Nonviolent Resistance Acts

Witness Against War walks 500th mile in to St. Paul

We were glad to attend the Vets for Peace Convention and to hear compelling “summons” to help build the peace movement.

Two of our walkers joined a contingent of the march which attempted, nonviolently, to deliver letters to people who are participating in the Republican National Convention.

Fort McCoy: Concerts and Patriotic Encounters

August 25, 2008
By Gene Stoltzfus
Gene’s Blog

Route 21 from Tomah, Wisconsin west to Sparta goes through hilly corn fields and woods. After the tiny berg of Tunnel City the fields end and Fort McCoy begins. Eighty miles northwest of Madison this Fort is one of the few major army training bases in the Northern Midwest. The Gene StoltzfusGene Stoltzfusoops headed for Iraq and other combat zones. It also provides jobs for civilians.

On this Sunday in August with reporters and cameras looking on the base prepared for the visit of 50 peace walkers on Witness Against War pilgrimage from Chicago to St. Paul. Twelve walkers would seek to enter the base to talk with soldiers and officers about war and peace. I was one of the twelve. The 350 mile walk was organized by Chicago based Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

I joined the group at Tunnel City five miles east of the main entrance to Fort McCoy. State Route 21 was thick with security cars among army trucks, Hummers, SUVs and other vehicles, some out for a Sunday excursion and others basking in vacation days. Horn blowing and waves from people encouraged us. No harsh fists or crypto-patriotic shouts. By 11 am we reached the main entrance only to discover that it had been closed and, that persons seeking entrance must go on.

Walk Blog: Josh Brollier, Civil Disobedience a Success?

By Joshua Brollier
Aug 12, 2008

The press has gone out and the word has spread about our non-violent act of civil resistance at Ft McCoy, and I have been reflecting on the event and hoping that our action was an encouragement to the soldiers who are set to deploy to Iraq in 2009. We attempted to enter the base and have conversations with soldiers about their right to refuse illegal orders and to file as conscientious objectors. We also wanted to inform them that Spencer Black is going to introduce a piece of legislature that will potentially keep the 32nd Brigade Combat Team of the Wisconsin National Guard at home- this will be the second to third deployment of many members of the guard.

Winonan arrested at Fort McCoy protest

August 12, 2008
By Kevin Behr
Winona Daily News

A Winona woman was among 13 protesters arrested by military police Sunday for trespassing during a protest at the Fort McCoy military base near Sparta, Wis.

Closed Navy "Nuclear War Trigger" Still Casting Long Shadow

By John LaForge
August 11, 2008

TUNNEL CITY, Wisconsin — The long history of anti-nuclear protests in Wisconsin caught up yesterday with Kathy Kelly, a founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence in Chicago, when a group of 13 peace activists walked onto the grounds of Ft. McCoy, the National Guard base near here, calling for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Ft. McCoy is one of the country’s largest Guard bases and is a central training and deployment hub for occupation troops being shipped into Iraq and Afghanistan.

13 Arrested at Fort McCoy for Opposing Iraq War

August 10, 2008

View Photos

August 9 was a day of preparation for Witness Against War. Preparation for the act of nonviolent civil resistance to take place the following day.

We gathered at the Lafayette Town Hall just north of Sparta. Our host’s family goes back 7 generations on this land. His aunt and uncle donated the property on which the town hall now sits.


July 3, 2008

The city of Amman, Jordan, is awash with numerous colorful signs that proclaim independence, “Istiklal.” The word is found on posters and placards in store windows. It names a major thoroughfare, a hospital, and a shopping center. Appreciation for independence is palpable, and this could be said for numerous cities and towns throughout the region, including Iraq, where past struggles for independence are commemorated by naming buildings and streets “Istiklal.” It reflects the love of independence and the longing for it.

But independence is elusive in a region suffering multiple wars and occupations. Particularly in Iraq, it’s hard to imagine an independent society growing up amid the violent wreckage of economic sanctions, U.S. bombardment and staggering corruption.

Who Is "Disorderly"?

May 9, 2008

Trial Statement, City Court, Syracuse, New York

Friends, members of the court, Judge Cecile,

As I am defending myself, my defense will be unencumbered with legal jargon and technicalities.

Given that the prosecution has failed to prove its case against me, at this juncture it might be appropriate to rest my case. But, quite frankly, my aim here goes beyond merely winning an acquittal.

Since intent is pivotal to the charge of “disorderly conduct,” I must explain why early on the afternoon of March 19 I was in one of Syracuse’s busiest streets, in one of Syracuse’s most public places – at a demonstration attended by hundreds, a demonstration featured on the front page – above the fold – of the March 20 Syracuse Post-Standard.

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