Help get “This is Where We Take Our Stand” on your local PBS station

As we near the holidays, we want to give a big THANK YOU to all of you who responded to our urgent request to contact your local PBS station asking them to air “This is Where We Take Our Stand” in January and February.

If you haven’t yet contacted your local station, below is a list of contact links for the largest thirty stations. Just click on the one nearest you and send them a message. Do it this week, send it to your own lists, and let PBS know that you want this story and these veterans to be seen by millions. Continue reading

Urgent! PBS broadcast of This is Where We Take Our Stand

Dear Friends,

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that This is Where We Take Our Stand, the film about the Iraq Veterans Against the War Winter Soldier/Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation, has now been distributed to every PBS station in the country for broadcast in January and February. Funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and distributed by the National Educational Television Association (NETA), the film finally has the chance to be seen by people all across the country. Continue reading

This is Where We Take Our Stand Premiering in Los Angeles, Coming to PBS

Los Angeles
Premiere
Screening

 

UCLA’S HAMMER MUSEUM
10899 Wilshire Blvd.

 

Tuesday, November 22 – 7:00 PM


Join the film’s directors and subject
Geoff Millard for a Q&A after the screening.

 

Special guest Tom Morello is scheduled to perform.

 

The film about the historic 2008 Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigation, This is Where We Take Our Stand, is finally going to see the light of day! The Los Angeles premiere will be at the Hammer Museum on November 22, and it will be broadcast on PBS stations nationwide in January/February 2012. Stay tuned for details of the broadcast.

The story of the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) who risked everything to tell their stories is today more relevant than ever. As President Obama withdraws troops from a devastated Iraq (minus ten or twenty thousand “contractors” and the largest, most militarized American Embassy in the world), he sends more to Afghanistan and announces new deployments to other Gulf countries. Nothing is over.

This is Where We Take Our Stand brings you into the powerful, damning testimony of veterans and soldiers at the 2008 event. And it follows IVAW members Geoff Millard (National Guard), Selena Coppa (Army) and Jason Washburn (Marines) as they struggle through controversy, attacks, and their own and their friends’ demons to make this historic event happen.

This is Where We Take Our Stand was directed by Bestor Cram, Mike Majoros and David Zeiger.

Funding was provided by the Independent Television Service, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Fledgling Fund, The Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, and individual contributions from Michael Locker, Victor Wallis, Paul Lauter, Richard Ohmann, Carolyn Blackwood, Lenny Potash, Ann Wright, Richard Flacks, and hundreds more.

 

 

 

 

EXCITING NEWS! WINTER SOLDIERS TO TAKE THEIR STAND ON PBS!

Iraq Veterans Against The War

We are very happy to report that we have received funding from the Independent Television Service (ITVS) to create an hour-long documentary for Public Television. The film, also titled This is Where We Take Our Stand, will go beyond the web series, delving further into the lives of the soldiers and veterans who organized and testified at Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan in March of 2008, and reflecting on its impact two years later.The new film, which we hope will be broadcast on PBS early next year, brings the story of Winter Soldier and the veterans who testified to a huge audience nationwide at a time when it is, ironically and infuriatingly, more timely than ever.

So spread the word, watch the web series if you haven’t yet, and stay tuned!

David Zeiger and Bestor Cram
Displaced Films
and Northern Light Productions

Army finally accepts Lt. Ehren Watada resignation (from Courage to Resist)

By Audry McAvoy, Associated Press
September 25, 2009

The Army is allowing the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq to resign from the service, his attorney said late Friday. First Lt. Ehren Watada will be granted a discharge Oct. 2, “under other than honorable conditions,” attorney Kenneth Kagan said. Watada told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin he was happy the matter has finally been closed. “The actual outcome is different from the outcome that I envisioned in the first place, but I am grateful of the outcome,” he said.

(click here to read on.)

Episode Six: No Longer a Monster

“There are no more authoritative voices to speak out about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than the people who have been there under fire,” declares singer Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman, Rage Against the Machine), as he leads an intense celebration of three days of intense, painful, and liberating testimony. And while James Gilligan reveals the deep similarities between the “bad war” (Iraq) and the “good war” (Afghanistan), Jon Turner declares for all, “I am sorry for the things that I did, I am no longer the monster that I once was.”

(NOTE: James Gilligan, whose testimony was originally in Episode 6, has requested that he not be included in the series at this point, and we have honored his request.)

This is Where We Take Our Stand – The Series

Where’s the debate?

Are we watching passively while Barack Obama carries out the same policies as George W. Bush?

When an American bombing raid this May killed over two hundred civilians in a village in Afghanistan, it was met with a deafening silence. When Obama’s promised “withdrawal” from Iraq leaves 130,000 troops there for at least two more years and 50,000 permanently, it’s hailed as an end to the occupation. And who is demanding to know just what the mission really is when 30,000 more troops are sent to Afghanistan?

Where’s the debate?

In March of 2008, two hundred and fifty veterans and active duty soldiers marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by gathering in Washington, DC, to testify from their own experience about the nature of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. It was chilling, horrifying, and challenging for all who witnessed it. Against tremendous odds, they brought the voices of the veterans themselves into the debate. That was then.

This is now.  Today, we present to you This is Where We Take Our Stand, the inside story of those three days and the courageous men and women who testified. And we present this story today, told in six episodes, because we believe it is as relevant now as it was one year ago. Maybe more.

Here is our challenge to you: Watch the series; spread it far and wide; and ask yourself is this about the past, or the present and future. Then add your voice.

If you are a veteran or active duty, present your own testimony. If you are not, but you are still a living, breathing member of the human race, then do whatever you can to join and fan the flames of debate.

David Zeiger, Director of Sir! No Sir!

Bestor Cram, Director of Unfinished Symphony

Mike Majoros, Director of Unfinished Symphony

Take action today to support GI resistance (from Courage to Resist)

By Courage to Resist. September 4, 2009 (updated regularly)

Consolidated and up-to-date list of easy action items

We have a lot of information about GI resistance and how to help objectors spread out over hundreds of pages on couragetoresist.org. However, sometimes folks just want to know what needs to be done and how to do it, including:

Episode Five: This is Not Human Nature

For the first time in history, women have combat and other front-line roles in the U.S. military, yet the military today is rife with sexual harassment, as Wendy Barranco reveals. Is this progress? Is it inevitable?  Human nature? Or perhaps it’s the sign of a deeper malignancy. For Wendy, her treatment was “the last thing I would have imagined from my own peers and comrades.”

This is Where We Take Our Stand – The Series

Where’s the debate?

Are we watching passively while Barack Obama carries out the same policies as George W. Bush?

When an American bombing raid this May killed over two hundred civilians in a village in Afghanistan, it was met with a deafening silence. When Obama’s promised “withdrawal” from Iraq leaves 130,000 troops there for at least two more years and 50,000 permanently, it’s hailed as an end to the occupation. And who is demanding to know just what the mission really is when 30,000 more troops are sent to Afghanistan?

Where’s the debate?

In March of 2008, two hundred and fifty veterans and active duty soldiers marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by gathering in Washington, DC, to testify from their own experience about the nature of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. It was chilling, horrifying, and challenging for all who witnessed it. Against tremendous odds, they brought the voices of the veterans themselves into the debate. That was then.

This is now.  Today, we present to you This is Where We Take Our Stand, the inside story of those three days and the courageous men and women who testified. And we present this story today, told in six episodes, because we believe it is as relevant now as it was one year ago. Maybe more.

Here is our challenge to you: Watch the series; spread it far and wide; and ask yourself is this about the past, or the present and future. Then add your voice.

If you are a veteran or active duty, present your own testimony. If you are not, but you are still a living, breathing member of the human race, then do whatever you can to join and fan the flames of debate.

David Zeiger, Director of Sir! No Sir!

Bestor Cram, Director of Unfinished Symphony

New York Times

Check out the writeup in the New York Times!

American Antiwar Movement Plans an Autumn Campaign Against Policies on Afghanistan

Published: August 29, 2009

A restive antiwar movement, largely dormant since the election of Barack Obama, is preparing a nationwide campaign this fall to challenge the administration’s policies on Afghanistan.

Medea Benjamin, right, co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink, protesting at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Anticipating a Pentagon request for more troops there, antiwar leaders have engaged in a flurry of meetings to discuss a month of demonstrations, lobbying, teach-ins and memorials in October to publicize the casualty count, raise concerns about the cost of the war and pressure Congress to demand an exit strategy.

But they face a starkly changed political climate from just a year ago, when President George W. Bush provided a lightning rod for protests. The health care battle is consuming the resources of labor unions and other core Democratic groups. American troops are leaving Iraq, defusing antiwar sentiments in some quarters. The recession has hurt fund-raising for peace groups and forced them to slash budgets. And, perhaps most significant, many liberals continue to support Mr. Obama, or at least are hesitant about openly criticizing him.

“People do not want to take on the administration,” said Jon Soltz, chairman of VoteVets.org. “Generating the kind of money that would be required to challenge the president’s policies just isn’t going to happen.”

Tom Andrews, national director for an antiwar coalition, Win Without War, said most liberals “want this guy to succeed.” But he said the antiwar movement would try to convince liberals that a prolonged war would undermine Mr. Obama’s domestic agenda. Afghanistan, he said, “could be a devastating albatross around the president’s neck.”

But there is also a sense among some antiwar advocates that Mr. Obama’s honeymoon with Democrats in general and liberals in particular is ending. As evidence, they point to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showing that 51 percent of Americans now feel the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting, a 10-point increase since March. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

“We’re coming out of a low period,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink. “But as progressives feel more comfortable protesting against the Obama administration and challenging Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress, then we’ll be back on track.”

The Obama administration has opposed legislation requiring an exit strategy, saying it needs time to develop new approaches to the war. “Given his own impatience for progress, the president has demanded benchmarks to track our progress and ensure that we are moving in the right direction,” a White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The October protest schedule is expected to include marches in Washington and elsewhere. But organizers acknowledge that it may be difficult to recruit large numbers of demonstrators. So groups like United for Peace and Justice are also planning smaller events in communities around the country, including teach-ins with veterans and families of deployed troops, lobbying sessions with members of Congress, film screenings and ad hoc memorials featuring the boots of deceased soldiers and Marines.

“There are some that feel betrayed” by Mr. Obama, said Nancy Lessin, a founder of the group Military Families Speak Out. “There are some who feel that powerful forces are pushing the president to stay on this course and that we have to build a more powerful movement to change that course.”

The October actions will be timed not only to the eighth anniversary of the first American airstrikes on Taliban forces and the seventh anniversary of Congressional authorization for invading Iraq, but also an anticipated debate in Congress over sending more troops to Afghanistan. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, is widely expected to request additional troops, beyond the 68,000 projected for the end of the year, after finalizing a policy review in the next few weeks.

The antiwar movement consists of dozens of organizations representing pacifists, veterans, military families, labor unions and religious groups, and they hardly speak with one voice. Some groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War have started shifting their focus toward Afghanistan, passing resolutions demanding an immediate withdrawal of troops from there. Others, like VoteVets.org, support the American military presence in Afghanistan, calling it crucial to fighting terrorism.

And some groups, including Moveon.org, have yet to take a clear position on Afghanistan beyond warning that war drains resources from domestic programs.

“There is not the passion around Afghanistan that we saw around Iraq,” said Ilyse Hogue, Moveon.org’s spokeswoman. “But there are questions.”

There are also signs that some groups that have been relatively quiet on Afghanistan are preparing to become louder. U.S. Labor Against the War, a network of nearly 190 union affiliates that has been focused on Iraq, is “moving more into full opposition to the continuing occupation” of Afghanistan, said Michael Eisenscher, the group’s national coordinator.

President Obama risks his entire domestic agenda, just as Johnson did in Vietnam, in pursuing this course of action in Afghanistan,” Mr. Eisenscher said.

Handfuls of antiwar protestors can still be seen on Capitol Hill, outside state office buildings and around college campuses. Cindy Sheehan, for instance, has set up her vigil on Martha’s Vineyard while Mr. Obama vacations there. But many advocates say a lower-key approach may be more effective in winning support right now.

An example of that strategy is an Internet film titled “Rethink Afghanistan,” which is being produced and released in segments by the political documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald. In six episodes so far, Mr. Greenwald has used interviews with academics, Afghans and former C.I.A. operatives to raise questions about civilian casualties, women’s rights, the cost of war and whether it has made the United States safer.

The episodes, some as short as two minutes, are circulated via Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and blogs. Antiwar groups are also screening them with members of Congress. Mr. Greenwald, who has produced documentaries about Wal-Mart and war profiteers, said the film represented a “less incendiary” approach influenced by liberal concerns that he not attack Mr. Obama directly.

“We lost funding from liberals who didn’t want to criticize Obama,” he said. “It’s been lonely out there.”

Code Pink is trying to build opposition to the war among women’s groups, some of which argue that women will suffer if the Taliban returns. In September, a group of Code Pink organizers will visit Kabul to encourage Afghan women to speak out against the American military presence there.

And Iraq Veterans Against the War is using the Web to circulate episodes of a documentary, “This Is Where We Take Our Stand,” filmed in 2008 at its Winter Soldier conference, at which veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan testified about civilian casualties, combat stress and other tolls of the wars.

The group’s leaders say they do not expect many people to take to the barricades against the administration any time soon. But that will change, they argue, as the death toll continues to rise.

“In the next year, it will more and more become Obama’s war,” said Perry O’Brien, president of the New York chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “He’ll be held responsible for the bloodshed.”