being on tour around the country. It waspainted by community members and a fewvolunteers from elsewhere. Pam Johnsonsent along the design that we used. When itcomes to painted symbols, the peace bussesare “larger than they appear.”John L got Temporary Observer Statuscertification for Nukewatch at the UN, so hecould speak to a small group at the recentNuclear Nonproliferation Treaty ReviewConference in New York City. Last winter hedid a 7-city speaking tour in southernWisconsin and recently spoke in Chicago,Ill. and Ashland, Wisconsin Dells, andSeeley, Wisc. as part of the internationalcampaign to expose and eliminate“depleted” uranium weapons. He’s notalways working and spent some vacationtime with friends in Mexico and the SylvaniaWilderness in Michigan.Another construction creation isunderway. The art studio is getting anaddition. I’ve spent a couple of years in oneroom and look forward to having anotherroom for storage, a composting toilet roomand closet. With my decision to retire fromNukewatch I’m devoting much more time toart. Let me take this opportunity to advertisemy note cards. Write to me for a brochure.Most recently, Rachel Ries and AnaisMitchell performed a fundraising concert forthe Farm at Cafe Wren in Luck.For our Nukewatch work, John L and Iwere gifted a four-night stay in a Las Vegashotel. I can’t even remember how manytimes I got lost in that casino trying to makemy way to the room. We didn’t gamble, buttalked with activists about Yucca Mountainand the Nevada Test Site.The Anathoth Community is alive withvisitors, meetings, organizing, gardening,building and work for peace … check us out.And if you’re really brave, volunteer for nextyear’s second grade field trip.
By Barb Katt
For almost 3 years now, although JohnLaForge and I have both been living at thefarm, we have not been living together, andhave been open to other relationships.After 22 years as a couple, it is a bigchange and it has been difficult for every-one. And as far as changes go, it’s been lesslike “turn on the air conditioner” for cool airand more like “massive cold front collideswith warm front and spawns thunderstorms.” We are both still here though,hoping to have weathered the worst of thestorms.My efforts to remain steady havebrought me face to face with the difficulty of the practice of nonviolence in thought, wordand deed. Whatever my future holds, I amcertain that such hard-earned lessons willultimately be of benefit to myself and others.So for now I stay and look for the joyeach day in my newly configured life. I justwant to add that I write this out of respectfor all of you, near and far, who are touchedin some way by this news, and I thank youfor your kind thoughts.
By John Heid
“I admit that in Iraq there was the fearof being killed, but there was also the fear of killing innocent people, the fear of puttingmyself in a position where to survive meansto kill; there was the fear of losing my soulin the process of saving my body…. I wasafraid of waking up one morning to realizemy humanity had abandoned me…. Byputting my weapon down I chose toreassert my self as a human being.”
Camilo Mejia, Staff Sergeant, FloridaNational Guard (serving one year forrefusing to return to fight in Iraq)“The Supreme Court characterizedsome who qualify as conscientiousobjectors as people “whose consciences,spurred by deeply held moral and ethicalbeliefs will give them no rest or peace if they allowed themselves to become anypart of an instrument of war.”
Welsh v. U.S
., 1970“On the question of conscientiousobjection, I would like to say I think it is asign of maturity when people manage toaccept another form of service that is notmilitary service.”
Pope John Paul II, February 13, 1984They’re rolling out the guns again …but they’ll never take our sons again. No,they’ll never take our sons again. Yes,Johnny, I’m swearing to you.”
“Johnny I Hardly Knew You,” Tradi-tional Irish tuneWar anywhere is a threat to youtheverywhere. War any time endangers youthevery time.Draft talk punctuates conversationsfrom coffee bars to Congress. Wall Street toMain Street. Many adolescents do not giveconscription a second though. Many do… The draft issue is bipartisan withprogressives and conservativesshoulder to shoulder on both sides of the fence.Meanwhile a
“povertydraft” lures the economicallymarginalized sector of our country withthe carrot of educational opportunities, job skills and a pay check.Recruitment tactics ape thepredatory character of U.S. foreignpolicy. The school Recruiting Handbook directs military personnel to “own” theschools. War abroad creates battles athome. War makes at-risk youth auniversal reality.So…what of conscientiousobjection (CO) to the fatally flawedinstrument of war?The tradition of CO is as NorthAmerican as
pardon the adage
apple pie. Objection to conscriptionbased on conscience predates the U.S.Constitution.In its current form CO is defined inthe Military Selective Service Act as:“Nothing contained in this title shall beconstrued to require any person to besubject to combatant training andservice in the armed forces of the UnitedStates who, by reason of religioustraining and belief, is conscientiouslyopposed to participation in war in anyform….”At present there is no draft
beyond the unofficial economic(poverty) draft. There is howevercompulsory registration for SelectiveService for all males 18 – 26. While noone has been prosecuted since 1985 forfailure to register, individual states havepenalized non compliance by: 1)revocation of driving privileges; 2)refusal of admission to state collegesand 3) denial of state employment. Themost widely publicized penalty forfailure to file is denial of college financialaid.Meanwhile
in recent months theArmy and Marines have failed to meettheir recruitment quotas with the Armyrunning as much as 40% short.ROTC’s are shrinking.The Pentagon estimates 5,500 U.S.military personnel have deserted sincethe start of the current war. (This is aconservative figure.)The G.I Rights Hotline (800-394-9544) call-ins have nearly doubled
from 17,000 in 2001 to 33,000 in 2004.The designers of U.S. foreign policygive no indication of curtailing theirexpansionist agenda. As Afghanistan