Friday, October 24, 2008


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 [NCNR] and United For Peace & Justice. 

NCNR 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. 

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 were pro se with Ann Wilcox acting as an attorney advisor.  Tetaz was represented by Jack Baringer.  Judge Robert Morin presided in the trial, and jury deliberations began on October 23.


WHAT:  The jury did reach a verdict in all ten of the cases by 11 AM on October 24.  Those found not guilty were Allwine, First, Kelly, Landis and LeTendre.  The guilty were Barfield, Chadwick, Obuszewski, Saba and Tetaz.   Earlier in the trial, Judge Morin ruled that he would entertain Obuszewski’s motion for dismissal post-verdict.


So Obuszewski argued that, despite his motion for further discovery which was filed on September 26, he did not get access to a relevant document until the prosecution’s case rested.   This document was a private email about Obuszewski’s proposal for a visit to the Senate gallery on March 12.  Somehow it appeared in the U.S. Capitol Police Intelligence Report for March 12.  Also at the bottom of the email was a source, a Common Dreams URL.  If you went to this URL, it was a press release sent out by the activist about a legal proceeding in May 2007. 


It had nothing to do with the lobbying effort by the ten defendants on March 12.  It seems there was an attempt to cover up the real source of the pilfered email.  The email was never sent out to any public web sites.  Since Obuszewski was being spied on by the Maryland State Police, it is possible some police agency illegally obtained the private email.


Thus Judge Morin ordered the prosecutor to contact the U.S. Capitol Police and find witnesses who could testify as to how this private email was obtained, why it was placed in an intelligence report and why the source was covered up.  A status hearing was set up so both sides could come to an agreement on a hearing date where witnesses will testify and be cross-examined and further evidence will be presented.


WHEN:  Friday, November 7, 2008 at 11:00 AM


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


WHY:  Should it be confirmed that a private email was illegally obtained and relevant to the defense strategy, Judge Morin may grant a motion to dismiss the case for the five defendants found guilty.  The government could chose to retry the case, but that is an unlikely possibility.


As Obuszewski is one of the “53” activists listed as terrorists by the Maryland State Police, it may be discovered through cross-examination of U.S. Capitol Police officers that surveillance continued in 2007 and 2008.  Representatives of the Maryland State Police have stated the surveillance campaign ended in November 2006.  It remains to be seen how accurate that statement might be,


All ten defendants, long-time peace activists, have worked 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.  As the Ghosts of the Iraq War, they tried again to call for an end to war funding.  While they failed, and some were convicted of unlawful conduct, they will continue their efforts to bring an end to the Iraq 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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