The Rhode Island Antiwar Committee protested Senator Jack Reed at Brown University Sunday afternoon. The senator was speaking as part of the Watson Institute‘s Distinguished Lecture Series on “The Challenges of a Turbulent World.”
According to the Antiwar Committee, “Senator Reed has championed the continued presence of a large military force in Afghanistan and essentially supports and promotes the endless ‘war on terror.’ Also, Reed’s position as ranking member of the Armed Services Committee would allow him, if he so chose, to guarantee a legitimate investigation of the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz and call for an independent one.”
The protesters initially set up outside the John Carter Brown Library on the Brown campus, but were soon ushered off campus to nearby George St. by Brown University police and Providence police. Senator Reed never encountered the protesters, though they did hand out flyers to many entering the library to hear the senator speak. At 4pm, when the program inside the library was to start, one of the members of the Antiwar Committee, Cathy Orloff, entered the building to hear Reed speak, but was was turned away because the venue had reached capacity.
The text of the flyer is reproduced below:
QUESTIONS FOR SENATOR JACK REED FROM:
RHODE ISLAND ANTIWAR COMMITTEE
LOCATION: 94 GEORGE STREET, PROVIDENCE, RI
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2015
1) Since the United States finally admitted that it ordered and carried out a bombing which killed 22 people in a hospital in Afghanistan on October 3; such a bombing being widely considered a war crime and described as such by Doctors Without Borders (MSF); why aren’t you vigorously urging support for MSF’s call for an independent investigation by the International Fact-Finding Commission of the Geneva Conventions?
2) Do you support an expedited conclusion of the American investigation, now that more than one month has elapsed since the attack? Do you consider this act a war crime? Do you support a military court-martial of the person or persons who ordered it and participated in it? Would you support monetary compensation by the U.S. to the families of those patients and staff killed?
3) Although one of President Obama’s campaign promises was to end the long U.S. war in Afghanistan, and although he announced his decision last year to draw down forces there; you now have spoken in support of his about-face and preference for the U.S. continuing to fight that country (which has not attacked the U.S). Do you think this decision is one that most Americans support and will make our country safer and more respected around the world?
4) At the end of October, Obama reversed his campaign pledge and many subsequent statements and said he plans to put “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria. However, on October 29 the Iraqi government stated that it does not need U.S. ground forces, nor has it asked Washington for help in operations against the Islamic State. “This is an Iraqi affair, and the government did not ask the Dept. of Defense to be involved in direct operations,” Iraqi government spokesman Sa’ad al-Hadithi told NBC News. Al-Hadithi also warned the United States against sending ground troops to Iraq without first clearing it with Baghdad, in accordance with international law. In view of this statement, and a similar quote on November 1 of a Syrian parliament member that the U.S. sending troops into Syria would be an act of aggression because it does not have the government’s agreement. (Providence Journal 11/1/2015, p. B-1) do you now support sending ground troops into these two countries?
QUESTIONS FOR THOSE READING THIS FLYER Do you think citizens should actively monitor their country’s actions and speak up when conscience dictates? Would you like to spend some time working with other Rhode Islanders in this effort?
If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org