Friday, May 26, 2006

Iraq Veterans Against the War
An Interview w/ Jose Vasquez

Even if you dont care much for public opinion polls, you get the sense that over the past 6-12 months the general US population has come to terms with the fact that the government has been lying to them for a long time, specifically about the reasons why we are in Iraq. Significantly the anti-war movement has not had as much of a visible presence, though United for Peace & Justice [UFPJ] did pull off a successful mobilization here in New York on April 29th. One thing the anti-war movement has made great headway on, which has gone a little under the "movement radar" due to the lack of street demonstrations, has been the support for the various Veterans groups and Counter-Recruitment organizing efforts which are literally taking place in every part of the country.

One of the most inspiring and important of these anti-war veteran groups is IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) which was founded just over a year ago. The group is small (approx 50 members across the country) but it is growing fast and includes some amazing young organizers who are going to be around for a long time. One of these organizers is the president of the New York chapter, Jose Vasquez, who i had the pleasure of working with on the Sir! No Sir! film over the past few months. Francesca Fiorentini, editor of the War Resisters League magazine (as well as Left Turn magazine), and Steve Theberge who works on youth & counter-recruitment also for the WRL did an extended interview with Jose which gives you a great inside look at what made a life-time soldier turn into an anti-war organizer. Also if you are looking to support IVAW - check out their merchandise page here

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