On Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 AM, eight military veterans and a military mother climbed a 9-foot retaining fence outside the National Archives Building in Washington DC, and occupied a 90-foot high scaffolding to raise two 450-square foot banners reading, “DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!” and “WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.” The same message was also displayed at demonstrations in the Los Angeles area that day.
Members of Veterans for Peace (VFP) chose the Archives for their nonviolent protest because it is symbolic of their military oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” In September they occupied the Archives for 24 hours, and plan to stay longer this time.
“The offenses of Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices are appalling,” said Kim Carlyle, a VFP member and Army veteran. “Their misdeeds have killed or maimed more than a million people—American soldiers, innocent civilian children, women, and men. They have displaced almost five million people, with millions seeking refuge in other countries. Their total disregard for international agreements has severely tarnished the reputation of America in the world. Their unlawful wars have squandered billions of dollars that could have bolstered a troubled economy.”
The veterans are demanding Bush administration be tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace; asking the media to clearly inform the public of the administration’s crimes; and encouraging citizens to take similar nonviolent actions. (Democratic Underground, Nov. 15)