***please forward widely***
Veterans Speak Out
"We Need Jobs & Schools, Not War"
*James Circello, Iraq War Veteran and War Resister
*Priscilla Lounds, U.S. Army Veteran
Friday, March 27
Community Church of Boston
565 Boylston St. - Copley Square
Green Line to Copley Sq., Orange Line to Back Bay, #8, 39 bus to Copley Sq
Members of the Veterans and Service Members
Task Force of the ANSWER Coalition help to lead
the march of over 10,000 people to the Pentagon
and Corporate War Profiteers on Sat, March 21.
Just last month alone, 5,000 jobs were lost across the state of Massachusetts. The unemployment and home foreclosure rates in Roxbury and Dorchester are five times higher than the city average. Several Boston public schools are closing and college students face skyrocketing costs. In too many neighborhoods, military recruiters outnumber college recruiters.
Thousands in Boston, and millions across the country, are struggling daily. All the while, nearly $1 billion is spent yearly on prisons and the police in the Boston area, and the Pentagon war budget exceeds $1 trillion dollars annually.
Please join us to hear from veterans their perspective on the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the
struggle of working people in the U.S. and discuss how we can fight back and win real change.
* * * * *
This meeting is hosted by the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) - Boston. The PSL is a member group of the ANSWER Coalition.
For more information, call[masked], email [address removed]
or go to PSLWeb.org
Meet James Circello
James Circello enlisted in the United States Army as an Airborne Infantryman in September 2001.
He served with various units throughout Europe and deployed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Of this experience, James writes: ���During the occupation of Iraq, the truth about what the United States government has done to the country of Iraq became more apparent. Open waste water flowed through neighborhood streets where children played soccer. Families were thrown out of their homes with simple accusations from others. Vehicles were taken on sight by the military if individuals couldn't provide proper documents claiming they own the vehicle. These events and others helped in strengthening my
opposition to the so-called ���War on Terror.������
In April 2007, while his unit was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, James Circello deserted the military. Months later, he issued an open letter to the U.S. government declaring he had officially resigned from the military. While AWOL he delivered speeches along the devastated Gulf Coast, making the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan personal to many of Hurricane Katrina's survivors.
In November 2007, James Circello turned himself in to the military at Fort Knox and was discharged administratively within three days.
James is currently active with the Washington, D.C. chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and with the ANSWER Coalition, and was one of the organizers of the March 21st March on the Pentagon.
Meet Priscilla Lounds
Priscilla Lounds joined the Army when she was 22.
Of the decision to join, Priscilla writes: ���I joined because I had a dead-end job and no money for college. There didn���t appear to be any alternative but to enlist. I was young, naive and believed all the promises. It didn't take me long to realize I had made a mistake. I experienced firsthand how the command strategically pits one soldier against the other based on race, nationality, religion and gender.���
At the beginning of her fourth year, Priscilla refused to go to NCO (non-commissioned officer) school. She was discharged from the service with an honorable discharge and a Bar to Re-enlistment.
After returning to her hometown, a working-class
neighborhood in Connecticut, she realized that the community hadn���t changed. Lack of employment kept the area in poverty. As in most communities were there is a lack of opportunities, crime and substance abuse was growing. She thought she could help by organizing a neighborhood watch group. Again, she realized that this program was not what it portrays itself to be. It was just an extension of the police state. Just like the military, it promoted hate and fear. It did not help bring the people living there together. There wasn���t anything within the program to generate jobs or a better life for the working-class people who lived there. From this she learned that the current system and the people at the top design it this way. It provides them with a never-ending base for its military to recruit from.
Of her current organizing, Priscilla writes: ���In the Army, I was taught hate and trained to hate enough to kill without remorse. I am glad I
never had to use this training. Back home I learned how hate is promoted by programs only camouflaged to do good.
Since I began working with ANSWER I have learned how it is all connected. ANSWER has given me a direction to take my experiences, combine them with those of other veterans and activists, and to help organize, educate and work together to bring an end to U.S. wars of aggression and occupation. I am finally proud to say I belong to something, something whose true goal is to stop war and end racism.���