The Citizens' Tribunal on Iraq

Our voices will not be silenced.
September 18 ­ 23, 2005
Centenary - Chenango Street United Methodist Church
438 Chenango Street
Binghamton, NY

 

   
   

Aim: to present the legal, historical, and moral defense
for civil resistance to this illegal, immoral war.

Because Judge Thomas J. McAvoy, who will preside over the
St. Patrick's Four trial, stated in May that his "court offers no
opinion on the war in Iraq as it is entirely irrelevant to this
matter..."

Because Judge Thomas J. McAvoy admitted that even if the
Iraq war was illegal, "it does not provide a justification for
violating the criminal laws of the United States..."

Because Judge Thomas J. McAvoy has suggested that the four
defendants will be unable to explain and defend their actions in
the context of international law, which the United States
Constitution allows...

And because the ministers of all wars work furiously to silence
t he voices of dissent, the voices of conscience, the voices of
peace, the voices of victims...

We, the members of the St. Patrick's Four Support Team, have
invited expert witnesses to provide, in a public court, the
testimony that shall affirm the legal right to resist nonviolently
this criminal act of pre-emptive aggression.

   
         

               

The Citizens' Tribunal on Iraq
Sunday, September 18: "The Voices of Faith"

               
Opening Remarks and Moderation by Father Timothy Taugher,
pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Binghamton.
Legal update by Mary Novak (pictured bottom left).
               
Beth Harris is a professor of politics at Ithaca College. She has worked to organize individuals within American Jewish communities to combine forces with Palestinian and Israeli human rights activists. Her research has examined how legal strategies in defense of the deprived and underprivileged have influenced political dynamics both at home and abroad.                
Elizabeth "Liz" McAllister is a writer, artist, mother, and long-time peace activist. With the late Philip Berrigan, she helped establish Jonah House, a community of men and women who dedicate their lives to peace and social justice. She has engaged in many acts of "divine obedience," for which the American empire has sentenced her to prison. She has inspired, and continues to inspire, people in this country and throughout the world to resist war and to struggle against racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination.                
Davone Nealy is a hip-hop artist and poet. His organization, All People's United Enterprises, emphasizes financial and economic education for youth.                

Cathy Breen, R.N., is a member of the New York City Catholic Worker community and also of Voices in the Wilderness and Christian Peacemaker Teams. Breen lived in Baghdad from October 2002 through April 2003 and thus witnessed the "Shock and Awe" invasion of late March and early April of 2003. She has returned to Iraq several times during the ongoing occupation. Cathy has spent much of her time in Iraq visiting children with leukemia and their families in pediatric hospitals.                
SP4:
Clare Grady
Teresa Grady
Peter DeMott
Danny Burns
               
                 
                 

Main Program 59 min : 00 sec

moderated by Fr. Timothy Taugher

· Beth Harris, professor of politics, Ithaca College

· Davone Nealy, founder of All People's United Enterprises

· Elizabeth "Liz" McAllister, co-founder of Jonah House

· Cathy Breen, New York Catholic Worker

· Statements by the St. Patrick's Four

Supplemental

· Sharing 13 min : 07 sec

· Scripture 13 min : 02 sec

· Music 15 min : 08 sec

· Dahr Jamail 57 min : 40 sec

Total video: 2 hr : 37 min : 57 sec

               
                 
Dahr Jamail is an unembedded independent journalist respected worldwide for his incisive, critical dispatches from Iraq, He spoke in Binghamton's Holy Trinity Church on January 25, 2006, to share his testimony of war crimes in Iraq, and to express his solidarity with the St. Patrick's Four. The four parents from Ithaca faced sentencing hearings that week for their actions of nonviolent civil resistance committed almost three years ago.
               
                 

               
                         

The Citizens' Tribunal on Iraq
Monday, September 19: "The Voices of Diplomacy"

               
                         

Opening Remarks and Moderation by James Petras, professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University. He is author or editor of over 60 books, including the acclaimed Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the 21st Century; his work has been translated into 26 languages. Petras was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal Against Repression in Latin America.

               
                         
Ray McGovern served for 27 years as a CIA analyst and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. Ray's duties at the CIA included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President's Daily Brief (PDB). These, the most authoritative genres of intelligence reporting, have been the focus of press reporting on "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq and on what the president was told before 9/11.... http://faculty.schreiner.edu/tomwells/ray_mcgovern_bio.htm                
                         

Ann Wright resigned from the U.S. Foreign Service on March 19, 2003, to protest the invasion of Iraq, which was a violation of the United Nations charter. She joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served as deputy chief of mission of U.S. embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, and Mongolia, and briefly in Afghanistan. Before entering the Foreign Service, she served in the Army and has a combined regular Army/Army Reserve service time of 29 years.

               
                         

Michael Meacher was England's Minister for the Environment in the Blair government from 1997 to 2003; he also served as a minister in the Wilson-Callaghan governments from 1983 to 1997. He has continuously been on the Front Bench in Parliament for the past 29 years. During his Parliamentary career, he has held seven portfolios, either in Opposition or in Government. Since 2003, he has been very active on a number of domestic and international issues, especially the background to the Iraq War and its consequences.

               
                         
                         

Main Program 1 hr : 56 min: 53 sec

part 1 only: 59 min: 12 sec

moderated by James Petras

· Ray McGovern, Veteran Intelligence Professionals

for Sanity

· Ann Wright, former deputy chief of mission in four

U.S. embassies

· Michael Meacher, Labour MP and former minister

in the Blair government

Supplemental

· Press Conference: 12 min: 28 sec

Maurice Hinchey, U.S. representative,

N.Y. 22nd Congressional District

Total video: 2 hr: 09 min: 21 sec

               
                         

               
                         

The Citizens' Tribunal on Iraq
Tuesday, September 20: "The Voices of Victims"

               
                         
Opening Remarks and Moderation by Jim Clune, a member of Zachaeus Catholic Worker house in Binghamton. Clune was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and has been a Peace Movement activist ever since. He has been involved in over two dozen direct actions similar to the SP4 action, and visited Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness in 1999.

 

               
                         

Kathy Kelly helped initiate Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to end the

U.N./U.S. sanctions against Iraq. For bringing "medicine and toys" to Iraq in open violation of the sanctions, she and other campaign members were notified of a proposed $163,000 penalty for the organization, threatened with 12 years in prison, and eventually fined $20,000, a sum they have refused to pay. Voices in the Wilderness organized 70 delegations to visit Iraq in the period between 1996 and the launch of "Shock and Awe." Kelly has been to Iraq 22 times since January 1996, when the campaign began.

               
                         
Medea Benjamin, a powerful and charismatic force in human rights activism, has struggled for social justice in Asia, Africa, and the Americas for over 20 years. She is the founding director of the human rights organization Global Exchange. She is also the co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace, a women's group that has been organizing against the war in Iraq and pushing for a reorientation of budget priorities in the U.S. to focus on heath care, education, and housing, not war. In February 2003, Benjamin visited Iraq and met with weapons inspectors, women's groups, and ordinary Iraqi civilians.                
                         
Debbie Quigley was working as an oncology nurse at the Tenet Memorial Hospital in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. The hospital was surrounded by rising water. That experience, shared with her husband, Bill Quigley, has given her a unique insight into who were (and still are) left behind. "In Iraq, they have no electricity, they have no water, and they have no hospitals. Now, in New Orleans, we have no electricity, we have no water, and we have no hospitals. . . . As the United States of America sent our tax dollars to destroy the electricity, the water, and the hospitals in Iraq ... the inner cities of our own country have been depleted."                
                         
Mary Anne Grady Flores organized the Vieques Support Group of Ithaca Catholic Worker. She has testified twice at the U.N. on the use of depleted uranium weapons and the dangers posed by the resulting environmental contamination. She was arrested twice in the former U.S. Navy bombing zone in Vieques, Puerto Rico. She began community organizing during the 70's for the United Farmer Workers and continues to advocate for human and civil rights globally and at home. She is currently involved in the Iraqi Tooth Project, an environmental study to determine the extent to which Iraqi Children have encorporated depleted uranium into their primary teeth. She is the sister of Clare and Teresa Grady, and sister-in-law of Peter DeMott                
                         

Main Program 1 hr : 29 min: 00 sec

part 1 only: 59 min: 00 sec

moderated by Jim Clune

legal update by attorney Bill Quigley

· Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices in the Wilderness

· Medea Benjamin, founder of Global Exchange and

co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace

· Mary Anne Grady Flores, Ithaca Catholic Worker

Vieques Support Team

· Debbie Quigley, oncology nurse in New Orleans

Supplemental

Interviews with Dr. Thomas Fasy, a pathologist at

Mount Sinai School of Medicine:

· Torture of Haj Ali;

· The Threat of

Depleted Uranium 58 min: 20 sec

· Iraqi Tooth Project 07 min: 32 sec

Total video: 2 hr: 34 min: 52 sec

               
                         

               
                         

The Citizens' Tribunal on Iraq
Wednesday, September 21: "The Voices of Justice"

               
                         

Opening Remarks and Moderation by Tarik Abdelazim, outreach

coordinator with the St. Patrick's Four support team. Abdelazim is a board member of Broome County Peace Action; in July of 2005 the group successfully pushed for city legislation in Binghamton calling for the immediate withdrawl of troops in Iraq. " I know others might say this is an issue for Washington alone to debate and manage," he told council members before the vote. " However, our community continues to bear and suffer the human, moral, and financial costs of this war, so by no means is it inappropriate for the residents of Binghamton to ask you gentlemen to consider this proposal."

               
                         
Scott Horton is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, where he teaches international public and private law and the law of armed conflict. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; chairs the advisory board of the EurasiaGroup, a political risk and policy analysis group; and was a founding trustee of the American University in Central Asia. He has been a life-long human rights advocate, serving as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among others. He is a director of the International Law Association and chairs the New York City Bar's Committee on International Law                
                         
John Bonifaz, a constitutional lawyer, is a co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, a national coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and public interest organizations seeking a formal Congressional investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. In early 2003, he served as plaintiffs' lead counsel in John Doe I v. President Bush, a constitutional challenge to Bush's authority to wage the war. Bonifaz represented a coalition of soldiers, parents of soldiers, and members of Congress, arguing that the president's planned first-strike invasion of Iraq violated the War Powers Clause of the Constitution.                
                         
Gitanjali S. Gutierrez is a human rights attorney with the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), specializing in the relationship between the laws of war, international human rights law, and anti-terrorism policies. She was a member of the legal team for Rasul v. Bush before the U.S. Supreme Court, and secured the rights of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to access the federal courts. She also works with a coalition of legal organizations, human rights groups, and law firms challenging the Bush administration's policy of detentions and interrogations beyond the reach of law in the name of the "war on terrorism."                
                         
Peter Orville is an attorney with over 20 years of practice in the greater Binghamton area. He is an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Binghamton University, and has worked for nearly five years in the Broome County Public Defender's office. He has been on the board of directors of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a member of the New York State Defender's Association, and a member of the Criminal Justice Committee of the New York State Bar Association and the Broome County Bar Association.                
                         

Main Program 1 hr : 58 min: 59 sec

part 1 only: 50 min: 24 sec

moderated by Tarik Abdelazim

legal update by attorney Peter Orville

· Scott Horton, Columbia Law School, International

Law Association & chair of N.Y.C. Bar''s Committee on

International Law.

· John Bonifaz, Constitutional lawyer & co-founder, AfterDowningStreet.org

· Gitanjali Gutierrez, human rights attorney with the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative, Center for

Constitutional Rights (CCR)

Supplemental

Bill Quigley trial update 06 min: 33 sec

St. Patrick's Four at Binghamton University

31 min: 14 sec

Total video: 2 hr: 36 min: 46 sec

               
                         

               
                         

The Citizens' Tribunal on Iraq
Thursday, September 22: "The Voices of Soldiers"

               
                         

Opening Remarks and Moderation by Tim Grippen, executive director of Opportunities for Broome, a local anti-poverty program. Grippen has served in numerous administrative positions in local and state government, and was elected in 1988 as Broome County Executive. He served as an infantry team leader in Vietnam and was awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star for Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantry Badge, and he lectures frequently in area schools, colleges, and universities on the subject of the Vietnam War. He currently serves on the Broome Community College Board of Trustees.

               
                         
Dave Lewis, a Binghamton-area resident, served for 11 months and 25 days in Iraq. He is a specialist in the Army reserve who enlisted after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Because the Army hasn't discharged him, Lewis kept his anti-war views quiet for a time after he returned to the U.S. "Because I'm a specialist in the Army reserve, the risk is great," he says. "But the cause is bigger than that. I'm not afraid anymore."                
                         
Jimmy Massey, a co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War, served 12 years of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a platoon sergeant in the 7th Marines during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After witnessing first-hand the horror of war, he refused to continue service, filed and won conscientious objector status, and has since been telling people the truth about the war in Iraq.                
                         
Michael Blake was in the U.S. Army for three and a half years. He served in Iraq from April 2003 to March 2004, but decided that he couldn't participate in the destruction of humanity any longer. Upon his return to the U.S., he filed for conscientious objector status, and after seven months of processing, received an honorable discharge and was released from service. He now feels responsible for telling ordinary citizens what the war is really like and how it is being fought              
                         
Gerry Condon deserted from the U.S. Army in 1969 after refusing orders to Vietnam. He spent three years in Sweden and three years in Canada, organizing with other war resisters against the Vietnam War. Condon returned to the U.S. in 1975 as part of a campaign for unconditional amnesty for all war resisters; his jail sentence, originally for 10 years, was totally dropped. He has been an activist for peace and justice ever since. For the past year, Condon has been living in Toronto and working with U.S. war resisters seeking sanctuary in Canada. He serves as director of Project Save Haven and coordinates a weblog: www.SoldierWayNo.blogspot.com.                
                         

Voices of Soldiers : September 22, 2005

Main Program 1 hr : 58 min: 59 sec

part 1 only: 56 min: 28 sec

moderated by Tim Grippen

· Dave Lewis, specialist in the Army reserve; enlisted after attacks of September 11, 2001

· Jimmy Massey, former recruiter; co-founder, Iraq Veterans Against the War

· Michael Blake, served in the Army for three and a half years. Filed for C.O. status upon return.

· Gerry Condon, director of Project Safe Haven for U.S. war resisters seeking sanctuary in Canada. Refused orders to Vietnam in 1969.

Supplemental

· Jimmy Massey interview 07 min: 03 sec

· Barricades come down 02 min: 06 sec

Total video: 2 hr: 08 min: 08 sec

               
                         

               
                         

The St. Patrick's Four
Monday, September 26: "The Verdict"

               
                         

Part 1: The Verdict

                       
 

The St. Patrick's Four talk with media representatives in front of the court house soon after the verdict is announced. Clockwise from upper left: Clare Grady, Danny Burns, Teresa Grady, Peter DeMott.

                 
                         
  Legal advisor Bill Quigley                    
                         
Part 2: Interview with SP4
at the Lost Dog Café
  Part 3: Interview with Iraqi American Nebeil Al-Abouti
at Ciber Café West
               
                         
                 
                         

Main Program 1 hr : 57 min: 08 sec

part 1 only: 59 min: 00 sec

· Press conference with St. Patrick's Four after verdict

· Interview with St. Patrick's Four conducted by Tarik

Abdelazim

· Interview with Iraqi-American Neibeil Al-Oboudi

conducted by Kevin Bunger

Supplemental

· Thank you to supporters

· Reflection on the verdict

with Mary Anne Grady Flores 06 min: 44 sec

· Sentencing 29 min: 40 sec

Total video: 2 hr: 33 min: 32 sec

DVD-ROM

St. Patrick's Four Web Site Snapshot, with archive of letters, statements and articles. David Quinn-Jacobs setup and administered the website.

               
     
               

               
                         

Daniel Burns Opinion Piece: Prison
Does Not Dampen Hope For Peace

               
                         

As we approach the third anniversary of our country's illegal invasion of Iraq, I am reflecting on our responsibility to take nonviolent direct action for a peaceful future. How far down the road of violence and inhumanity, of torturing prisoners, of surveillance of citizens, are we willing to let our government go? Is it right or correct to say, "there is nothing I can do?" No! Acting with love and courage, we can create a culture of peace and justice.

Many times in the history of our country and the world, people have acted against seemingly impossible odds and won! Women faced arrest and jail for decades before winning the right to vote. People around the world have stood up nonviolently to dictators, death squads and apartheid and in the case of India, Indonesia, East Timor, South Africa and many others, they have won. Through nonviolence, courage and commitment, we can end this war and other unjust polices of our country.

As I sit here in Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal prison, I find myself thinking about people not so different from me, husbands and fathers, who are in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. Except they aren't able to communicate at all with their wives or children. I know I'll get out in July, they don't know if they'll ever be released. I wonder if any of them know that there are people in U.S. prisons who are here for protesting our illegal wars and torture.

Do very many people in Iraq know there are growing numbers of voices in the United States calling out for peace and an end to the occupation of their country? Let the world hear your voice. Please do what you can to stop the crimes of our government.

There is a call to action to end occupation and war beginning on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and continuing through the year. It is our responsibility to act. As Judge Roling of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal wrote, "The most important principle of Nuremberg was that individuals have duties which transcend national obligations of obedience imposed by the nation-state. ... This means that in some cases individuals are required to substitute their own interpretation (of international obligations) for the interpretation given by the state." The judge went on to say, "The world has to rely on individuals to oppose the criminal commands of the government."

Prison, with its lack of sunlight and fresh air, depressed guards enforcing arcane rules and isolation from loved ones, can seem like a hopeless place. Yet even from here, I hear the voices of thousands crying out for a better world. Like the snowdrops and crocuses that I can't see in here, but I know must be pushing their way through snow and preparing to bloom outside, hope is cropping up in spite of everything.

               
                         

Ithacan Danny Burns is serving a sentence in the federal Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, on charges in connection to his March 2003 anti-war protest at a Lansing military recruiting office.

This article was originally published in The Ithaca Journal on March 17, 2006.

http://www.theithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060317/OPINION02/603170318/1014/NEWS17

               
                         

A Word of Thanks

                   

                   

As the St. Patrick's Four Danny Burns, Peter DeMott,Clare and Teresa Grady are quick to point out, acts of non-violent civil disobedience can only exist within the context of a caring and supportive community.

The Citizen's Tribunal on Iraq itself is the outcome of a collective effort, grounded in community. Whether in the kitchen or behind a camera, working in the media center or tending to logistics, many contributed their talents. To be present in solidarity, to listen and learn and discuss, to renew and strengthen our resolve, that is what drew us together as a community.

Both the trial and the tribunal garnered significant media attention, and exposed more of the public to the reasons why we the people should oppose the continued U.S. occupation of Iraq.

In November of 2005, Binghamton voters elected a progressive democrat, Matt Ryan, as their mayor.

In December of 2005, Mayor Ryan appointed Tarik Abdelazim, who had been outreach coordinator with the St. Patrick's Four support team, as deputy mayor. The November 2005 elections also saw the defeat of the incumbent George Dentes in the Tompkins County District Attorney race to challenger Gwen Wilkinson..

               
                         

Acknowledgement of the performers
featured on the "Voices of Faith" DVD

 
               

                 

Thanks to Davone Nealy for performing his "State of the Union" poem. His organization, All People's United Enterprises, emphasizes financial and economic education for youth.

apu_enterprises@yahoo.com

               
                         

Thanks to Ed McGowan (fiddle), Mark Bickford (kora and banjo)of the Irish dance band Traonach for their musical contribution. They were joined by Leah Sayvetz (hoop drum), and ballad singer Martin Bernal.

www.traonach.comenterprises@yahoo.com (All rights reserved by the artists.)

Mona Sulzman is the cantorial singer who sang 14 verses from Isaiah.

               

 

 

               
                         

               
                         

Dedication

This DVD set is dedicated in loving memory to

Father Steven DeMott, Maryknoll missioner and brother to Peter DeMott. Steve took to heart the call for a "preferential option for the poor" and dedicated his life to ending oppression and reducing suffering.

               
                         
                   
                         

"Death is indispensable, it is an absolutely necessary part of life. A flower itself dries and disappears to give space to another that is born. The harvest of last year is the seed of this year. Life takes us to death and death takes us to life. This is the sacred circle of the infinite love of God. Simply I ask that God gives me the grace to accept death with a grateful heart."

Steven DeMott