BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIX MIX -- DC.
SHE WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE GRAMMYS TO GIVE A LIFETIME AWARD THIS YEAR BUT A SOUR NOTE FOR WALTER REED MEDICAL ARMY
MUSIC LEGEND JOAN BAEZ WAS SET TO PERFORM WITH JOHN MELLENCAMP LAST FRIDAY NIGHT IN A CONCERT AT WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER. 4 DAYS BEFORE THE PEFORMANCE, JOAN BAEZ WAS INFORMED SHE WAS UNINVITED.
AT FRIDAY'S CONCERT, MELLENCAMP PERFORMED "OUR COUNTRY" AND THEN STATED, "WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THAT SONG BACK SOMEDAY AND MAKE IT REAL."
IN A LETTER TO THE WASHINGTON POST, JOAN BAEZ EXPLAINED THAT SHE WAS UNINVITED AND NO REASON WAS GIVEN.
OFFICIALS HAVE REMAINED PUBLICLY MUM ON THE DECISION BUT THESE REPORTERS, WORKING OUR CONTACTS, WERE ABLE TO DISCOVER THAT DECISION WAS MADE BY A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE, TO IDENTIFY HIM AND TO SPEAK TO HIM.
STUBBY LITTLECOK, 54 YEARS OLD, EXPLAINS THAT HE WAS ONCE THE BIGGEST FAN OF JOAN BAEZ. AT 14, HE WROTE HER A LETTER AND "SHE NEVER REPLIED. IT CRUSHED ME. IT DESTROYED ME. IT WOULD TAKE 26 YEARS OF THERAPY FOR ME TO EVER GET MY COURAGE AND SELF-IMAGE. IT IS ONLY IN THE PAST 3 MONTHS THAT I HAVE EVEN BEEN ABLE TO USE A PUBLIC URINAL. FOR YEARS, I HAVE HAD TO USE A STALL OR HOLD IT BECAUSE MISS BAEZ DESTROYED ME. NOW, HAVING COME THROUGH THERAPY, I CAN STAND AT ANY URINAL IN THE COUNTRY AND USE IT -- PROVIDED NO 1 ELSE IS IN THE MEN'S ROOM. I DID NOT WANT ANY OF THE SOLDIERS TO SUFFER THROUGH THE TRAUMA THAT I DID."
WHEN THESE REPORTERS SUGGESTED THAT SOME MIGHT SEE STUBBY LITTLECOCK AS A SMALL, PETTY MAN WHO HAS NURSED A GRUDGE FOR OVER 40 YEARS, WAITING FOR THE DAY WHEN SOME TINY LITTLE BIT OF POWER COULD BE USED FOR PERSONAL REVENGE, STUBBY REPLIED, "THAT'S ME. YOU GUYS REALLY GET ME."
"ALL CLEAR!" YELLED A MAN HEADING OUT OF THE MEN'S ROOM.
"GOTTA RUN WHILE THE GHOST IS CLEAR!" GUSHED STUBBY LITTLECOCK TROTTING OFF TO THE MEN'S ROOM.
JOAN BAEZ WHO HAS PEFORMED FOR PRESIDENTS AND MLK, WHO HAS SANG AND SPOKEN OUT FOR PEACE, WHO IS STILL AT THE TOP OF HER GAME, JUST WANTED TO GIVE THE GIFT OF SONG TO WOUNDED SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMILIES. STUBBY LITTLECOCK PREVENTED THAT.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Turning to the the topic of courage. Eric Ruder (Socialist Worker) reports on war resister Agustin Aguayo who "was released from confinement at a U.S. military base in Mannheim, Germany, on April 18, but he's still far from free. [. . .] Helga and his twin daughters thought he would be headed home, but now the Army says that it plans to keep Agustin on active duty for one to two years more. And he remains under the authority of members of his old unit -- the same 'people that tried to take him by force, i.e., shackle, handcuff and carry him onto the plane' for his second Iraq deployment, explained Helga." Heather Wokush (OpEdNews) interviewed Agustin Aguayo for a piece published last Saturday and he stated, "I was determined that I would not hurt/injure others in any way, no matter what the consequences. I actually belileve that this action of not loading my weapon kept me sane. It brought me great sadness to know some soldiers I knew had shot at people and some soldiers I knew were hurt by the actions of others. It was so absurd." On his first tour of duty in Iraq, Aguayo refused to load his weapon. He went to Iraq as a medic and, while there, the realities he saw were in conflict with his own spiritual beliefs. As a result, he attempted to apply for c.o. status. As Helga Aguayo has noted, everyone who interviewed her husband during the process felt he was a c.o. objector but superiors (who never spoke with Aguayo) overruled that. Aguayo has attempted to address the matter via the civilian courts. Robert Zabala is another example of someone who had to go to the civilian courts to be awarded c.o. status (which he was awarded last month). The inequalities (and the fact that some people "in charge" don't even grasp the military guidelines as written) is why the Center on Conscience & War has declared May 14th the day to lobby Congress to pass a law that would "protect the rights of conscientious objectors".
As Courage to Resist reported, Agustin Aguayo is supposed to join with war resisters Pablo Paredes, Camilo Mejia and Robert Zabala for a speaking tour from May 9th through 17th in the San Francisco Bay Area. The announced dates include:
Wednesday May 9 - Marin 7pm at College of Marin, Student Services Center, 835 College Ave, Kentfield. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Pablo Paredes and David Solnit. Sponsored by Courage to Resist and Students for Social Responsibility.
Thursday May 10 - Sacramento Details TBA
Friday May 11 - Stockton 6pm at the Mexican Community Center, 609 S Lincoln St, Stockton. Featuring Agustin Aguayo.
Saturday May 12 - Monterey 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd, Carmel. Featuring Agustin Aguayo and Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chp. 69, Hartnell Students for Peace, Salinas Action League, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Courage to Resist. More info: Kurt Brux 831-424-6447
Sunday May 13 - San Francisco 7pm at the Veterans War Memorial Bldg. (Room 223) , 401 Van Ness St, San Francisco. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia and Pablo Paredes. Sponsored by Courage to Resist, Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69 and SF Codepink.
Monday May 14 - Watsonville 7pm at the United Presbyterian Church, 112 E. Beach, Watsonville. Featuring Agustin Aguayo, Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and Robert Zabala. Sponsored by the GI Rights Hotline & Draft Alternatives program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, Watsonville Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), Watsonville Brown Berets, Courage to Resist and Santa Cruz Veterans for Peace Chp. 11. More info: Bob Fitch 831-722-3311
Tuesday May 15 - Palo Alto 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall), 1140 Cowper, Palo Alto. Featuring Camilo Mejia. Sponsored by Pennisula Peace and Justice Center. More info: Paul George 650-326-8837
Wednesday May 16 - Eureka 7pm at the Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E St. (@9th), Eureka. Featuring Camilo Mejia. More info: Becky Luening 707-826-9197Thursday May 17 - Oakland 4pm youth event and 7pm program at the Humanist Hall, 411 28th St, Oakland. Featuring Camilo Mejia, Pablo Paredes and the Alternatives to War through Education (A.W.E.) Youth Action Team. Sponsored by Veteran's for Peace Chp. 69, Courage to Resist, Central Committee for Conscientious Objector's (CCCO) and AWE Youth Action Team.
If the military is thinking they'll clamp down on war resistance by holding Aguayo, they obviously aren't factoring the passion this tour will create and the questions of, "Wheere's Augie?" All are part of a growing movement of war resistance within the military: Camilo Mejia, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Dean Walcott, Camilo Mejia, Linjamin Mull, Joshua Key, Augstin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder , Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Joshua Key, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Jeremy Hinzman, Stephen Funk, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake and Kevin Benderman. In total, thirty-eight US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at Center on Conscience & War, The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline, and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, the documentary Sir! No Sir! traces the war resistance within the military during Vietnam and it will air at 9:00 pm (EST) on The Sundance Channel followed at 10:30 p.m. by The Ground Truth which examines the Iraq war and features Jimmy Massey and Iraq Veterans Against the War's Kelly Dougherty among others.
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