Iraq war resistor Pablo Paredes, of the South Bronx, was 18 years old when he joined the Navy in 2000.
On December 6, 2004, Paredes refused to board a Naval ship in San Diego that was preparing to deploy to Iraq. His actions that day risked military prison time, a court martial and dishonorable discharge; a few days later Paredes turned himself in to military authorities and applied for conscientious objector status. His request was denied by Naval authorities.
In May 2005, Paredes was convicted in a court-martial on charges of missing his deployment and was sentenced to three months of hard labor.
Like many others, Paredes' decision to join the military was largely influenced by recruiters' promise for greater opportunities and access to education. Pablo Paredes' objection to the war developed during his time in the military. He has since been speaking out against the war and unfair army recruitment strategies. Paredes represents a forceful voice for Latino war-resistors and organized a 241 mile march for peace from Tijuana to La Paz, California. In an interview he gave during that march, Paredes explained his motivation and action: "part of our march seeks to emulate the plight of the immigrant . . . We end up recruited, and we end up being taught how to kill and die in wars, which is not the best use of our beautiful culture, so we want to redirect it . . . Very symbolically, we want to travel from war to peace."
Stop the war in Iraq
If you would like to plan a speaking event Pablo, please contact him at pablopare [at] gmail [dot] com or (510) 465-1617.