The Rural Organizing Project has decided to co-sponsor a Speakers Tour featuring war resister Benji Lewis from Corvallis.
Benji served 4 years on active duty in the Marine Corps, including two combat tours in Iraq. He was given an honorable discharge, moved to Corvallis, got a part-time job, and enrolled at LBCC. Last October he got a letter notifying him that he was being involuntarily recalled to active duty, and would be sent back to Iraq again. Instead of just ignoring the notification, Benji reported to the screening muster as directed to document that he was fit for recall. He now has orders to report to Camp Pendleton on May 18th. He wants to make a political point by going through the process to show that he could serve, but that he is going to refuse to serve. On May 18th, instead of reporting for duty, he will be holding a press conference at the Corvallis Library at noon to publicly announce his resistance.
Until that time, Benji would like to speak to as many groups as possible across Oregon to educate them about the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) system that allows for involuntary reactivation, GI rights, and resistance in general, and to gather support and attention for his resistance. 10,000 members of the Marine Corps alone, are being recalled to active duty every year. Benji wants to let people know about this.
If your group might be interested in hosting a stop on Benji’s tour, please get in touch with Amanda as soon as possible (email@example.com),so we can talk about what support ROP can offer your group, and get you in touch with Leah, the tour coordinator.
To learn more about Benji, also check out the attached announcement of the tour, and this web address: http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/blogcategory/52/106/
Let’s get Benji’s important message out to Oregon!
End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan! Stop the violence abroad! Keep our youth in school not at war!