Monday, October 20, 2008

Government to begin its case in the Ghosts of the Iraq War jury trial in D.C.

Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski at



Contact: Max Obuszewski [410] 366-1637 or mobuszewski at



WHO: The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore was formed for individuals willing to engage in nonviolent civil resistance to first prevent and later to protest the war in Iraq. It is affiliated with several national peace groups, including the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance and United For Peace & Justice. 

The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance organized a theatrical event on March 12 inside the gallery of the U.S. Senate.  Three members of the Baltimore Pledge, Maria Allwine, Ellen Barfield and Max Obuszewski, joined with Tim Chadwick, Joy First, Judith Kelly, Art Landis, Linda LeTendre, Manijeh Saba and Eve Tetaz as the Ghosts of the Iraq War. 

WHAT:  Each of the ten stood up individually, while wearing a We Will Not Be Silent tee shirt and gauze over the head, and stated "I am a ghost from the Iraq War.  While I died needlessly, I am here to demand an end to the funding of the war so that others do not have to die."  All were removed, arrested and charged with Unlawful conduct, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.


Nine of the defendants are pro se with Ann Wilcox acting as an attorney adviser.  Tetaz will be represented by Jack Baringer.  Judge Robert Morin will preside in the jury trial.  On October 20, a jury was impaneled.  So the government will begin its case for prosecution.


WHEN:  Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 10:30 AM


WHERE:  Courtroom 312 in Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001


WHY:  All ten defendants, long-time peace activists, have been working for years to try to convince their legislators that the Iraq War is an unqualified mess, a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars and an unmitigated disaster for the people of Iraq and the soldiers sent to fight.  They have marched, lobbied, vigiled, protested and written letters to their elected officials.  Since they have been unsuccessful in their efforts, they decided to get creative and take their message directly to the U.S. Senate.  


They acted without any criminal intent and pleaded with the members of this august body to bring the troops home and to cut off funding of the Iraq War.  Some of the senators present on March 12 were Ben Cardin [D-MD], Ted Kennedy [D-MA], Blanche Lincoln [D-AR] and Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad [D-ND]. The ghosts were only obeying their Nuremberg obligation to speak out when a government violates the law.


Their plea was entered in the Congressional Record, heard on C-Span and reported in the media.  They hoped their message would reverberate around the country through media coverage and that others would also take the risks of peace and speak to their legislators. It remains unclear what effect the Ghosts of the Iraq War might have had.  Nevertheless, the defendants will use the trial to continue to call for an end to the war.


See the action at




"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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