Port Townsend: War protester heading back to Iraq

PORT TOWNSEND — When Anna Bachmann decided to go to Iraq last winter, she worried that she was putting herself in danger.

Now, she is giving up her job and putting everything she has on the line to return to a place where war has made danger a reality.

“In every way, shape and form this is the greatest leap off the cliff I’ve ever done,” Bachmann said. “I’m taking a bigger risk now.”

Last winter, Bachmann, 41, used vacation time from her job at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center to travel to Iraq, where she spent a month as a volunteer with a peace group, Voices in the Wilderness.

Her trip was a protest of the pending war as well as a way to see for herself how the average Iraqi felt towards Americans.

On her return, she held a war protest at the gates of Naval Magazine Indian Island and was arrested, but she was released and the fine was waived.

This time, she has resigned from her job, forfeited her health care and given up her housing so that she can stay in the Middle East at least a month and half, and indefinitely if she has the funds. Though cataclysmic, the decision to return to Iraq was inevitable, Bachmann said.

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The rest of the story appears in the Sunday Peninsula Daily News Jefferson County edition.

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