Tombstones SBCC Teen MemorialAfter being away for the months of December and January, Veterans For Peace, Chapter 54 (Santa Barbara) returned on Friday February 19, 2010 at Santa Barbara City College with our local mock Teen Cemetery. To date we have information on 337, 18 & 19 year old U.S. military casualties from the Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts.

“Tombstones” were set up & taken down by volunteers from the Santa Barbara Veterans for Peace, chapter 54 and SBCC students. Faculty, staff, students & visitors passing by on the West Campus were asked to place a placard of the color photo & information of a teen casualty on the “Tombstones.”

Information about the cost of war and the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq & Afghanistan were shared. Information on the CDs RethinkAfghanistan and Arlington West were available.

SBCC Teen CemetaryAn SBCC form for students to be taken off the military’s recruitment list, in opposition to the Solomon Amendment, was given out. The Solomon Amendment allows colleges & Universities to give student names, phone numbers and other private information to 17 components of the U.S. Military Service each summer session, semester or quarter. Students can prevent the release of their information to the military recruiters by using the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), of 1974 to withhold the release of their “Directory Information” to the military & others.

The following 2 petitions were available to be signed and sent to the U.S. Congress:

1. Stop the Military Use of Depleted Uranium, for VFP Chapter 116, P.O. Box 96, Albion, CA 95410.

2. Withdraw our military from Iraq & Afghanistan immediately, for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), 637 Dearborn, 3rd Fl.,Chicago, IL 60605.

Below are excerpts from recent coverage of the SBCC Teen Memorial:

War Moratorium: Reports on Recent Anti-War Actions and Events

Source: War Moratorium: http://warmoratorium.org/reports-from-the-field.html

Santa Barbara, California

The Local mock Teen Cemetery began @ 10 am @ SBCC on the West Campus lawn across from the campus library overlooking Leadbetter Beach on the Pacific Ocean. The event is sponsored by the SB Veterans for Peace, Chapter 54, and partially funded by the fund For Santa Barbara. To date we displayed 357 tombstones and placards on 18 & 19 year-olds casualties from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The seven new casualties consisted of two 18 year-olds and five 19 year-olds. Six were from Afghanistan and one from Iraq.

August 20th was the Friday before SBCC begins it’s Fall Semester on the following Monday. Faculty & staff were on hand for in-service and students were getting oriented, buying books and getting registered. We were able to get students, staff, faculty & visitors to view the Teen Memorial, obtain free books on the Vietnam War, “Vietam Ambush” by our Chapter President, Dan Seidenberg, Jr. and DVD’s on Arlington West by Peter Dudar & Sally Mar, from Laughing Tears Productions for a small donation. Students signed petitions to Stop the Military use of Depleted Uranium for VFP, Chapter 116, P.O. Box 96, Albion, Ca 95410 and to Withdraw our Military from Iraq & Afghanistan immediately for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), 637 Dearborn, 3rd Fl., Chicago, IL 60605.

Students also took an SBCC form to be taken off the military’s recruitment list, in opposition to the Solomon Amendment. This form allows students to prevent the release of their personal information to the Military Recruiters by using the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 to withold the release of their “Directory Information” to the military and others. Students also signed up to form an official SBCC club “Veterans For Peace Student Club” for Fall, 2010.

Reports on recent anti-war actions and events (cont.)

Source: War Moratorium: http://warmoratorium.org/reports-from-the-field.html

Santa Barbara, CA

On SBCC’s graduation day, the monthly mock cemetery of U.S. Military Teen casualties was set up and ran from 10am -3pm on the West Campus lawn overlooking Leadbetter Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Many students, including international students from Norway & Sweden paused on this busy day to place a placard of the color photo & information of teen casualties (18 & 19) year olds from the Afghanistan & Iraq conflicts. To date there are 346 such casualties.

The cost of war, immediate troop withdrawal, anti-depleted uranium use, & student military recruitment refusal information was also shared.

The sponsors, the Santa Barbara Veterans for Peace, Chapter 54, are proud to announce that The Fund For Santa Barbara has awarded us a General Fund Grant of $7,500 for the SBCC Teen Memorial: Peace is Inevitable project for funding year, June, 2010 – July, 2011. The Fund For Santa Barbara is celebrating Thirty years of “Change, Not Charity” and is the outstanding progressive funding source in Santa Barbara County.

This funding will allow us to continue and expand our VFP Tabling @ SBCC on the 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuedays of every month and the “Teen” memorial every 3rd Friday of each month @ SBCC in conjunction with the National War Moratorium. New features to our project will be: 1) An Emergency Revolving Loan Fund for SBCC Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans; 2) Free Cell Phone Bank & Congress phone numbers so that SBCC students & others can advocate for Federal Peace & Justice Legislation; 3) Free current Peace & Justice information, stickers, peace necklaces, newsletters, magazines, books, & DVD’s in English & Spanish if available, for a donation.

Teen Cemetery at SBCC

Source: KEYThttp://www.keyt.com/news/local/Teen-Cemetary–SBCC-103127669.html

The Santa Barbara City College campus will be transformed into a war moratorium and teen cemetery today. The symbolic event is being sponsored by the SB Vets for Peace and is partially funded by the Fund for Santa Barbara. Organizers say the event will consist of tombstones of U.S. military teens killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The groups say 359 18 and 19 years old have been killed in both conflicts. The event starts this morning at 10:00 a.m. on the West Campus lawn across from the Luria Library.

Elizabeth Colón
VFP Associate
September 17, 2010