[OCC News] OCC E-News Issue 4, March 2010

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OCC News

Mar 19, 2010, 12:29:21 AM3/19/10
to occ...@centerforconscience.org
In this issue:

* 7th Anniversary of Iraq War, march and rally on 3/20.
* Meeting schedule change for April
* New issue of OCC's 'print' newsletter, the Peace Post
* One Peace At A Time - film at OU, 3/28
* Travis Bishop Appellate Defense fund

Springtime! We hope you are planning and planting your gardens, or
otherwise enjoying the warming weather. This time of year also, ,of
course marks the beginning of the peace activist's calendar of outdoor
events for promoting nonviolence, building community and reflecting
the world we want to live in.

We are hoping that this Saturday, March 20, the mercurial Spring
weather accommodates a large turnout for a march and rally to
commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Iraq War. This event is being
organized primarily by young people with the OCU OIKOS Scholars group
along with the Oklahoma City Peace House. It will take start with a
drumming circle at 10:30 am, a rally from 11 - Noon, and a march
stepping off at Noon. Gathering and closing at NW23rd and Blackwelder.
For more info, see the Peace House website,
http://www.peacehouseok.org/ Please support these young people in
their energetic organizing for peace by attending the event and
bringing a friend or two.

At our March meeting, faced with some complicated travel schedules and
venue availability issues, we decided to cancel the regular business
meeting set for the first Sunday in April and instead use the month to
do some Spring cleaning, catching up and reaching out at several other
events being planned. Please join us on June 2 at 2pm if you can.

Our debut issue of the Oklahoma Peace Post was a big hit at the Fall
Peace Festival in November. We almost gave out of printed copies that
first day! (You can find a copy on our website.)

Now we’ve published Vol. 1, Issue 2, and it's attached to this email
as a PDF document (or, if that get's detached along the line, find it
at http://centerforconscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/peacepost1-2.pdf).
If you would prefer a "hard" copy of the Peace Post mailed to yo the
good old fashioned way, just let us know your address.

The new issue features an article by Camille Landry about Martin
Luther King’s mission for peace as well as civil rights. There’s an
essay by Gene Stoltzfus about President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, and
a report on the current activity with our OK GI Rights Hotline

(Sadly, after we published that issue, we learned of the sudden death
of Gene Stoltzfus, who was lifelong peacemaker and founder of
Christian Peacemaker Teams. For more of Gene's writings, including a
blog post he wrote the morning of his death, visit

We are excited to be a co-sponsor for a film screening/fundraiser for
Haiti on Sunday, March 28. Architecture for Humanity is hosting the
event, which will take place at Oklahoma Memorial Union, Meacham
Auditorium, 905 Asp Ave, Norman, OK 73069 Doors open at 12:30 and
the film begins at 1:30. OCC and other groups will have tables with
plenty of interesting items to check out. FMI, contact Jessica Hester
(405) 317-5706

OCC has set up a special fund for the appellate defense costs of
Travis Bishop, a conscientious objector who received a 12 month prison
sentence (later reduced to 9 months) for refusing to deploy to
Afghanistan. Travis hopes on appeal to have his conviction overturned,
as well as to see the courts recognize that all soldiers have the
right to be informed that they can apply for C.O. status.

Here's part of what Travis's attorney, James Branum, said about the
goals of this appeal:

"We hope that the appellate courts will recognize an extension of the
Miranda decision, effectively making the argument that if a soldier is
not told they can file for C.O. status, that the soldier has been
denied that right. We also hope the courts will rule that a soldier
can raise this issue as a defense to missing movement and other
absence-related offenses at court-martial. Or to say it another way,
we hope someday that all soldiers will be periodically read their
“Bishop” rights. Secondly, we hope to see Travis’ conviction be
overturned and to see his Bad Conduct discharge changed to Honorable.

If you are moved to support this important, possibly precedent-setting
case, we ask that donations be sent to:

Oklahoma Center for Conscience, 504 NE 16th St, Oklahoma City, OK
73104. Checks should be made out to "Oklahoma Center for
Conscience/Joy Mennonite Church." (please include a note stating that
your donation is for Travis Bishop appeals) All donations are

Please note that in the unlikely event that donations are raised that
exceed the final appellate defense costs, the excess will be earmarked
for OCC's work on conscientious objector education and outreach.


If you are in or near Oklahoma City, we hope to see you this Saturday
at the March and Rally for the 7th anniversary of the Iraq War
(details above). Thanks for your continued support for our work,
financial, moral and otherwise.

Rena Guay
OCC Administrative Coordinator

* * * *
On Facebook? Become a fan of OCC's page:

You're invited to join our email discussion group (more frequent news and
info sharing)? http://groups.yahoo.com/group/okobjector

Our monthly business meetings start at 2 PM at Joy Mennonite unless
otherwise announced (check our website). All welcome

Previous issues of this newsletter are available at the online archive

* * * *

Oklahoma Center for Conscience - centerforconscience.org
Donations are tax deductible. Mail to OCC, 504 NE 16th, OKC 73104


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