First Woman GI to Publicly Refuse Deployment Orders to Hold Press Conference Tomorrow at Ft. Benning, GA
WHEN: Thursday, November 17, 11:30 AM
WHERE: Front Gate of Ft. Benning, GA on Fort Benning Road
WHAT: First woman conscientious objector of U.S. wars in the Middle East to make public statement. She will be joined by Iraq war veterans and other supporters.
Fort Benning, GA – Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski, on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year, makes a public statement as a conscientious objector to the U.S. wars in the Middle East in the face of orders to participate in weapons training and deploy to the region. She will be joined by several members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Jashinski applied for a discharge as a conscientious objector in 2004. The Army recently denied her claim and ordered her to weapons training and deployment this week.
Speakers at the press conference include Aiden Delgado, an Army Conscientious Objector and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “Iraq Veterans Against the War support the right of every soldier to follow their conscience. Today's revelation that chemical weapons were used against citizens in Fallujah is evidence that the war is illegal and immoral.”
Jashinski's counselor, Persian Gulf War Army Conscientious Objector Aimee Allison is speaking at the press conference, “As the first woman GI to publicly take a stand against this war and declare herself a conscientious objector, Katherine's actions are very significant. She is showing remarkable courage.”
Jashinski's lawyer J.E. McNeil with the Center for Conscience and War will also discuss her legal status and the case. She comments, “This is yet another in a long line of actions by the military to defy its own rules to get the numbers of people they need to continue this war.”
Katherine is actively supported by CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots peace group. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINKadds, “I applaud Katherine's courageous stand against the continued U.S. role in bringing violence to the Middle East.”
Father Roy Bourgeois, a Vietnam War veteran and founder of School of the Americas Watch will also speak. Jashinki's statement comes on the eve of a national demonstration at the gates of Fort Benning to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas. “U.S. foreign policy as it exists today is fundamentally out of alignment with Americans' values of peace and justice.”