HISTORY OF IVAW
- IVAW was founded at the VFP convention in Boston.
- IVAW marches in NYC during the RNC.
- IVAW establishes national office in Philadelphia.
- Amadee Braxton is hired on as our first staff person.
- Membership reaches 50.
- IVAW marches at Ft. Bragg; meeting in Fayetteville.
August 2005 – September 2005
- IVAW participates in the VFP Convention in Dallas.
- Members decide to travel with Cindy Sheehan to the Crawford ranch - Camp Casey is established.
- Camp Casey is followed by the “Bring Them Home Now” bus tour.
- IVAW marches and meets in Washington D.C.
- IVAW hosts an Organizer Training in Philadelphia, PA.
- As IVAW’s membership begins to grow, the decision is made to begin developing chapters across the country in an effort to connect members to one another.
- Four Regional Coordinators are assigned the task of assisting with chapter development across four areas of the country.
- As chapter development gets underway, IVAW’s primary focus remains on filling speaking requests and participating in actions across the country in an effort to get IVAW’s message out to the public and attract new members.
- IVAW’s first chapter is formed in Colorado Springs, followed by our second chapter in NYC.
- IVAW marches to New Orleans.
- Chapter 3 formed in Central NY
- March for Peace, Justice and Democracy, NYC
- Chapter 4 formed in Atlanta, GA
- Silence of the Dead, Voices of the Living, DC
- Chapter 5 formed in Toronto, Canada
- First IVAW national meeting held at the VFP Convention in Seattle; Board of Directors is elected.
- Chapter 7 formed in Madison, WI
- First all-member board meeting called in Philadelphia
- Chapter 8 and 9 formed in Seattle, WA and Washington, D.C.
- Executive Director moves to the national office in Philadelphia.
- Chapter 10 formed in the Bay Area, CA
In the beginning of 2007, the decision is made to capitalize on IVAW’s growing membership and chapter/regional development by calling four regional strategy sessions to allow members to discuss where we wanted IVAW to focus our efforts.
- First National Strategy Session held in Philadelphia
- West Coast Strategy Retreat held in Los Angeles
- Midwest/Mountain Strategy Retreat held in Chicago
- Northeast Strategy Retreat held in Laurel, MD
Members in the strategy sessions decide to shift our focus from participating in other organizations’ events to undertaking actions of our own as we organize to further IVAW’s strategy to end the war.
- Operation First Casualty
- Truth-in-Recruiting and Befriend-a-Recruiter
- Active Duty outreach and GI resistance are highlighted as areas where IVAW members can have the greatest impact in bringing down the war machine.
- Active Duty chapter building
- IVAW Active Duty bus tours – Active Duty outreach
- Chapter-building and Regional Development remain important areas of focus as we continuously work to build our membership and organizational capacity.
The members also developed a grand strategy:
- Our goal is to end the war by organizing soldiers and veterans to withdraw their support for the war from within the military. IVAW hopes to accomplish this end by building a movement of soldiers and veterans who work together strategically to end the war. Organizing is key!
- Chapter 11 founded in Olympia, WA
- IVAW member Lt. Ehren Watada charged with refusing to deploy and speaking out against the war; mis-trial.
- Chapter 12 formed in Chicago, IL
- IVAW member Spc. Mark Wilkerson charged with desertion and missing movement; 7-month sentence.
- IVAW member Spc. Agustin Aguayo charged with desertion and missing movement; 8-month sentence.
- Operation First Casualty, Washington DC
- Chapter 13 formed in Denver, CO
- Membership reaches 400
- Chapter 14, our first active duty chapter, formed at Fort Drum, NY
- Chapter 15 formed in Burlington, VT
- Chapter 16 formed in Philadelphia, PA
- Operation First Casualty, NYC
- Chapter 17 formed in Boston, MA
- US Social Forum
- Chapter 18, our second active duty chapter, formed at Fort Meade, MD
- Chapter 19 formed in Eastern North Carolina
- Chapter 20 formed in Kansas City, MO
- IVAW Active Duty Bus Tour hits the East Coast, traveling throughout the South, up the East Coast, and ending in Fort Drum, NY.
- Over 90 IVAW members come to St. Louis, MO for this year’s VFP Convention, marking the largest gathering of IVAW members to date.
- IVAW participation in this year’s convention marks a stark contrast to previous years as our members moved from simply participating in the convention to leading presentations and trainings rooted in IVAW strategy.
- Active duty organizing, chapter-building, lateral communication, and building a common orientation towards the strategy amongst all members are highlighted.
- Over 70 members participate in the “War is not a game” action.
- Chapter 21 formed in San Diego, CA
- Chapter 22 formed in Minneapolis, MN
- Chapter 23 formed in Central Illinois
- Chapter 24 formed in Manchester, NH
This month marked our greatest climb in IVAW’s chapter-building history as members founded five new chapters across the country
- Chapter 25 formed in Cleveland, OH
- Chapter 26 formed in Oklahoma City, OK
- Chapter 27 formed in Asheville, NC
- Chapter 28 formed in Austin, TX
- Chapter 29 formed in Miami, FL
- Chapter 30 formed in Providence, RI
- Chapter 31 formed in Gainesville, FL
- Winter Soldier Planning Committee holds its first in-person meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
- Midwest Organizing Retreat is held in Chicago in preparation for Winter Soldier.
Throughout 2008 IVAW grew exponentially, doubling in both members and chapters. Twenty-six new IVAW chapters were formed across the United States. This is that largest expansion of members and chapters in one year to date. This growth was due in large part to the success of Winter Soldier and the protests at the DNC and RNC. Local chapters and regions also organized their own actions, speak outs, guard towers, and Winter Soldier Testimonies.
New Chapters in 2008 included:
- Chapter 32 Bellingham, WA
- Chapter 33 Newark, NJ
- Chapter 34 Rochester, NY
- Chapter 35 Carbondale, IL
- Chapter 36 Lawton-Fort Sill, OK
- Chapter 37 Milwaukee, WI
- Chapter 38 Fort Hood, TX
- Chapter 39 Amherst, MA
- Chapter 40 Iowa City, IA
- Chapter 41 Chesterton, IN
- Chapter 42 Fort Collins, CO
- Chapter 43 ?
- Chapter 44 Santa Cruz, CA
- Chapter 45 Lehigh Valley, PA
- Chapter 46 North Bay, CA
- Chapter 47 Ventura, CA
- Chapter 48 Honolulu, HI
- Chapter 49 Houston, TX
- Chapter 50 Fort Wayne, IN
- Chapter 51 Frankfurt, Germany
- Chapter 52 Coastal NC
- Chapter 53 Las Vegas, NV
- Chapter 54 Connecticut
- Chapter 55 Savannah, GA
- Chapter 56 Fort Lewis, WA
- Chapter 57 Columbus, OH
- Winter Soldier Planning Committee holds its second meeting in Washington, D.C.
- Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan takes place in Silver Spring, MD. It is the largest gathering of IVAW members to date with over 225 members in attendance. The event highlights the legal and moral implications of occupation.
- Chapter 38 (Fort Hood) hosts an active duty outreach BBQ on military property near Fort Hood.
- Winter Soldier on the Hill: Nine members of IVAW testify in congress to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
- The Denver IVAW Chapter and Mountain Region organize a non-violent march at the Democratic National Convention to demand the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.
- The Minnesota IVAW Chapter hosts the fourth IVAW National Convention and a march on the Republican National Convention to highlight the failure of the Republican Party to care for troops.
- The NYC Chapter of IVAW organizes a protest at the last presidential debate. Members are arrested and brutalized by police.
- IVAW officially adopts a position on Afghanistan, demanding a withdrawal of all occupying forces and reparations for the Afghan people.
- First IVAW GI Organizing Training was hosted by Coffee Strong at Fort Lewis, WA.
- War's Real Impact, the first collaborative action between US Labor Against the War and IVAW, is held in Chicago.
- Chapter 58 formed in Albuquerque, NM
- Chapter 59 formed in Sacramento, CA
- Winter Soldier Testimony is held in Austin, TX.
- IVAW sends a delegation to the First International Labor Conference in Erbil, Iraq. This is in support of the second point of unity to win reparations for the Iraqi people.
- IVAW hosts local actions across the United States in protest of the continued occupation.
- Winter Soldier Southwest is organized by the LA Chapter and is held in Pasadena, CA.
- IVAW’s first Executive Director Kelly Dougherty resigns, and Alex Bacon from the Seattle Chapter is hired.
- Chapter 60 formed in Indianapolis, IN
- Chapter 61 formed in Pittsburgh, PA
- IVAW hires its first member Organizing Team Leader and initiates the development of a Field Organizing Program based on leadership and campaign development.
- Alex Bacon, the second Executive Director of IVAW, resigns and Jose Vasquez from the New York City Chapter becomes IVAW’s third Executive Director.
- IVAW turns five at the Veterans For Peace and IVAW National Convention at the University of Maryland.
- The Field Organizing Team presents a new organizing model to the membership and hosts its first organizing training.
- IVAW hires two new Field Organizers.
- Chapter 62 formed in Louisville, KY
- IVAW attends the AFL-CIO convention, furthering its ties with organized labor.
- IVAW and US Labor Against the War organize an East Coast tour of Iraq Labor Leaders and IVAW members. The tour stops in Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
- “We will not sacrifice for your profit”: IVAW protest the G20 in Pittsburgh
- Three Field Organizers come on staff and go through a week-long organizing training and goal-setting session.
- The National Office moves from Philadelphia to New York City.
- For the first time in IVAW history, Field Organizers are working in the field.
- Field Organizers do sit-downs with chapters in Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Indiana, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Fort Hood.
IVAW is open to Active Duty, National Guard and Reservists who have served since 09/11/2001. You are not alone.