Military Veterans Join Occupy Wall Street West

Posted on 19 January 2012 by @benzotweet

The Bay Area chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War will be participating in Occupy Wall Street West on January 20, 2012. IVAW will be protesting at Bechtel Corporation’s headquarters in San Francisco to bring attention to the misuse of more than $2 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds that was meant to fund infrastructure rebuilding projects in Iraq.

The company received the contract in 2003, and, according to a January 9, 2012 Al Jazeera article, many of the construction projects, which included reconstruction of water treatment systems, electricity plants, sewage systems, airports and roads, are still incomplete. IVAW members will be joined by several anti-war allies in this action including the Campaign for New Priorities, Global Exchange, Code Pink, Seminary of the Streets, the Iraqi Student Project of Dominican University and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

In addition to the Bechtel protest, members will be conducting Operation First Casualty; a guerrilla theater squad that will perform in multiple areas of San Francisco’s Financial District. This will highlight the indefinite detainment without trial of the 99% in the countries which the United States are currently occupying and what could happen here now that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has passed.

This action will start at 10:30, rain or shine, and locations of these actions will be available by request. There will also be a teach-in at Bechtel at 3:00PM with veterans and experts speaking out on the costs of war.

Members of IVAW’s Bay Area chapter will be protesting to draw attention to the financial and human costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal of this action is to remind Americans that social and economic issues at home are directly affected by overinflated, under-regulated government spending by private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the many domestic effects of this irresponsible practice is that military contractors profit from incomplete defense contracts while funding is cut from government programs aimed at providing health care, education and other benefits for veterans returning home from war.

Iraq Veterans Against the War is nonprofit 501(c)3 advocacy group of veterans and active-duty US military personnel who have served in the U.S. Military since September 11, 2001. IVAW currently has over 1,400 members in fifty states, as well as in Canada, Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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