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The Marines invade New Orleans, train for “urban warfare”
by Citizen Thursday, Dec. 09, 2004 at 11:51 AM

Troops from the 26th Marine Expeditionary unit stationed at Camp Lejune, NC have made New Orleans their “Training in an Urban Environment Exercise” through December 17.

The Marines invade New Orleans, train for “urban warfare”

Troops from the 26th Marine Expeditionary unit stationed at Camp Lejune, NC have made New Orleans their “Training in an Urban Environment Exercise” through December 17.

The exercise, reported in local television and print news sources
( utilizes ground vehicles and helicopters in residential areas of New Orleans. Marines are being dropped into residential areas. Similar events have reportedly occurred in Atlanta, GA and Dayton, Ohio.

This is part of a greater trend toward turning the military towards “urban warfare”, that is, cities and other densely populated civilian areas. It is also part of a long trend of military working alongside, and often training urban police forces

Helicopters fly low over my 9th ward home morning, mid-day, and at night.
While spokespeople from the military reported that this should not be a cause for alarm, I am alarmed. This is part of a greater process of militarization of our communities perpetrated under the guise of the “war on drugs,” and “terror” by utilizing big brother tactics of the military and its think-tanks to suppress civil liberties, dissent, and grassroots resistance that would build a peaceful, healthy, non-hierarchical society.

A call to the telephone hotline (504) 678-7522 assured me that any on-the-ground training in my neighborhood would include an advance team with someone going door-to-door to warn me or leave a flyer on my door. Hmm. Better be sure to sift through the litany of junkmail flyers I get everyday and look carefully until mid month…I wouldn’t want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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True Warfare In Mobile Alabama, Likely New Orleans, USA Under Siege by Corrupted Faction
by Kurt Brown, alias SainTramBone Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004 at 10:41 AM
USA, has a foreign viper at its throat

Mobile City Council restricting who can enter city council meeting on Tuesdays at 10:30. They are war criminals and should be ousted, but the USA is under siege as evidenced by the military brigade practicing to slit your throat. They are just following orders. The brain of the operation was at one time a just and fair leader. Or was it?

Support all attacks upon those who oppose open government for anyone in the USA. After all, they resemble slave herders or the blacks who were hired to herd slaves. Alabama is devastated due to foreign control of our government, particularly Mobile Alabama.

I support anyone who can open the door of Mobile Alabama government to all, by any means necessary, so Help Me God and Thomas Jefferson and I pray a comet blast like a cannon upon their building if not allowed to do so.

Our war is in America. They are even doing forced experiments on veterans in Los Angeles and labeling us felons when running for our lives from criminals. If this is our children's future, we are better off drawing the line now.

Mobile Audit Club

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No to military operations in NOLA
by Phyllis Sunday, Dec. 19, 2004 at 8:57 AM

Neighbors and Citizens of New Orleans:

If you were scared, angered, traumatized, disturbed or inconvenienced in anyway by the recent military war games in our city, we ask you to take a
few moments of your day and write down what you heard, experienced and saw.

These mock war games held in our air space and on city land by the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit was also held in the following cities: Mobile,
Atlanta, Miami, Savannah, Birmingham, and Charlotte.
A new coalition is forming in New Orleans to focus on and to investigate
the impact of these orders which were passed through by an executive memo
from Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin. In mid-January you will be invited to a citizens' Town Meeting to share your experiences and express your views.
Please tell your friends and neighbors. Please sign up now for any of the following 4 teams:
1) Attorneys Team, 2) Research Team, 3) Press Writers and Graphic
Team 4) Leaflet Team

Save Our City
Coalition of Homeland Serenity, City Ordinance Protection, Environmental

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What happened in Toledo
by Anonymous Monday, Jan. 24, 2005 at 2:30 PM

Marines Stetching Movement

by Mike Ferner

published by The Progressive Trail

No, this is not a military-oriented guide to keeping
fit. Yet it has made some people uncomfortable if not
downright sore.

It's about the peace movement and how a U.S. Marine
company using downtown Toledo for "urban warfare"
training January 7-8, provided an opportunity for
activists to think and act beyond normal limits.

With barely a week's notice, an article in the local
paper announced that a weapons company of the 1st
Battalion, 24th Marine Reserves would spend a weekend
running around our downtown, honing combat skills by
firing blanks at imaginary enemies. The North West Ohio
Peace Coalition (NWOPC) and local Veterans for Peace
(VFP) designed a response, different from what many in
the peace movement had seen or that some were even
comfortable with.

That response was:

· A message written for the Toledo Marines by VFP member
and retired Special Forces Master Sergeant, Stan Goff.
He compared the lies leading up to his first combat
assignment, Viet Nam, with Iraq, urging the soldiers to
"reflect on what you are doing and what you are about to
doyou yourselves must carry the burden of the memoriesif
you decide that you have to chart a different course
with your life, we have contact information for those
who can helpwe have a whole community of veterans and
military families who will welcome you with open arms
and our support.

· "Cadence" chants written by VFP members around the

· Banners and picket signs with messages like, "We love
you. Stay home," "Support the troops, keep them home,"
and "Bush and Cheney lied; soldiers died."

· Oversized portraits of Iraqi civilians and war

· A sound truck playing Edwin Starr's rock classic,

For two hours late Friday night, as the Marines set up
their weekend command post in (believe it or not) an
abandoned center for selling blood plasma, 30 peace
activists stood with banners, signs, photos, and "War,
Goff's message and cadence chants alternating over the
P.A. Negotiations with the Toledo police got us only as
close as the opposite side of the street, so an
artificial gulf kept us from reading soldiers,
expressions or hearing their responses that would have
only been whispered under doubtless orders against
"fraternizing with us. One of our band, chafed by the
order not to use a public sidewalk on a public street,
crossed the thoroughfare to make a point and was
promptly arrested.

The next day a dozen activists returned with signs,
photos, banners, "War," and a bullhorn for Goff's
letter, ready to peacefully engage squads of Marines who
had come to engage "enemies in parking garages and

With the mobile "War unit circling the blocks,
broadcasting the song to the Marines, the activists on
foot followed one detachment past the main library,
singing out a whole list of VFP cadences.

The most familiar chant was:

"Hey, hey Uncle Sam
We remember Viet Nam
We don't want your I-raq war
Peace is what we're marchin' for.
Am I right or wrong (You're right!).
Am I right or wrong? (You're right!)"

But the most popular was:

"Dubya's lies should make him choke
He must still be snortin, coke
Saddam's secret poison gas
Must be something Rumsfeld passed."

In front of the Family Courts building, the Marines
regrouped and rested momentarily, presenting a perfect
opportunity to read Goff's message again. As the
Reserves began to move out in pairs, guns pointed in all
directions, the words of the Special Forces veteran
echoed off the court building, clear as a bell:

"Vietnam was a war that was not possible to win. You
will find that Iraq is the same. Winning is not measured
by who can cause the most death and pain. And winning is
not measured by tactical victories over locations you
have no intention of holding. The ultimate outcome of
any war is political, and that war has already been
lost. So your Commander in Chief is now sending you out
to kill others, to wound others, to destroy the homes
and livelihoods of others, or to be killed or wounded by
others, to pursue a goal that was never just, and is now

Back at the blood plasma/command post, the peace
activists gathered to say goodbye with an impromptu
addition from one of the group, a high school English
teacher, interested in delivering a message of Christian

Describing Christ as an outspoken critic of the
occupying Roman Army, he referred to the command to
"love your enemies as ultimately an act of self
protection, one that could interrupt the cycle of
violence. He ended with the Golden Rule and an
exhortation to the Marines to "think for yourself.

The next day two email messages stood out against the
usual inbox clutter.

One was from a local VFP member who, as a 15 year-old
was drafted into the German Army in the closing days of
WWII, then emigrated to the U.S. just in time to be
drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Korea. He wrote:

"Our troops are in Iraq engaged in an illegal war and
they are there to kill IraqisAt the Nuremberg war crimes
trial, the Nazi war criminals who perpetrated the kind
of illegal aggression that we are now guilty of against
Iraq were found guilty and hanged. The soldiers who
carried out these crimes against the civilian population
were also found guilty. The fact that they followed
orders was not then an admissible defense, nor should it
be nowSome of us think if we just pay lip service to the
idea of supporting our troops in time of war, we will be
less severely criticized by the super patriots as being
unpatriotic. It won't work and it distorts our purpose
of calling an end to an illegal, murderous invasion of
another country."

Another was from a University of Toledo student, a
veteran of picket lines and civil disobedience arrests,
who asked: "Why exactly do we support the troops?
Activists have said the troops are fighting willingly in
an unjust warthe likelihood of us changing the minds of
the Republican troops is about the same as Karl Rove
convincing us to become neo-conservative."

Added to those critiques is the following anecdote.
Walking downtown the day after the protest, a City
streets worker dashed across the road to shake my hand
and say, "thanks for what you're doing to get our troops

That comment represented the kind of response I hoped
our message would elicit from the "persuadable middle of
public opinion. The response I hoped for from young
soldiers was based on what I remembered as a teenager
during the Viet Nam war.

In those volatile days I alternated between being a
conscientious objector and following John Wayne's
example of serving my country joining the Marines to
fight the commies. Remembering those days, it was easy
to put myself in the place of young reservists, quite
possibly bound for Iraq, and wonder if any of them were
similarly conflicted. My hope was that a compassionate
message, delivered in familiar language, might be heard
by one of the Marines beginning to ask "what the hell am
I doing here? Falling on fertile ground, the message
might grow into a decision by one of the reservists, or
a local GI who saw us on the 6 o,clock news last
weekend, to join the growing number of soldiers refusing
to fight in Iraq.

This leads to the larger question of whether the peace
movement can ethically construct a message and deliver
it at appropriate times that is not about how we feel
about the war, but how soldiers and our neighbors in the
persuadable middle feel about it? It's high time we
undertook this discussion.


Mike Ferner is a former Navy Hospital Corpsman and a
member of Veterans for Peace. He spent three months in
Iraq, before and after the U.S. invasion, and is writing
a book about his experiences. He can be reached at:

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