As the first wave of veterans returned from Iraq and began to speak out about their experiences and their opposition to the war, we as their civilian peers stepped up to support their organizing and the development of a people-powered and veteran-led strategy to end the war.
As a result of this effort, the Civilian Soldier Alliance emerged in 2007 as a small collective of civilian anti-war activists. With the very first CSA members organizing a month-long speaking tour with a group of new veteran activists from the group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).
In 2007, the Civilian Soldier Alliance continued collaborating with IVAW to organize "Operation First Casualty", a street theater action which carried out reenactments of the occupation of Iraq with twenty or more IVAW combat veterans and active duty service members in desert fatigues patrolling the streets of DC, New York City, Chicago, and Denver CO.
In 2008, CSA members worked with IVAW to organize The Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan Investigations; a historic national gathering of over 200 veterans and active duty service members coming together to give testimony to theirs and others' actions while participating in the occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan.
2008 was a pinnacle year for the GI and Veteran movement with a 10,000 person march and mass civil disobedience action organized by IVAW, CSA members and coalition organizations at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO. The action was led by 100 veterans in uniform and formation following a Rage Against the Machine concert. The action was a success, with the Obama administration forced to concede to IVAW's demand (as we stood outside the gates of the convention for a meeting to address IVAW's three points of unity: immediate withdrawal from Iraq, reparations for the Iraqi people, and improving veteran's healthcare