- Friday, March 18–Pre-Action Gathering at Busboys and Poets
- Saturday, March 19–Rally and Civil Resistance at the White House
- Saturday, March 19–Dinner, Discussion and Music
- Sunday, March 20–Rally and March to Quantico for Bradley Manning
- Cheap hotels in the Washington, D.C., area
- Ride Board–Offer or request rides to Washington
A rally at noon, March 19, in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, will feature Daniel Ellsberg; Ralph Nader; Ann Wright, retired Army colonel and diplomat who resigned over the 2003 Iraq invasion; writer Chris Hedges and representatives of four national antiwar veterans organizations.
Immediately following the rally and a short march, the military veterans will lead peace activists in a nonviolent civil resistance action, similar to one in December when 131 people were arrested at the White House fence.
The demonstrators make three demands of the Obama administration: Stop the wars, expose the lies and free Bradley Manning.
Mike Ferner, former Veterans For Peace president and Navy corpsman, said, “Since 2003, U.S. taxpayers have spent over 780 billion dollars to kill more than a million Iraqis, leaving the survivors considerably worse off than before; killing 4,439 U.S. troops and wounding many thousands more. At every level our economy is bankrupt, while state budget crises prove that maintaining an Empire kills people abroad and turns our people and cities into ‘collateral damage.’ Our infrastructure isn’t bombed, it simply rots from neglect.”
Bill Homans, a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, said Vietnam Veterans Against the War will be at the White House “to tell President Obama that a further combat role in Iraq and Afghanistan is simply unacceptable. We must stop making new combat veterans every day and treat the ones we have now with fairness and respect. Bring our brothers and sisters home now!”
Garett Reppenhagen, an Army Infantry combat veteran of the Iraq War and chair of the Iraq Veterans Against the War Board of Directors, said, “The one person who’s done the most to tell us the truth, PFC Bradley Manning, is now treated like a criminal by the same government that led us into war. In 2004, I deployed to Iraq as a sniper and since then we’ve learned the war was based on lies: We found no weapons of mass destruction, nor was Saddam Hussein connected with the 9/11 attacks. We’ve given the people of the Middle East plenty of ‘shock and awe’ but little democracy or stability.”
Mike Prysner, co-founder of March Forward! and an Army combat veteran of the Iraq War, said, “In March 2003, I landed in Iraq as a 19 year-old soldier in the U.S. Army. Little did I know that my life would never be the same again — nor would the lives of millions of others. That war was based on willful lies and deceptions from Washington and the Pentagon—just like the war in Afghanistan. While over $700 million a day is spent on these criminal wars, unions, education and social services are slashed. We can change this, but we have to stand up and fight back.”
Organizations endorsing the White House civil resistance action include: ANSWER, Black Is Back, CodePink, Courage to Resist, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say NO, March Forward!, National Assembly to End the U.S. Wars and Occupations, Office of the Americas, Peace Action, Peace Action Montgomery, Peace of the Action, United for Peace and Justice, United National Anti-War Committee, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, Voters for Peace, War Resisters League, Washington Peace Center, World Can’t Wait.
On Sunday, March 20, members of many of these groups will go to Quantico, Va., for a 2 pm rally to support Bradley Manning.