September 26, 2008

DC Activist Eve Tetaz Begins Trial :David Swanson's report

Eve Tetaz, a 77-year-old retired District of Columbia public schoolteacher will march into court with nine other peace activists to begin a trial stemming from a nonviolent protest in the Senate Gallery named "The Ghosts of the Iraq War."

On March 12, 2008, less than a week before the fifth anniversary of the "shock and awe" attack and subsequent invasion of Iraq, Tetaz and members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Pax Christi and Veterans for Peace went to the Senate during debates on the national budget. They placed white gauze over their faces in a haunting gesture of death, and stood in the gallery decrying the illegal and immoral war and occupation, which has cost US taxpayers more than $557 Billion.

"I am retired, and I see this as my job,"
Tetaz said.
"I am called by my conscience and my faith to speak out against war and mass murder. All life is sacred."

If convicted of "Disrupting Congress," the nonviolent peace activists face a maximum penalty of six months in prison. Tetaz was arrested a dozen times in 2007 for protesting against the Iraq War and the U.S. Government's use of torture. She has also been arrested three times this year, including a dramatic protest in January at the Supreme Court, demanding the closure of Guantanamo Bay and the full restoration of habeas corpus for prisoners held there.

Due to her nonviolent protest activities, Tetaz is likely to face the longest jail sentence. The Adams Morgan resident has already spent a few short sentences in DC Jail for past protests.

The trial is set to begin at 9:20 a.m. Monday at D.C. Superior Court, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW. DC attorney Jack Barringer will be defending Tetaz.

"The right to peacefully and non-violently petition the government is the cornerstone of democracy," Tetaz said. "I was obeying a higher law, which decries the crimes against humanity committed in Iraq."

Tetaz is the founder of Life Pathways, a non-profit organization helping single parents become financially independent and trained in the field of health care. She is a member of the Church of the Savior, and has been an advocate for the poor on issues of economics and social justice.

Watch a video of the Ghosts of War action.

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