Much like her fellow socialist Rebecca Anshell had done two months earlier in San Diego, Gillian outlined her organization’s ideas to help “end the occupation” in Iraq.
…The people who are going to bring an end to this occupation are not the politicians of (the Democratic or Republican) parties, but the people just like us here, and around the world, who are fed up and disgusted with this war. I know you can feel powerless sometimes… but remember that not too long ago a peoples’ movement here helped to stop the war in Vietnam, and forced the government to bring the troops home. We can do it again!
The Iraqi people have shown their willingness to resist under great odds. So have soldiers like Camilo Mejia, who was just sentenced to a year of hard labor for refusing to go back to Iraq. Now it’s our turn. We have a huge responsibility – let’s get out there and rebuild this movement, step by step, until Iraqis can determine their own future, and all our troops are home!
Indeed, Gillian and her comrades aren’t simply advocating for peace – they are actively working to bring about an American defeat in Iraq, using the Vietnam War as a template. They believe that by holding demonstrations against the war, encouraging soldiers to refuse to fight, and supporting the Iraqi resistance, they can help “defeat the US war machine.”
So, you might be wondering, what does a young woman like Gillian do for a living?
She’s a high school teacher. In fact, she’s an active member of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, and Progressive Educators for Action.
I’m now even more determined to teach after I retire from my real job.