On Monday, a small band of anti-war protesters gathered outside at the corner of Alameda and First Streets in Little Tokyo to protest the second court-martial of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq. The vigil was coordinated by the Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress and attended by members of the Global Women's Strike, Payday Men's Network, Military Families Speak Out, the Mark Twain Club, Whittier Peace Coalition, the International Socialist Organization, ANSWER, and others.
The group plans to reconvene each Monday from 5:30-7:00 pm until further notice, or until the US Army backs down on its threat to bring Watada to a second trial. At present, Judge Benjamin Settle of the US District Court in Tacoma has issued a stay order prohibiting the Army from moving forward with the trial until at least October 26, or until further order of the court. On Friday Oct 19, Judge Settle will review Watada's lawyers' argument that a second court martial would amount to double jeopardy, and therefore would be in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. Watada's initial court-martial ended in a mistrial on February 5.
More Information: Petition from NCRR | Setp29 Alert | Interview: Lt. Watada’s lawyer and Mark Masaoka of NCRR on KPFK’s Sojourner Truth | thankyoult.org | couragetoresist.org