Wednesday, March 01, 2006

SPEAKERS—VOICES AGAINST THE WAR

We are honored to welcome four speakers, two of them veterans, one a retired NYPD officer and one a peace activist.

Here is some information on each of them. We hope you will be able to join us on March 19 so you can hear each of them in person, ask them questions from the audience or speak with them face to face at the end of the program.

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JOE GIANINNI is a Vietnam Veteran. He served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, as a U.S. Marine officer in the 1st Battalion 3rd Marines. In November 2004 he formed the East End Veterans Against the War.

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MICHAEL HARMON is a member of Iraq Vets Against the War. This is what he told us about himself in an email:

“I saw the flyer and I am excited. I am glad I could help. I joined the army in May 2002 partly to do with 9/11. I was deployed to Iraq on April 2nd, 2003 as part of the initial invasion force. My unit was 1/67 armor battalion with the 4th Infantry Division out of FT. Hood,Texas. I was a combat medic (civilian EMT) and was 10 miles north of Baghdad. I spent 13 months in a blown out hospital that we called home. I received an Army Commendation Medal with Valor for saving 3 soldiers lives along with 2 other medics. I returned home on April 29, 2004."

Michael is planning to bring a film crew with him for a documentary they are producing:

“It is a short film by an NYU film student who has done many projects with BBC. He is really good for the cause and good for exposure. He said he would like to attend so he could see your wonderful display.”

We welcome Michael and his friends. We support their cause as they support ours—although of course it is really all one and the same cause!

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JOHN PHILLIPS is a retired NYPD officer.
Following is the statement that he made to the court accounting for his action in Senator Clinton's office.

"The basis for my actions was to call to the attention of Senator Clinton the apparent misuse of our US military and the National Guard of the State of New York, subjecting them to injury and death and forcing them into combat against the civilian population of Iraq.

“The premise of this war has been proven baseless and therefore the continuation of this war constitutes a crime ! It is in the effort to halt that crime that I raise my objections.

“Since October 26, over 275 more of our military personnel have been killed! And it appears that a criminal motivation is perpetuating this war. We need to object to the inaction of our local leaders as to protesting the continuance of this crime, and investigating the reasons behind these actions.

“My conscience demands that I be here before you today. Just as that conscience dictates that it is my civil responsibility, upon observation of a violent crime in progress, to halt that crime for the protection of the victim or victims; and to report the details to the authorities responsible for the jurisdiction.

“I have probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed against the people of this state. And I bring that premise before you today, and while I am no longer an active police officer in this state, it does not lessen my responsibility to speak out."

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CARMEN TROTTA is a leading member of Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker movement. He is a riveting speaker and we are honored that he has agreed to participate in VOICES AGAINST THE WAR.

Carmen has lived and worked at the Catholic Worker's St. Joseph's House on the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1988. This hospitality house was founded by Dorothy Day in 1933 and offers shelter to the homeless and a soup kitchen for the homeless of New York City.. The Catholic Worker movement has been a 70-year experiment in radical Christianity based on community living, the acts of mercy and nonviolent resistance to war making. A major influence on Carmen has been his long time friend Fr. Daniel Berrigan SJ who was imprisoned during the Vietnam War period for burning draft cards. Along with his late brother Philip, Daniel Berrigan influenced the pacifist Catholic Worker movement dramatically.

For more information, www.catholicworker.org

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