Hi folks,

This is an amazing victory!  When this same guy was in the U.S. Army and raping women soldiers, the Army basically backed him.  But this local police dept. apparently is smaller and less resistant to pressure.  Thank you to everyone who helped out here! 

Perhaps this raises an interesting possibility.  Our campaigns often take on huge targets, like stopping the Iraq war.  We need to do so, of course.  But maybe even once in awhile, it would be good (both for our morale and for immediate results) to occasionally take on much smaller targets, such as one criminal individual.  Such smaller campaigns would send a clear message to right wing criminals everywhere: "Don't mess with the peace movement, or we'll bust ya!"

yours in peace,

Mike Wong


MLester is FIRED!
31 May 2008

Well, my friends, we did it. Mark Lester is no longer a police officer at the Kent Police department. Now I am gathering the documentation to give to their Lieutenant to put in his report so he can put him on a list and he will never work in law enforcement in the state of Washington again. Thank you for all your letters and support through this. His soon to be ex called and said that Mark is blaming her and now he will go into the divorce hearing acting like he is the victim.

Today is National Stop Rape in the Military day so it is appropriate that I send you this now.


Sara Rich


One of the saddest realities I faced when my daughter joined the U.S. Army was that sexual abuse is an epidemic in our military. Both of my grandfathers were in the military, one being a Colonel and the other was a Sergeant, and both were good men. I heard the statistics, but thought I had raised a tough daughter, she could deal with anything they threw at her. I had no idea how many perpetrators and sex offenders lurk and hide in our military. I did not realize was that one out of every three women and one out of every five men in the U.S. Military are sexually assaulted. I still feel shocked by these numbers. And even worse is that it is rare that the perpetrator is prosecuted for the crime of rape/sexual assault.

There are some fundamental changes that need to change so that people can serve in our armed forces without fear of being sexually assaulted by their own fellow soldiers. One is hold the command responsible for any type of complaints that are generated. This means independent investigations into any type of complaint is absolutely crucial. All the policies and procedures and task forces in the world won't help if the command is able to choose which one to enforce. Informing young people before they sign away their rights about the statistics of rape in the military should be mandated. Informed and honest recruiting needs to be upheld and not a joke.
We must take a stand together to end the good ole' boy mentality of "boys will be boys" and demand a ZERO tolerance for sexual abuse in the military.


Sara Rich, M.S.W. and proud mom of Spc. Suzanne Swift


Last year alone, almost 3,000 soldiers reported sexual assault and rape by other soldiers.

27% of men have experienced military sexual trauma

60% of women have experienced military sexual trauma

3.5% of men have experienced military sexual assault

23% of women have experienced military sexual assault

11% of women have experienced rape

1.2% of men have experienced rape

20% of women seeking care at VA facilities have experienced sexual trauma
source PBS >

Free Suzanne Swift - http://www.suzanneswift.org
IVAW Winter Soldier Testimony - Gender and Sexuality in the Military
Stop Military Rape - http://stopmilitaryrape.org