Five activists blockaded six buses carrying Fort Hood soldiers deploying to Iraq very early this morning. The peace activists took the width of Clarke Road, just outside the Fort's Clarke Gate, halting the busses. Police made no arrests. According to the group, police moved the activists from the street "with automatic weapons and police dogs," thereby allowing the deploying soldiers to proceed.
Among those blockading were three veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and one military spouse. The action was organized by a group calling itself "Fort Hood Disobeys" (FHD). The group claimed the blockade was an attempt to prevent the deployment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldiers to what the veterans termed "an illegal and immoral occupation."
While standing in the street, the activists held banners that read: "Occupation is a Crime" and "Please Don't Make the Same Mistake We Did. RESIST NOW." Additional supporters attempted to hang larger banners from the TX HW-190 overpass that read, "Tell the Brass: 'KISS MY ASS' Your family needs you more," "Sick of Fighting Your Wars," and "Col. Allen [3rd ACR Commander]: Do not deploy wounded Soldiers."
This latest deployment comes less than two weeks after President Obama announced the second end to combat operations in Iraq. FHD organizers denounced this announcement as "a lie." They pointed to the deployment of the 3rd ACR-- a combat regiment-- to Iraq as proof of their allegation. The group plans to organize more "direct actions" in the Fort Hood community that oppose the wars throughout the duration of troop deployment.
The action organizers established a website where they plan to post statements, photographs and video from the actions as they become available. FHD also ran live webcasts updating their supporters and depicting portions of the direct action today. All live broadcasts from the day are archived on the UStream website.