Father of US Soldier in Iraq to Denounce the Occupation

When President George W. Bush recently visited London to meet with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, he was greeted with much more than a red carpet and a hearty handshake. Many Britons recognized his arrival by erecting an 18-foot papier mache statue of our President, and then they quickly tore it down to loud applause and yelling. Around 150,000 people marched in the streets of London holding signs and chanting. What caused such a large number of Britons to come together in solidarity and take to the streets of London? The answer is that they are disgusted with the U.S. led occupation of Iraq and Tony Blair’s staunch defense of the Bush administration’s actions. But the anti-occupation movement is not confined to Britain alone; it is picking up steam all around the world including here in the U.S. as witnessed on October 25th where demonstrators marched in Washington D.C. and San Francisco. As the occupation drags on and the death toll rises, more and more people are realizing the truth about the occupation: that is was pushed into action by Bush under false pretenses (Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and link with Al-Queda). The Iraqi people are not being liberated and given democracy, but are being occupied and oppressed. In addition to dominating the Iraqi people, the administration has filtered an amazing 87 billion of the tax payers’ dollars that will go more to privatize the oil and increase military force, then fixing the power and water shortages, and rebuilding schools and hospitals. These are the reasons that the UVM group called Students Against War (SAW) has created a panel on December 4th called “Occupation Is Not Liberation,” at Williams 301, 7:30. The panel comes not a moment too soon as there is widespread uncertainty about what the situation in Iraq really is and what should happen there. The general sentiment going around is that the war should not have happened, but now that we are there, we need to stay and try and work things out. The panelists will address many of these questions around the war, the occupation and its implications. The panel also coincides with the international Day Of Action where groups affiliated with Campus Antiwar Network, and similar groups in other countries, will display solidarity by wearing black arm bands and speaking out against the occupation. People from all over will participate in Day of Action, from Burlington, VT to Sydney, Australia. The panel here at UVM will have notable speakers giving their views on the present occupation of Iraq. The featured speakers are Lou Plummer, Katherine Dwyer and David Zuckerman. Lou Plummer is a member of the group Military Families Speak Out (his son is currently serving in Iraq), on the National Coordinating Committee of “Bring Them Home Now” and is a Vietnam veteran. He states bluntly with regards to the occupation, “there is no right way to do the wrong thing.” Katherine Dwyer is on the editorial staff of the International Socialist Review. She is staunchly opposed to all forms of imperialism and is calling for a mass working class movement to restructure society. David Zuckerman has been a member of the Vermont Progressive Party for the past ten years and has been a strong supporter of pressing environmental and agricultural issues, establishing universal health care and protecting civil liberties in Vermont and nationally. He is in his 4th term as a state representative and worked hard to get the Vermont House of Representatives to pass a resolution to repeal aspects of the Patriot Act, including the government’s ability to look at people’s library records. These three people will contribute valuable and diverse opinions concerning the occupation and its repercussions at home and abroad. The panel, at Williams 301 at 7:30 on December 4th, will be an excellent opportunity to hear views contrary to Bush administrations’, and will give honest opinions of why this occupation should be opposed.