U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome Italy anti-war demonstration in Rome

Past Events

Solidarity with Bradley Manning
December 17, 2011

No to "war as usual"
March 19, 2010

Winter Soldier Europe
March 14, 2009

Palestinian Flags Flutter
Alongside Peace Banners

January 17, 2009

Close Guantanamo Now!
January 17, 1009

10-Day Vigil for Gaza
January 8-18, 2009

Supporting La'Onf
October 29, 2008

Free the Cuban 5
Sept 13, 2008

Cheney in Chains
Sept 8, 2008

No Bush, No War
June 11, 2008

May Day ILWU Solidarity Action
May 1, 2008

War Tax Day
April 15, 2008

World Social Forum Global Day of Action
Jan 26, 2008

Shut Down Guantánamo Now!
Jan 11, 2008

No U.S. Military Base in Vicenza
Dec 15, 2007

Meeting Iranian Artists
Dec 05, 2007

End the War in Iraq, No War on Iran
Oct 27, 2007

Report on Final Days of No Dal Molin Festival in Vicenza, Italy
Sept 16, 2007

Camping for Peace in Vicenza, Italy
Sept 12, 2007

Impeach Them Both +
Judiciary Fax Blast

July 23, 2007

I-M-P-E-A-C-H !
April 28, 2007

4th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq
March 20, 2007

No Dal Molin, Vicenza, Italy
Feb 17, 2007

Congress: Act Now to End the War
Jan 27, 2007

No Military Bases, Vicenza, Italy
Dec 2, 2006

No War, No Cluster Bombs
Sept 23, 2006

Protest Calling for Cease-fire in Lebanon
July 26, 2006

Military Spending
Bean Poll

July 18, 2006

Stop the Escalation
in the Middle East

July 17, 2006

Refusing to Kill
July 06, 2006

Shailja Patel:
Poetry in Times
of War

July 05, 2006

Troops Home Fast
July 04, 2006

Italian Vote on
Military Missions

June 27, 2006

Peace Parade
June 02, 2006

Michael Uhl of
Veterans for Peace

April 29, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hidden in Plain Sight

April 26, 2006

War Tax Day
April 15, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness

April 12, 2006

National Anti-war Protest in Rome
March 18, 2006

Soldiers Against War
March 18, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Aristide and the Endless Revolution

March 15, 2006

Women (and men!) Say No To War
March 8, 2006

An Eyewitness Account of Post Katrina New Orleans
March 2, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Life and Debt

February 09, 2006

Vote to Renew Italian Mission in Iraq
February 09, 2006

Cindy Sheehan
February 06, 2006

NBC Today
Show Blitz

February 06, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Revolution Will
Not Be Televised

January 26, 2006

Cindy Sheehan
In Rome

January 18, 2006

Crimes & Lies:
with Dave Lindorff
and Maurizio Torrealta

January 13, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Peace Propaganda and
the Promised Land

January 12, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Oil Factor

December 15, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Plan Colombia

December 01, 2005

Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre
November 30, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series

November 17, 2005

Protest at U.S. Embassy: White Phosphorus in Fallujah
November 14, 2005

Control Arms Petition
at Piazza Chiesa Nuova

November 12, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Invisible Ballots

November 10, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Corporation

October 27, 2005

Movie Night:
Viva Zapatero

October 25, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hidden Wars of
Desert Storm

October 13, 2005

Anti-war rally
at U.S. Embassy

Sept 24, 2005

USC4P&J Social
at the Beehive

June 22, 2005

Die-In with
Articolo 11
at Palazzo Chigi

June 21, 2005

Collecting Photos
with Control Arms

June 18, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series

June 16, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series

June 09, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Weapons of
Mass Deception

May 19, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
May 05, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
April 28, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
April 21, 2005

International Day of Protest
March 19, 2005

Eyes Wide Open Film Series, Part III
Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness

April 12, 2006

The Eyes Wide Open film series continued on April 12, 2006 with the documentary Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness produced by Spanish television Telecinco. The film covers the attack by the U.S. military on the Hotel Palestine in Baghdad on April 8, 2003 killing Telecinco camera operator José Couso along with Taras Protsiuk, a Ukrainian journalist for Reuters. (See the handout distributed at the screening)

The film starts with interviews of a number of Spanish journalists about the atmosphere in Baghdad shortly before the invasion. They were all nervous about being there, and at one point the foreign press got news of the fact that CNN was moving to the Palestine Hotel. This was taken as a signal that the Palestine was a safe place and all journalists move there as well.

The film then focuses on the days just before the attack on the hotel, with footage of both U.S. troops and the Iraqis noting there wasn't much of a battle at all in Baghdad as well as graphics showing the location of the hotel relative to other buildings, bridges, U.S. tanks and ongoing battles. The morning of the attack included the bombing of Al Jazeera's offices killing Tareq Ayyoub, the attacks on the Abu Dhabi 's offices with excellent footage of their rooftop camera being directly fired upon until it fell to the ground and finally the attack on the Palestine. With the hotel full of journalists the entire attacked was filmed, from both outside the hotel as well as in chaos in the rooms directly hit by the U.S. tank.

The final part of the film covers the initial controversial account of the incident by the U.S. Military, claiming the U.S. tank was being fired upon from the hotel. This was quickly debunked, as the hotel was 1.5 Km from the tank's position and therefore out of range of any sniper fire.

One of the darkest moments in the film was the press conference with Aznar and Bush, in which a Bush callously dismisses the incident with his famous statement, "I think war is a dangerous place."

Instead, the most inspirational part of the film was the reaction of Spanish journalists, who turned their backs on Aznar in Spanish parliament and held photos of Couso.

Following the film, we also screened one chapter from the Indy Media DVD, The War & Peace Trilogy, in which Amy Goodman spoke of the attack and compared the reaction among journalists in Spain and the U.S. In Spain, journalists went on a one day strike and hundreds of Spain's most well known reporters gathers in front of the U.S. shouting, "Murderer! Murderer!" In the U.S. on CNN, it was, as has become the norm, referred to as a regrettable mistake. NPR was no better, with Ann Garrels remarking that Al Jazeera journalist Tareq Ayyoub should have known better than to be in his office that day.

The film was well received and in the discussion afterwards there was no doubt that Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi had been targeted, though one person was skeptical of the idea that the Hotel Palestine was a deliberate attack on the journalists staying there. Most were convinced that instead the hotel was in some way targeted.

Another person spoke of the parallel with the Giuliana Sgrena case and it was noted that the previous Saturday, on the third anniversary of the attack, the family, friends and colleagues of José Couso organized a number of events in Madrid including a panel discussion with Giuliana Sgrena.

We talked about the recent report on journalists killed in Iraq by Reporters Without Borders noting the large number of Iraqi journalists killed. This is due to the fact that the few foreign correspondents left in Baghdad rarely leave the safe areas and when they do, it is with armored cars and armed body guards.

We also discussed the family's continuing legal battles against the U.S., with their civil case being recently archived by the High Spanish Court and their decision to appeal.

The candor of the film, considering it was produced by a private network and aired on TV was refreshing. Recommended!

To send a message of support to Couso's family, friends and colleagues, see the forum on the site: www.josecouso.info

Stephanie Westbrook

Special thanks to Linux Club for their hospitality.


Ongoing/Future Events

Our Eyes Wide Open Film Series is suspended; for further information click here.

Upshot of our Nov. 9th group discussion on current politics:

It wasn't the Russians that got us Trump. Or Comey. Or even the massive GOP election fraud. It was the DNC.*
*Dem National Committee

To learn how to stop the DNC from delivering us another Trump, read Autopsy: the Democratic Party in Crisis.

Photo of a school in Yemen bombed by Saudi Arabian jets supplied by the U.S. and fueled in the air by the U.S. Air Force. Tell Trump to STOP THIS CARNAGE, not fuel it! Click here.

Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:

Click here to sign a petition, to put an end to the sanctions against Syria - their only effect is to take a terrible toll on the population, causing them to migrate! And click here to see the video by the Italian Committee to lift sanctions against Syria.

Iraq Deaths Estimator
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn al-Malaki in Iraq and then Assad in Syria, and is now out of hand. Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...
Write your senators and tell them: "Enough! U.S. out!! Iraq has shown it can curb ISIS by itself!"

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Copyright © 2006 Stephanie Westbrook  All rights reserved.
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy