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    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: [ROPNET] Strengthening the War Resister Movement
    Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2007 16:32:13 -0700
    From: Cara Shufelt
    <cara AT rop.org>

    Dear ROPnet,

    Supporting war resisters is an anti-war strategy that is growing in the Northwest and Canada. Recently both the Oregon War Resister Tour with Gerry Condon (director of Project Safe Haven) in October and a Regional War Resister Movement gathering have added strength to this developing movement.
    *
    *Highlights of the Oregon Tour include: 10 War Resister events in small town communities in Oregon, raising over $2000 that will go directly to supporting war resisters, the sale of 23 copies of /Breaking Rank/ film, stimulating conversations linking military recruitment and immigration, and literally hundreds of conversations on GI resistance strategy.

    Gerry Condon shares: /I consider the tour a great success. Aside from the generous donations, I also received a lot of inspiration from local activists and made new friends and allies. In general, I had a similar discussion with local activists wherever I went. People are outraged by the continuing U.S. war against the people of Iraq, and the planning for another war against Iran. And people are frustrated too. On the one hand, they are feeling somewhat powerless to stop the war(s). On the other hand, they are looking for new ways to up the ante of their resistance.
    One way to do that is to support war resisters – even to encourage our young men and women in the military to say no to this illegal war, and to create an environment that makes GI resistance more possible. People were almost surprisingly open to this idea. A bold plan with good leadership would win many adherents right now. I am looking forward to staying in touch with many of the people I met in Oregon, certainly including you good folks at the Rural Organizing Project./ / /

    While the resistance movement to the Iraq War in rural Oregon was discussing this strategy, leaders from the Northwest had a regional gathering to discuss next steps for building & strengthening this particular strategy. People were very interested in joining forces, sharing resources, and giving various kinds of support to a GI outreach effort led by Iraq vets with backup from other vets. The focus will be on reaching out to GI’s in ways that have not yet happened, but it is certainly possible that the network that develops might also include sanctuary efforts, support for U.S. war resisters in Canada, and more. While there are many different aspects to building a support movement for GI resisters, they are all part of a whole. A smaller committee is developing next steps out of this meeting to explore forming a coalition.
    If you and your local human dignity group have not yet had the opportunity to explore the topic and strategy of supporting war resisters, consider as a first step purchasing a copy of /Breaking Ranks/, a film about 4 war resisters who fled to Canada rather than fight in the Iraq War. Gather your human dignity group, watch the film, and then start discussing options on how you might engage with this movement. Order a copy of /Breaking Ranks/ from ProjectSafeHaven AT hotmail.com. To be connected to the Northwest regional efforts email cara AT rop.org and I’ll get you linked in.

    While we continue our other efforts of cutting off funds, exposing the true costs of war & who is benefiting, let’s also consider what ways we can help those people on the front lines who do chose to stand up and resist.
    all my best, Cara

    *Cara Shufelt*
    Rural Organizing Project – Advancing Democracy in Rural Oregon
    PO Box 1350
    Scappoose, OR 97056
    503.543.8417
    http://www.rop.org <http://www.rop.org/>



     Find one person that has been hurt in the Iraq War, do everything in your power to help them, and much will flow from that.”                       =  No More Victims founder, Cole Miller

    Dear Friends, 

    We would like to bring over an Iraqi child who was injured in the war and who would benefit by medical treatment in Portland!   No More Victims (www.nomorevictims.org), a U.S. nonprofit, will identify a child in need of care not available in Iraq, and we then arrange for free medical care for the child (surgeries, rehabilitation, whatever is needed). The child and his/her parent stay with a local family during their medical treatment, and we arrange for the child/parent’s needs while they are here (transportation, language interpretation,. …).  Once the medical treatment is completed, the child and their parent return home.

    What we need:

    1.  A hospital, pediatric specialists and other medical/health people.  We do not know exactly what the needs of the child will be, but in the past, surgeons, burn specialists, pediatric ophthalmologists, PT and rehabilitation specialists have been needed.  PLEASE PASS THIS LETTER TO COLLEAGUES IN THOSE FIELDS.  All medical care for the child must be free, so we need to connect with hospitals where the care will be provided.   

    2.  Community support: housing, transportation, interpretation for the child/parent. 

    3.  Working with the media to raise awareness of the human and other costs of war.  In South Carolina, one resident stated that prior to Salee’s arrival, she “had no idea there were children living in Iraq.”  Another said, “When Salee returns, there will be someone in Iraq that we love, so we need to end this war.” 

    4.  Fundraising: Looking for creative options to bring in the dollars to support this effort.

    5.  Spread the word to friends and groups who you think would be interested.   

    6.  Kickoff meeting with founder and national director of No More Victims

    (place & time to be determined, but it’ll be the weekend of December 8-9)

    To learn more: See a brief interview with No More Victims founder, Cole Miller, on Democracy Now!  (Friday 10/19/07) http://www.democracynow.org.  That show also features a beautiful interview with a 10 year old, Salee and her father.  Salee had both legs severed by a bomb that fell on her and a group of children in front of their home in Hasswa, Iraq.  Salee and her father were brought to South Carolina where Salee received prosthetic legs and rehabilitation.  Her story is touching.   

    For the people of Iraq and Portland,

    Ned Rosch                  
    503-234-3501
    rofo AT teleport.com

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