Maine veterans head to DC for Winter Soldier event

Beginning tomorrow, and running through Sunday, US veterans from across the country will speak out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in support of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. The event, which will take place at the National Labor College in Maryland (streaming video and audio will be available online), is a reincarnation of the 1971 Winter Soldier testimonies (against the Vietnam War).

Several Mainers are involved in Winter Solider: Iraq and Afghanistan, including Lt. Becky Farley, of Damariscotta, who served in the Navy during the "Shock and Awe" campaign that launched on March 19, 2003. Farley intends to testify in Maryland. As we reported in December, Peaks Island native Perry O'Brien, an army vet who was discharged as a conscientious objector, has helped IVAW coordinate veterans' testimony. And members of Maine Veterans for Peace, as well as Peace Action Maine, and the  state's peace community at large, will be active both at the hearings themselves, as well as at corresponding events around Portland.

On Saturday, March 15, there will be a silent vigil in Monument Square from 12-1; an Iraq War teach-in at the SPACE Gallery from 2-5 (participants: Peace Action Maine's Danny Muller, congressional candidate Michael Brennan, Peggy Akers, of Veterans for Peace, and Mary Trotochaud, of Maine Campaign to Ban Cluster Bombs)**; and a live video showing of Winter Soldier events at the Meg Perry Center from 5-8.

We'll be listening to and watching the Winter Soldier hearings -- check for our thoughts in next week's Phoenix.

**UPDATE: Danny Muller just wrote to tell us that in addition to the panel speakers, the teach-in at SPACE will feature a live call-in from a Maine veteran down in DC.

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