personal sacrifice they skip is done with the sole purpose of benefitting the community. This personal sacrifice must become a duty, and later a personal satisfaction. As we evolve socio-spiritually at this level, I want to explain that I am not against appreciation from the people, which often intends to bless us through the act of sharing. I am categorically criticizing those individuals who put public recognition as a pre-condition to their work in favor of peace with justice. In any case, as our brother Pablo Milanes says: what shines with its own light, nobody will be able to shut down. Therefore, do not put the shine aside and let your actions speak for themselves.

Let me put it in rice and beans, as my grandmother, Ms. Barbara, would say: while graduates from the School of the Americas continue harassing, torturing, disappearing, and/or killing rural workers, labor movement leaders, labor union leaders, students, journalists, communists, etc. in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and other places, the time for our actions to result in peace with justice is now. Period.

Once again, as a priest, my spiritual activism holds as the ultimate goal being able to organize the religiosity of the people, so they can reach their liberation. This does not need social recognition, economic compensation, or psychological gratifications in order to be fulfilled. This is my socio-political duty, to walk with the people and become a companion in their struggles. It is beautiful to learn to live without glory or personal recognition and we continue satisfying our corresponding duties, to build a world of peace with justice! Here, we could say that we reached the gates to immortality. This is my challenge each day, when I have the opportunity to open my eyes and thank God for still being alive in this world. This of course, at the same time has granted me the right to die in peace when the time comes, because I fulfilled my duty to our Goddess to build a better world. From this point on, this small sacrifice is a contribution to the struggle.

What to do as a collectivity?

For those who have been in communication, and expressed interest in receiving suggestions about how they could be contributing, here are some ideas:

First, we need to morally, spiritually, economically, socially, and politically provide unconditional support to the work developed by SOA Watch ( This is a serious struggle that challenges power structures.

Similarly, we need to begin a wide-range educational campaign, so that our communities here, in the United States, may comprehend the existence and modus operandi of the School of the Americas. Above all, we must spread the word so that everyone may be aware of the atrocities against civil and human rights committed by SOA’s graduates in our Latin American countries.

Also, the support of this framework must be geared towards all the prisoners of conscience. There were six of us being sentenced, and each person’s sacrifice must be recognized.

We ought to have the ability to connect in this campaign with the relationship that exists between our political prisoners and our prisoners of conscience, until we achieve their freedom. For instance, we must connect all struggles: the brothers and sisters, and compañera/os political prisoners from Puerto Rico (Carlos Alberto Torres, Oscar López Rivera, Avelino González Claudio and Haydeé Beltrán); the five brothers and compañeros Cuban heroes (René González, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández and Ramón Labañimo); our brother and compañero black political activist and US journalist, Mumia Abul-Jamal; and our brother and compañero from the Nations Anishinabe and Dakota/Lakota, Leonard Peltier; only to mention some names. Let’s remember that these struggles for peace with justice are not antagonistic, they complement.

Last, but not least, use your creativity and come up with your own initiatives. Please see the attached declaration of defense in front of the judge last Monday. Thank you so much for your attention to this matter.

In solidarity love, hugs, and blessings,

Fr. Luis Barrios
St. Mary’s’ Episcopal Church
January 27th of 2009
New York, New York

Mi trasgresión me convierte en un prisionero de conciencia

Padre Luis Barrios

Los lugares más calientes en el infierno están reservados para aquellos/as
que, en tiempos de gran crisis moral, mantienen su neutralidad. Dante (1265-1321)

Un saludo solidario y bendiciones.

Como ya es de conocimiento en algunos/as de ustedes, en el día de ayer –lunes, 26 de enero de 2009- en la ciudad de Columbus, Georgia el Juez G. Mallon Faircloth, Magistrado de la Corte Federal, en unión a otros/as cinco compañeros/as –Diane T. Pinchot, Louis N. Wolf, Theresa Cusimano, Albert L. Simmon, y Krysten L. Holm- me encontró culpable de cruzar los portones y entrar a la base militar Fort Benning, lugar donde protegen a la Escuela de Las Américas. Esta es la escuela militar donde entrenan a soldados latinoamericanos en tácticas de torturas, desapariciones y asesinatos, para que protejan a gobiernos antidemocráticos y por supuesto, asimismo los intereses imperialistas de la hegemonía política, económica y militar del gobierno estadounidense en América Latina.

Nuestro mensaje cuando nos arrestaron en nuestra acción de desobediencia civil el pasado 23 de noviembre de 2008 dentro de la base militar fue claro y preciso: ¡cierren ya esta escuela de asesinos! Yo le añadí a todo este proceso el poder traer justicia para mi guía espiritual y beato, San Romero de Las Américas, asesinado por graduados de la Escuela de Las Américas. Esta es mi ofrenda de agradecimiento para él.

Luego del juicio, cuatro oficiales federales me condujeron a tomar las huellas digitales y fotos y más adelante a escuchar la letanía de otros oficiales quienes se encargaron de recordarme no se cuantas veces que ahora yo le pertenezco al sistema de prisiones. La sentencia en el juicio de ayer son dos meses en una cárcel federal que el sistema de prisiones decidirá y la misma comenzará más o menos en tres o cuatro semanas. De todas maneras tengo que reportarme semanalmente para ellos saber lo que estoy haciendo con mi vida.

Ahora bien, ¿por qué digo un prisionero de conciencia?

Se dice que un preso de conciencia o prisionero/a de conciencia (POC por sus siglas en inglés Prisioner of conscience) es cualquier persona encarcelada por su raza, religión, color de piel, idioma, orientación sexual o credo, mientras no haya defendido o practicado la violencia. El término fue creado por la asociación defensora de los derechos humanos Amnistía Internacional a principios de los años 60. (

En esta ocasión la acción que me está llevando a la cárcel es una de carácter social, política, moral y espiritual. La misma se realizó muy bien calculada dentro del contexto de la resistencia de la desobediencia civil no violenta. Yo no soy culpable de cometer algún crimen contra la humanidad. Sin embargo, reconozco que soy culpable de ser un transgresor de cualquier "ley" que pretende justificar la injusticia de opresión, exclusión, o asesinato! ¡Lo hago porque éstas no son leyes!

¿Qué quise dejarle claro al Juez?

Primeramente, que no es correcto cuando se quiere decir que hay unas leyes establecidas y que mi deber es obedecerlas. Le dije claramente que estaba equivocado, porque las leyes injustas no son leyes, por lo tanto no tengo ningún deber de obedecer lo que no es justo. Asimismo le clarifiqué que esta son las razones por las cuales Jesús las desobedeció en Palestina, Mahatma Gandhi en la India, Nelson Mandela en Sur África, Cesar Chávez y Rosa Park aquí en Estados Unidos, Luisa Capetillo en Puerto Rico, por solo mencionar unos nombres. Eso si, que quede claro, yo no me estoy comparando con estos/as maestros/as de la justicia, sus zapatos me quedan muy grandes. Solo estaba humildemente buscando ejemplos para ilustrar mi acción.

Igualmente, el mensaje estuvo claro cuando se explicó que no es correcto tratar de divorciar la política exterior del gobierno de Estados Unidos de la creación de la Escuela de Las Américas. O sea, que desde la implementación de la Doctrina Monroe en el año 1823 -la cual consiste básicamente en el aislacionismo del nuevo continente y un veto frente a las pretensiones de las naciones europeas de intervenir en las Américas- ha quedado claro que existe un proyecto de dominio y control que responde a los intereses colonialistas e imperialistas de este gobierno con la intención de mantener una intervención y dominio de los países de América Latina. De aquí el que esta doctrina le dio la oportunidad al gobierno de Estados Unidos de poder lograr mayor expansión territorial. Pero por supuesto, hacían falta instituciones del “orden” que pudiesen proteger esta ideología expansionista. De esta realidad desde 1898 sigue siendo víctima mi patria Puerto Rico, al ser una colonia de Estados Unidos. Asimismo de esta realidad surgió la Escuela de Las Américas situada desde 1946 a 1984 en Panamá y luego la mudaron a la base militar de Fort Benning en Columbus, Georgia.

De la misma forma, se le pidió al juez, que si en verdad cree en procesos de justicia, él podría ser de gran ayuda en lograr por un lado que la Corte Penal Internacional juzgue a la Escuela de Las Américas y a sus graduados que han cometido los siguientes crímenes: Crimen de Genocidio, Crímenes de Lesa Humanidad, y Crímenes de Guerra.

¿Cuándo es el tiempo?

Para quienes me escribieron o me llamaron con el mensaje melancólico desatinado que no era el tiempo para este tipo de acción quiero decirles que aprecio mucho su preocupación. Solo que me surge una pregunta que no se o no puedo contestar: ¿Cuándo es el tiempo para luchar por la justicia para que la paz reine? Si alguien sabe que me lo diga. Tal vez es que yo no estoy al día con todos estos asuntos que se ponen de moda y de aquí entonces me perdí la receta o la temporada.

Eso si, yo siempre he creído, que en asuntos de activismos revolucionarios –esto incluye a los/as cristianos/as, a las/os marxistas y a la gente atea, entre otras- este trabajo por la justicia no tiene vacaciones, no establece un lugar, no tiene un momento específico, ni mucho menos a unas personas. Aun más, no son asuntos de modas. Además usted y yo sabemos muy bien que la mejor manera de criticar es haciendo. O sea, enséñame lo que estas haciendo por la paz con justicia y así de esa manera yo aprendo.

Que quede claro, yo no juego a las necedades de ser héroe ni mucho menos a buscar reconocimientos personales. Esa etapa de egoísmo, narcisismo o individualismo yo la superé hace muchos años. Es por esto que tengo claro que la lucha por la paz con justicia no es una meta, sino más bien es un proceso continuo. El estilo oportunista se lo inventaron la gente acomodada para justificar su no envolvimiento o quietismo, y así de esa manera evadir el sacrifico personal que se realiza para beneficiar a la colectividad. Ese sacrifico personal por supuesto, debe de convertirse en un deber y ese deber en una satisfacción personal. Una vez evolucionamos socio-espiritualmente a este nivel, ya no son necesarios los reconocimientos y se puede disfrutar en paz y armonía, hasta lo que es clandestino o anónimo. Quiero aclarar que no estoy en contra de los agradecimientos del pueblo que muchas veces desea bendecir a alguien con el compartir de algo. Lo que estoy rígidamente criticando es a aquellas personas que condicionan su trabajo por la paz con justicia esperando estos halagos. De todas maneras ya lo dice muy bien nuestro hermano Pablo Milanes: lo que brilla con luz propia, nadie lo puede apagar. Por lo tanto, no pierda el brillo y deje que sus acciones hablen por usted.

Déjenme ponerlo en arroz y habichuelas como me decía mi abuela Doña Bárbara: Mientras los graduados de la Escuela de Las Américas sigan hostigando, torturando, desapareciendo, y/o matando campesinos/as, líderes obreras/os, sindicalistas, estudiantes, periodistas, comunistas, etc., en Colombia, Perú, Guatemala, República Dominicana, Honduras, y otros lugares, el tiempo para nuestra acción que deje como resultado la paz con justicia es ahora, punto.

De nuevo, como sacerdote mi activismo espiritual tiene como meta el poder organizar la religiosidad del pueblo para que alcance su liberación. Esto no necesita de reconocimientos sociales, compensaciones económicas o gratificaciones psicológicas para ser realizado. Es mi deber socio-político de caminar con el pueblo y acompañarle en sus luchas. ¡Qué hermoso es cuando se aprende a vivir sin glorias o reconocimientos personales y se continúa realizando el deber que nos corresponde para construir un mundo de paz con justicia! Aquí podemos decir que hemos llegado a las puertas de la inmortalidad. Este es mi reto cada día cuando tengo la oportunidad de abrir mis ojos y dar gracias a Dios de que todavía sigo con vida en este mundo. Y todo esto a su vez me otorga el derecho a morir en paz cuando me llegue mi momento porque cumplí con mi deber ante nuestra Diosa de construir un mundo mejor. De aquí el que este pequeño sacrificio es una aportación a toda esta lucha.

¿Qué hacer como colectividad?

Para quienes han estado comunicándose con la preocupación de qué hacer, aquí les van unas recomendaciones;

En primer lugar un respaldo incondicional moralmente, espiritualmente, económicamente, socialmente y políticamente a todo el trabajo que se realiza en SOA Watch ( Este es un trabajo serio que reta las estructuras de poder.

Asimismo, comenzar ampliamente la campaña educativa para que nuestros pueblos aquí en Estados Unidos puedan comprender sobre la existencia y operación de la Escuela de Las Américas. Sobre todo, que puedan concienciarse sobre las atrocidades contra los derechos humanos y civiles que se cometen por sus graduados en nuestros países latinoamericanos.

También, el apoyo dentro de este contexto debe dirigirse a todos/as los prisioneros/as de conciencia. Fuimos seis personas condenadas y su sacrificio debe de ser reconocido.

Igualmente tener la capacidad de poder conectar en esta campaña a todos/os nuestros/as prisioneros políticos con prisioneros/as de conciencia hasta lograr su excarcelación. Por ejemplo los/as hermanos/as y compañeros/as prisioneros/as políticos/os puertorriqueños/as (Carlos Alberto Torres, Oscar López Rivera, Avelino González Claudio y Haydeé Beltrán); los cinco hermano y compañeros héroes cubanos (René González, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández y Ramón Labañimo); el compañero y hermano periodista y activista político negro estadounidense, Mumia Abul-Jamal; el compañero y hermano de las naciones Anishinabe y Dakota/Lakota, Leonard Peltier; por solo mencionar algunos nombres. Recordemos que estas luchas por la paz con justicia no son antagónicas, sino más bien complementarias.

Por último y no menos importante, use la creatividad e invéntese algo.

Adjunto les incluyo mi declaración de defensa ante el juez en el día de ayer. Muchas gracias por su atención.

En el amor solidario, abrazos y bendiciones,

P. Luis Barrios
Iglesia de Santa María
27 de enero de 2009
New York, New York

Thursday, January 15 - Day of Conscience to Act Against U.S. role in Supporting the War Crime going on in Gaza

Report from Jan. 15th NYC Day of Conscience:
Act Against U.S. Support of Israeli War Crimes

From the Emergency Town Hall Meeting (see previous emails) a DAY OF CONSCIENCE Against the U.S. support for war crimes was called on two day's notice, of which World Can't Wait was an initiator and one of the organizers. Here is a brief report:

FIRST ACT: Noon In front of U.S. Consulate to the United Nations

70 people turned out, the majority high-school students. This display of youthful defiance was very important and encouraging, and needs to multiply exponentially in the weeks and months to come! During a spirited rally in front of the Consulate, chants included "If you see something/say something/stop the war crimes now!" Some of us brought shoes, pacifie rs, and baby bottles and laid them on the street to symbolize Israel's horrific massacre of children in Gaza.

SECOND ACT: Grand Central Station

We saw a photo of the Samouni family, who had lost 30 members, including 3 infants, when the Israeli's bombed their homes during the assault on Gaza. The funeral procession photo became what we wanted to present to the public. Artists from PriceTagsArt helped design the action, which included dozens of people holding shrouds of infants. Others held signs.

gaza-grand central photoWhen we arrived, there were dozens of police. The commander told us we could not do the action, because people coming through the terminal were upset about the airplane that had landed that afternoon in the Hudson River. By that time all the passengers had been reported safe, but we knew that people in Gaza were not. We said we were going ahead, as there is the right to freedom of assembly and speech. People going by were mixed; this being New York, some called us names. Others said, thanks for doing this.

After an hour, the police told us we had to finish up. But more people were arriving, including students from Hunter College, and the police backed off and didn't act to stop the protest, others joined back in, chanted some, and the whole thing went on, with more joining in, for two hours.

Emergency Town Hall Meeting

Stop the Israeli Massacre in Gaza!

A Call To Act:

We Condemn the U.S. Role in this War Crime!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 7:00 PM
New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street
@ Central Park West NYC
$10 admission

Chris Hedges-Pulitzer prize winning journalist, former New York Times Mideast Bureau Chief, author of many books including Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians

Cynthia McKinney-2008 presidential candidate, who was on a Free Gaza Movement boat bearing aid for Gaza that was fired upon by the Israeli Navy on December 29, 2008

Alan Goodman-writer for Revolution newspaper who held a banner at the Holocaust Museum stating, "After the Holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel."

Adam Shapiro-filmmaker, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement

Peter Weiss- Vice President, Center for Constitutional Rights

Najla Said- playwright and actor, performing an excerpt from her play PALESTINE about a visit to Gaza in early 1980 with her father Edward Said and their family

Others to be announced...

A great crime is being committed. The horror of Israel's invasion of Gaza mounts daily. The 1.5 million people of Gaza - fenced in on all sides - are being subjected to a brutal military assault from land and air. Civilian casualties are in the thousands. Food, medicine, and fuel are blockaded. Israel has declared this to be a "war to the bitter end." The United States has backed Israel both with new, sophisticated military weaponry and with full diplomatic support.

We, living in this country have a great and urgent responsibility to act against what must be recognized as a War Crime by Israel with the full support of the United States. Too many who watch the assault on Gaza with horror and outrage, have remained silent. Too few have acted. This must, and can, change. On Tuesday January 13, 2009, at this Emergency Town Hall Meeting at Ethical Culture Society, we will carve open space for the truth to be spoken and we will call on people to act now to stop the massacre in Gaza.

Whether the world sees political protest and resistance, and mass outpourings of opposition and outrage in different forms in this country...or whether it sees continued support for and passive complicity with these attacks coming from the people here...all this will matter greatly, not only here in the US, but to people all over the world.

Initiated by Revolution Books
Endorsed by: World Can't Wait; James Abourezk; Brooklyn Greens; Henry Chalfant; Kathleen Chalfant; Mitchell Cohen; Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism; Shreen Elkenani; Daniel Ellsberg; Nina Felshin; Dennis James; Joel Kovel; Adam Shapiro; Michael Steven Smith; Leonard Weinglass

To help, and for more information, call 917-548-4853: