Thursday, March 19, 2009

End The Occupation Update

Iraq War Veterans Drop Banner at Veterans Administration Headquarters:

"Veterans Say No to War and Occupation! March 21st - March on the Pentagon"

Iraq War veterans carried out a dramatic banner drop at the headquarters of the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C., on the 6th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

A U.S. Army National Guard veteran scaled the facade of the VA building and dropped a 25 foot-long, 6 foot-high banner that read "Veterans Say No to War and Occupation, March 21st -March on the Pentagon." He was handcuffed and detained.

The dramatic banner drop was carried out in front of a well-attended press conference organized by the Veterans and Service Members Task Force of the ANSWER Coalition.

"This is the beginning of three days of sustained activities timed to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq. On Saturday, March 21st, veterans and service members will be the lead contingent in the National March on the Pentagon," stated James Circello, an Iraq War veteran and a spokesperson for the group.

Other speakers at the press conference included representatives from Iraq Veterans Against the War. Also present were delegations from Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Eric Murillo, a U.S. Army veteran from El Paso, Texas, decried, "Military recruiters are targetting young people in Latino communities. Our communities face high unemployment and young people are struggling to be able to pay the tuition costs necessary to go to school. The recruiters are offering the promise of citizenship to immigrant youth. This is the most cynical manipulation by the Pentagon. Our young people need real jobs. We need affordable education and immigrants need full legal rights."

Similar actions were organized today in cities throughout the country by the Veterans and Service Members Task Force of the ANSWER Coalition.

Click here to read about the Associated Press article about the action that was published by the Army Times.

More than 1,200 organizations are co-sponsoring the protests set for Saturday, March 21st in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. The demonstration in Washington, D.C., will begin at 12:00 noon at 23rd St. and Constitution Ave. NW. The demonstration will march to the Pentagon, and then on to the headquarters of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and KBR (the former Halliburton subsidiary), located in Crystal City, Virginia. The marchers will carry hundreds of flag-draped coffins representing the multinational victims of the U.S. war drive.

Photos: Bill Hackwell,

Post 3/21 Pentagon Demo Musings

To those who plan to be in DC this Saturday March 21 for the March on the Pentagon,After the march there is a vet poetry reading at Busboys and Poets. Come join us and read.
Veterans’ Reading at
Busboys and Poets
Langston Room, 14th & V Streets NW,
Washington, DC

Saturday March 21th, 5 - 7PM

…searing raw-whisky poetry by military veterans …
For some, the intense experience of war can only be expressed in writing, while others are driven by the need to say something openly political:
Reading their own work are, Camillo “Mac” Bica Thomas Brinson, Dayl Wise and others...

Book proceeds to Veterans for Peace.

Published by Post Traumatic Press, Woodstock , NY
D. Wise,

The soldier-poets:
Camillo =E 2Mac” Bica , Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. As a veteran recovering from his experiences as a United States Marine Corps officer during the Vietnam War, he founded, and coordinated for five years, the Veterans’ Self-Help Initiative, a therapeutic community of veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He is a long-time activist for peace and justice, a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and the coordinator of Veterans For Peace Long Island. Poems and articles by Dr.Bica have appeared in The Humanist Magazine, Znet,, Monthly Review Zine, Foreign Policy in Focus, and numerous philosophical journals.
Thomas Brinson currently serves on the National Board Directors of Veterans For Peace, is the Poet Laureate of VFP Long Island Chapter 138, and Long Island contact for Vietnam Veterans Against The War. He served in the II Corps Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, and as a Peacemaker on the Nonviolent Peace Force in Mutur, T rincomalee, Sri Lanka from 2003 to 2005.
Dan Wilcox is a poet and photographer who is said to have the largest photo collection of unknown poets on the planet. Dan hosts the “Third Thursday Open Mic” for poets at the Social Justice Center in Albany, New York and reads poetry on a regular basis at various clubs throughout the Hudson River Valley. He is a member of a poetry troupe, known as “3 Guys From Albany.” He is the author of Meditations of a Survivor (A.P.D. The Alternative Press for Albany’s Poets) and has published eight books including two more of his own and a book for Anthony Bernini. He is an active member of Veterans for Peace, chapter 10 in Albany, NY.
Dayl Wise is the author of Poems and other stuff (Post Traumatic Press) and recently edited a collection of work by veterans titled Post Traumatic Press 2007. His poems have appeared in The Veteran and More Than a Memory, Reflections of Viet Nam. He was drafted into the US Army in 1969 and served in Viet Nam and Cambodia in 1970 with the First Air Cav. He is a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace.