US Social Forum: Military Vets

 Throwing Down Against Empire

Military Veterans Speak-Out on Practical Strategies to End War

Sponsors: War Resisters League, the Catalyst Project and Iraq Veterans Against the War

Program for the US Social Forum , June 27th – July 1st, 2007

Can we build an anti-war movement that not only ends the occupation of Iraq, but also challenges the foundations of war? This panel will bring together Veterans of the Vietnam, first Gulf, and Iraq wars to share their experiences of resistance and organizing and discuss how you can support GI resistance, the Conscientious Objectors movement and counter-recruitment as core strategies for building a successful anti-war movement.

The U.S. anti-war movement is successfully using counter-recruitment as a strategy to weaken the military and galvanize anti-war opposition in working class communities and campuses around the country. Adding fuel to the fire, resistance within the military is on the upswing with large numbers of soldiers refusing orders, declaring themselves conscientious objectors (COs), or speaking our against the war. Veterans have become a central voice in the antiwar movement, and a driving force behind some of the most compelling organizing happening today.

This panel will offer a space to hear and discuss lessons, challenges, and analysis, but will focus on concrete strategy and movement building as a way to improve depth of our work and our long term vision in anti-war movement, in order to outlast the current feeling of crisis. By centralizing voices of veterans in building anti-war strategy, we intend to build stronger connections and more support within broader anti-war movement for conscientious objectors and GI resisters.

This panel is designed for both long-time anti-war activists and people just getting started. If you believe people power can stop the war and you want to see more then big marches against the war, this panel is for you.