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Conscientious Objectors

November 8, 2001
We believe using our schools to promote military recruitment constitutes an invasion of privacy ("Bill Could Boost Recruiting at Schools," Nov. 2). It also places undue pressure on young people as they discover their sexual orientation. It pushes away examination of conscience and the rightness of committing oneself to violent resolution of conflict. Military service is not just any career. Where is there any guarantee of equal time for students to be educated on their legal right to declare themselves as conscientious objectors?
It was "the good war," a choice between freedom and fascism. So how could thousands of Americans refuse to fight in World War II? The documentary "The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It" (KCET, 10 p.m.), by filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Tejada-Flores, tells the story of those conscientious objectors. The unpopular battle fought by these pacifists has all the more resonance in today's wartime climate.
April 13, 1991 | JOHN PENNER
City representatives from throughout the county this week backed away from a proposal that sought to punish San Francisco for having declared itself a sanctuary for conscientious objectors during the Persian Gulf War. Members of the Orange County chapter of the League of California Cities rejected a resolution that would have called on the statewide league to move the site of its October conference, which is schedule to be held in San Francisco.
October 16, 1990
I was a Marine judge advocate and served for a time as a military judge. In my 28-year Marine Corps career, I read many letters like the one by Paterson, written by young men desperately trying to persuade anyone in authority that they should be classified as conscientious objectors. The problem that I faced as a military judge lay in trying to determine whether the accused's conversion to pacifism was based upon sincere and deeply held beliefs or was merely an opportunistic ploy for the purpose of evading combat or other unpleasant duty, or, perhaps, was simply a manifestation of the accused's desire to obtain the benefits of military service while avoiding the concomitant obligations.
July 26, 1988 | United Press International
David Bruce, a white South African who refused military service on the grounds that it exists "purely to maintain white supremacy," was sentenced Monday to an unprecedented six years in prison. In an emotional court hearing at which about 100 supporters and friends wore yellow chrysanthemums in solidarity with Bruce, the 25-year-old conscientious objector received the maximum penalty for violating a law requiring young white men to serve in the South African Defense Force.
The last time American soldiers were involved in a lengthy armed conflict, Bill Smith waged a solitary campaign to persuade Los Angeles lawyers to defend conscientious objectors to the war in Vietnam. It took three years before he could even find enough attorneys willing to form an anti-war legal committee. On Thursday, Smith again joined the lonely ranks of American war dissenters, this time to voice opposition to U.S.
November 13, 1989 | From Associated Press
Soviet Defense Minister Dmitri T. Yazov, confronted by a growing movement against the draft, lashed out at "anti-army manifestations" and ruled out change in conscription rules, the Tass news agency said Sunday. The report came a day after the Latvian Supreme Soviet, in a move that carried more symbolic than legal force, voted to allow alternative service to conscientious objectors in the Baltic republic.
November 12, 1990
Congressional leaders gave mixed reactions to the buildup of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia. They agreed on one thing: President Bush needs congressional approval before going to war. Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton said he will ask Roman Catholic bishops to sign a statement asking Catholic soldiers to become "selective conscientious objectors" against war in the gulf. He will press for a discussion of the gulf crisis at an annual meeting of bishops that opens today in Washington.
July 18, 1992 | From Associated Press
Bowing to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a federal appeals court has overturned its own groundbreaking decision that a nation's refusal to honor religious objections to war entitled a pacifist to political asylum in the United States. "It's quite disappointing and shocking," said Karen Musalo, the attorney for two teen-agers who fled El Salvador to avoid military service, said Monday. The ruling by the U.S.
April 2, 1989 | MASHA HAMILTON, Times Staff Writer
The Soviet Union is in the midst of a campaign to improve its human rights reputation among Western countries, and there are signs that the effort is succeeding. Amnesty International, the London-based human rights monitoring group, completed its first visit to the Soviet Union on Saturday with the organization's director praising Moscow for, at long last, "acknowledging the legitimacy of human rights activism."
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