An Open Letter to the Anti-War Movement from Iraq Veterans Against the War

Iraq Veteans Against the War

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the quagmire known as the invasion/occupation of Iraq, many of us feel a need to mark this occasion with an appropriately momentous show of resistance. For the past few months, IVAW has been organizing “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan.” From March 13-16, 2008, we will assemble the largest gathering of US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan in history, as well as Iraqi and Afghan survivors, to offer first-hand, eyewitness accounts to tell the truth about these occupations — their impact on the troops, their families, our nation, and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Winter Soldier will require IVAW’s full attention and organizing capacity leading up to and during the event.

We would like to have as many people as possible attend the event and we are making arrangements to provide live broadcasting of the hearings for those who cannot hear the testimony first hand, as space will be limited. We ask all of you to help us to spread the message of the testimony, raise funds, and get more veterans and GIs involved.

We have been inspired by the tremendous support that the movement has shown us and we believe the success of Winter Soldier will ultimately depend on the support of our allies and the hard work of our members. Because Winter Soldier will provide a unique venue for those who experienced war on the ground to expose the truth and consequences of the “War on Terror” to the nation and the world, we are requesting that, from March 13-16, the larger anti-war movement call no national mobilizations and that there be no local protests or civil disobedience actions in Washington, DC.

Some leaders of the movement have expressed a desire to have a mass assembly to mark the fifth anniversary. Some have expressed support for a concert/rally. IVAW would support any events that do not interfere with the Winter Soldier hearings, our strategy, or goals. We would encourage our members to continue participating in events of the larger movement to end the occupation of Iraq, as we acknowledge both the significance and the necessity of such actions for movement building. IVAW will also arrange to make available copies of the Winter Soldier transcript highlights to support the various efforts of the antiwar movement.

We are thankful for your enduring support of IVAW and Winter Soldier. Let us all continue to think strategically and act in a spirit of cooperation.

In solidarity,
Iraq Veterans Against the War

IVAW Board of Directors
Camilo E. Mejia
Jabbar Magruder
Margaret Stevens
Phil Aliff
Jason Lemieux
Adam Kokesh
Liam Madden
Anita Foster
Jose Vasquez

Winter Soldier Organizing Team
Aaron Hughes
Fernando Braga
Adrienne Kinne
Perry O’Brien
Martin Smith
Lily Hughes
Amadee Braxton

For detailed information on how your organization can support Winter Soldier please write to: wintersoldier@ivaw.org

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