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    Protesting War In Military Town Iraq Veterans Against the War? Lou Plummer, www.dissidentvoice.org www.dissidentvoice.org/Mar05/Plummer0303.htm March 3, 2005 -
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2005
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      Protesting War In Military Town

      Iraq Veterans Against the War?
      Lou Plummer, www.dissidentvoice.org
      www.dissidentvoice.org/Mar05/Plummer0303.htm


      March 3, 2005 - Why pick a military town as the site for an antiwar
      rally? As a military veteran and a resident of Fayetteville, N.C.
      near Ft. Bragg, I can think of at least 50 reasons. Each of those
      reasons has a name and each were members of our community prior to
      their deaths in Iraq.

      Some may argue that voicing opposition to war in a military town is
      somehow disrespectful. Tell that to the military families and
      veterans from many wars, including the current one, who plan to
      gather here on March 19, the second anniversary of the invasion of
      Iraq. Like the majority of Americans, we now reject the reasons used
      to justify the war and many of us feel that the US government failed
      to successfully plan for what has happened. That lack of planning
      affects our communities more so than most.

      Antiwar activism by veterans has been largely forgotten or
      downplayed. During the recent election, John Kerry talked much at
      length about his time in Vietnam. It wasn't his service there that
      brought him to the national spotlight. It was his membership in
      Vietnam Veterans Against the War and his memorable testimony before
      congress. During the Vietnam War a GI-led demonstration in a park in
      Fayetteville drew 4000 people, many of them servicemen. On the first
      anniversary of the war last year, the park saw another
      demonstration, the town's largest action for peace in nearly 35
      years. For three hours groups like Military Families Speak Out and
      Veterans for Peace condemned the senseless waste in Iraq.

      Former N.C. based Marine, Michael Hoffman, recently announced that
      the organization he co-founded, Iraq Veterans Against the War, plans
      to meet in Fayetteville on March 20, the day after the rally. Formed
      in the summer of 2004, the group is rapidly adding new members,
      including some who served with the 82nd Airborne. That unit and
      others based at Ft. Bragg produced the 20,000 Iraq vets in the local
      community. Hoffman hopes to add a few of them to IVAW's swelling
      ranks.

      Military Families Speak Out, an organization of people who are
      opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the
      military formed in 2003. Its members are traveling from all over the
      country to be at the rally. Several members of Gold Star Families
      for Peace composed solely of those who have lost loved ones in the
      war are scheduled to speak. Local officials sponsor billboards
      proclaiming North Carolina to be "America's Most Military Friendly
      State." These events will reflect that sentiment in a way few would
      have imagined.

      Protesting the war in Iraq is not a new activity in Fayetteville. A
      group of local of veterans, military wives and their community
      supporters conducts occasional vigils in the center of town and has
      since the day the U.S. invaded. The early vigils met with catcalls.
      As the disaster in Iraq became evident, derision subsided and vocal
      support emerged.

      Those local activists supported Army paratrooper Jeremy Hinzman who
      left Ft. Bragg for Canada, applying for status as a refugee on the
      grounds that he was being forced to participate in an illegal war.
      He was denied conscientious objector status while serving in
      Afghanistan after telling the review board that he would defend his
      squad were it to be attacked at the base. The military refused to
      allow him to serve as a medic, instead ordering him to continue as a
      rifleman.

      The national director of Veterans for Peace, Michael McPhearson is a
      Fayetteville native. He served as a field artillery officer in the
      first Gulf War. He has a son stationed at the Army base, Ft.
      Campbell, K.Y. He will speak at the March 19 rally, just as he did
      last year. McPhearson's mother sometimes stands with others at the
      vigils behind a handwritten wall that now contains the 1483 names of
      American servicemen dead in Iraq.

      We are tired of the ubiquitous yellow ribbon magnets that command us
      to "Support Our Troops." To those of us living in this military
      town, real support for the troops means Bring Them Home Now!

      Lou Plummer is a member of Military Families Speak Out and Veterans
      for Peace. He can be reached at: lou.plumme r@ mac.com .

      ===

      Dead Body Shrink-Wrapper

      Dead Body Shrink-Wrap Machine to be Developed


      The Carlyle Group (Bush, Sr.) owns Bio-Port, the ONLY company in the
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      ------------

      Coroner seeks big shrink-wrap machine
      For corpses, plastic is seen as neater and more respectful

      The Associated Press
      Updated: 5:22 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2005


      OLYMPIA, Wash. - Officials in Washington state want to find a
      machine that can shrink-wrap something big:

      A human body.

      The Thurston County Coroner's Office is on the hunt for a machine
      that can wrap human remains in plastic in case of a natural disaster
      or a terrorist attack.

      Officials say the process would make transporting a big number of
      bodies easier while sealing in biohazards like anthrax. And they say
      it would be more respectful than letting bodies sit around like they
      did after the Asian tsunami.

      The office has started the bidding process to see who can build a
      machine, which will cost about $50,000. A Homeland Security grant
      will pay the bill.


      URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6995040/

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