On October 21, I made my way over to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Well, actually, I did not make it all the way the library because the road was blocked off by the Simi Valley Police Department. It turned out that George W. Bush was at the library attending the official unveiling of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s Air Force One Pavilion. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is SUPPOSED TO BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day of the week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, but today (October 21, 2005) signs on the road stated, “Library Closed Invited Guests Only.” The closing of the library was a major inconvenience to all the people that wanted to take some time to tribute Ronald Reagan.
Tim, John and Aaron, IVAW (9:47 minutes)
David (4:40 minutes)
Sue and Rachel (10:55 minutes)
I figured that something was going on when I realized that a couple of police officers on motorcycles had blocked cars from exiting the 23 freeway at Olsen Road. Then I saw about 30 police officers speeding down the street on motorcycles. Shortly after the police on motorcycles went down the street, the freeway exit was opened and I noticed about 40 people standing on the corner of Madera Road and Country Club Drive. Most of the people were holding signs calling for peace or denouncing Bush and his administration in one way or another.
Simi Valley is an incorporated city located in the extreme southeast corner of Ventura County, bordering the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Simi Valley is one of the communities that has been contaminated by the Rocketdyne Santa Susana Field Laboratory Contamination, a disputed and controversial issue involving the contamination of the groundwater, air, workers, and nearby residents near Boeing’s (Rocketdyne’s) rocket and nuclear test facility known as the Santa Susana Field Labs (or SSFL) in Southern California between 1954-1989.
Simi Valley is recognized as a very conservative area. There is a community college in Moorpark, which neighbors Simi Valley, but from what i can tell, there is not too much social justice organizing going on there either. It was a pleasant surprise to see that so many people had come together to call for peace, an end to the occupation of Iraq, and denounce Bush’s frivolous trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Among the people gathered to protest Bush, was Tim, John and Aaron, three members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. I had the chance to speak with Tim, John and Aaron as well as David, Sue and Rachel. Listen to the interviews to hear all of them call for an end to the War in Iraq, and much more.
IVAW Mission Statement
“Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a group of veterans who have served since September 11th, 2001 including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. We are committed to saving lives and ending the violence in Iraq by an immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces. We also believe that the governments that sponsored these wars are indebted to the men and women who were forced to fight them and must give their Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen the benefits that are owed to them upon their return home.
We welcome all active duty, national guard, reservists, and recent veterans into our ranks. Confidentiality can be assured. What does this mean? To join IVAW please send an email to ivaqvet -AT- mail.com, or fill out this membership form.”
P.O. Box 8296
Philadelphia, PA 19101
West Coast Contact Information
email: ivaw_west -AT- ivaw.net
You can learn more about Iraq Veterans Against the War by visiting their website at: