CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR SENTENCED TO PRISON Will Receive War Resisters League Peace Award

On June 9, the War Resisters League, the venerable pacifist organization, will give its 2006 Peace Award to women GIs who came to believe only after they enlisted that they didn't believe in war or violence. Four extraordinary women-- Diedra Cobb, Anita Cole, Kelly Dougherty, and Katherine Jashinski-will represent the growing class of these new COs.

What: War Resisters League Annual Dinner and Peace Award Ceremony

When: Friday evening, June 9, at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Cyril and Methodius Church Hall
502 West 41st St. (at 10th Ave.) Manhattan

One of the women receiving the award, Katherine Jashinski, will not be able to accept the award in person. At her court martial May 23, she pled guilty to "refusal to obey a legal order," and was sentenced to 120 days confinement, of which she has already served 53 days.

These women are among the newest wave of conscientious objectors--the only kind, indeed, that can exist when the armed services consist entirely of volunteers--and that, for the first time in history, includes women as well as men.

"These four brave women will represent the class of women now refusing, for reasons of conscience, to continue to serve in the Armed Forces," said Ellen Barfield of the War Resisters League and Veterans for Peace. "That Katherine Jashinski will now serve prison time only underlines the courage and integrity that brought all of them to their declarations of conscience." To reserve a ticket for the Peace Award and Dinner, please call 212-228-0450 or visit https://secure.serve.com/resist/dinner2006.htm

Among those gathered to lend support to the Peace Award honorees will be former GI Ellen Barfield, and former U.S. Army officer and diplomat Ann Wright. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel has also sent a message of support.

The WRL Peace Award was begun in 1958 to honor an organization or person whose work represents the League's radical nonviolent platform of action. Jeannette Rankin, the only member of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into both world wars, was the first recipient; others have included peace agitator A.J. Muste, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, writer Grace Paley, socialist and many times presidential candidate Norman Thomas, feminist and pacifist theorist Barbara Deming, Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day, Plowshares movement founder Daniel Berrigan, Judith Malina and the Living Theatre, and Iraq War opponent Fernando Suarez del Solar.

Believing war to be a crime against humanity, the War Resisters League, founded in 1923, advocates Gandhian nonviolence as the method for creating a democratic society free of war, racism, sexism, and human exploitation. (See //www.warresisters.org ).


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