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Local vets to join war hearings

Local Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are preparing to participate in public hearings in March to “reveal the reality of the U.S. occupation.”

Several fundraisers are planned to help to local office of Iraq Veterans Against the War with transportation costs for Chicago and Midwest vets to attend the Winter Soldiers hearing in Washington D.C. March 13 to 16.

On Wednesday at DePaul University, Patricia McCann will talk about the upcoming hearings and her testimony about sexual abuse of Iraqi civilians and female service members.  McCann is an Army National Guard veteran from Carbondale who served during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Wednesday’s program will also feature a screening of “Winter Soldier,” a documentary on the 1971 Winter Soldier Investigation held by Vietnam veterans.

Those hearings sought to trace the roots of American atrocities in Vietnam in official war policies, discussing the use of chemical weapons, indiscriminate bombings, and free-fire zones.  They included the first public testimony on the use of Agent Orange and revealed the secret invasion of Laos in two years earlier.

Local Vietnam Veterans Against the War leader Barry Romo was one of those who testified in the 1971 hearings in Detroit.

There are about ten Chicago area veterans preparing to testify in the upcoming hearings, said Robert Clack, manager of the local IVAW office.

The program Wednesday (February 20) is sponsored by the Chicago Progressive Alliance and takes place at the DePaul University Art Museum, 2350 N. Kenmore.

At a fundraiser on Friday, February 22, also at 7 p.m., a National Guard member from Chicago who’s filed for conscientious objector status and faces deployment to Afghanistan will speak, at Yoga Now, 742 N. LaSalle.  A film featuring the stories of Iraq veterans, “The Ground Truth,” will be screened. 

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Category: peace, veterans

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