Thursday, January 14, 2010

Michael Wong & Jeff Paterson: Courage To Resist

Freedom is a Constant Struggle TV show, September 25, 2009

Our guests are Michael Wong and Jeff Paterson, two war resisters. In every war, only one GI gets to be the first to refuse orders to that war. Jeff Paterson, a US Marine, was the first GI to refuse orders to his war - Gulf War 1. He has since become one of the founding members of the Courage to Resist collective of activists who specialize in helping GI resisters who want to resist publicly. (The GI Rights Hotline helps all resisters most of whom want to get out quietly: He was one of the key leaders who helped launch the 1st Lt. Ehren Watada campaign, and has since helped a long list of public GI resisters.

Mike Wong was born and raised in San Francisco, and became a soldier during the Vietnam War. He was very influenced by the anti-war movement. So when he received Viet Nam orders, he went AWOL, then turned himself in to the Presidio stockade with his lawyer, pleaded guilty to AWOL, and attempted to press a limited conscientious objector case. The Army turned him down, and put him back on Viet Nam orders. Mike escaped to Canada and lived in exile for five years. He returned after the war, pleaded guilty to Long Term AWOL, and received an Undesirable Discharge. He later earned a Masters degree in Social Work, and has been a social worker for 30 years, as well as war resistance activist.

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