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Anti-Bombing/Anti-Sanctions Conferences, Demonstrations, Marches
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REMEMBERING DEIR YASSIN
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Hanna at (202) 256-6063www.globalpeacenow.org
Women In Black
Palestinian American Women Association (PAWA-Washington, DC)
Please dress in black.
Mothers are encouraged to bring their children.
Signs memorializing the victims will be provided by
For more information contact:
Washington, DC Area: Dima Zalatimo @ 703-855-5069
New York Area: Aida Qasim @ 201-757-0099
New Jersey Area: Rima Taha @ 609-658-9958, Aida
AlRabie @ 201-638-3904
BLACK VOICES FOR PEACE HOSTS 2ND URGENT PROTEST AGAINST U.S./ISRAELI POLICY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. AT STATE DEPARTMENT BLDG,
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 202-232-5690
VISIT WEBSITE: WWW.BVFP.ORG
WRITE US AT: BLKVOICESFORPEACE@YAHOO.COM
FOR DONATIONS TO HELP PALESTINIANS PLEASE MAKE CHECKS TO: UPA
The United Palestinian Appeal is conducting a fundraising effort
to addresses the
crisis in Palestine by directing donations to West Bank and Gaza Strip medical facilities responsible for ensuring that medicine and supplies reach the ill and
injured. Make a difference and donate, here is their web site:
CASI Conferences and Information --English anti-bombing contacts
POLICY ALTERNATIVES TO SANCTIONS ON IRAQ
You may also be interested in ordering a copy of the PUBLISHED PROCEEDINGS
of CASI's November 1999 conference, which are still available. You can
obtain a copy by sending a cheque for 6 pounds (10 pounds / $15 overseas)
to the above address. More information about the proceedings is at
Iraq Rallies/ Lectures Washington Aug 5-7
Congressional Briefing May 3, 2000
For Immediate Release Contact: John Edgell
Wednesday, April 19, 2000 (202)225-5871
Kucinich, Members of Congress Ask Albright for Meeting on Iraq Sanctions
Washington, DC -- Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) and 25 members of
Congress have sent a letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
asking to meet with her to discuss issues related to United States
sanctions policy in Iraq. This effort is also supported by the American
Public Health Association, the oldest and largest organization of public
health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members
from over 50 occupations of public health.
"There is an urgent need to re-evaluate our sanctions policy and develop
better ways of providing humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq,"
Kucinich said. "I believe that there is growing skepticism in Congress
about this policy and I am encouraged by the support for a meeting with
The letter emphasizes the devastated public health infrastructure in Iraq,
which is considered to be the leading cause of the spread of disease and
illness, conditions that were almost non-existent in Iraq before the Gulf
War. "We feel that the gravity of the public health crisis makes it
urgent for us to rethink the sanctions policy at all levels, especially in
regard to water purification materials," the letter states. "We recognize
that many items needed for water and sanitation purposes are considered
'dual-use' items. But we believe that such items could be safely
introduced with a careful system of monitoring by UN humanitarian
According to a recent report by the International Committee of the Red
Cross (February, 2000), "Since then [the Gulf War], money and spare parts
have not been available to repair sewage works and purification plants,
which are often working at reduced capacity, or not at all. This has led
to an overall deterioration in the quality and quantity of drinking water
and the rapid spread of infectious disease, such as cholera."
In an effort to continue the dialogue on sanctions in Congress, Rep.
Kucinich will host a public briefing on the current sanctions policy on
Iraq, its effect on the Iraqi civilian population and its impact on the
Iraqi regime. The briefing will take place on May 3, 2000 beginning at
3:00 pm in room 2203 Rayburn. Speakers include: Hans Von Sponeck, former
UN Oil-for-Food Program Director; Denis Halliday, former UN Humanitarian
Coordinator in Iraq; and Scott Ritter, former Senior UNSCOM
Reps. David Bonior (MI)
John Conyers (MI)
Cynthia McKinney (GA)
William Jefferson (LA)
Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX)
Maurice Hinchey (NY)
William Clay (MO)
Peter DeFazio (OR)
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL)
Lynn Rivers (MI)
John Olver (MA)
Tom Sawyer (OH)
Barbara Lee (CA)
Jose Serrano (NY)
Sherrod Brown (OH)
Gregory Meeks (NY)
Collin Peterson (MN)
Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI)
Pete Stark (CA)
Nick Rahall (WV)
Bruce Vento (MN)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
David Minge (MN)
Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Xavier Becerra (CA)
Coloradans who went to Iraq plan will appear at the following public events:
For information: 303-623-3464.
Cambridge Conference on Iraq Sanctions
From: Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
Contact 1: Seb Wills (conference organiser): tel. 01223 363882 / fax 0870 0881933
Contact 2: Colin Rowat (CASI Coordinator): tel. 0468 056984
Email: email@example.com Website: http://welcome.to/casi
Richard Garfield, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, described what is known about child mortality. While data were poor, it was clear that the situation was bad: the doubling of Iraq's child mortality rate is historically unusual. Furthermore, the data were intentionally kept poor by governments on both sides of the debate; Prof. Garfield's own UN mission to Iraq earlier this year had been cancelled by US government manouvering earlier this year. Unicef has recently estimated that an additional half million children under five may have died in Iraq since sanctions' imposition.
Oxford University researcher Harriet Griffin described changing patterns of Iraqi migration. Prior to sanctions, most migrants had been fleeing political persecution; since sanctions they have fled the economic situation. Members of the audience explained that more Iraqi physicians in certain specialties were in the UK than Iraq.
Nadje Al-Ali, an anthropologist at Sussex University, explained how the sanctions were changing life for Iraqi women: more wear the veil; polygamy is increasing and women are accepting arranged marriages to men twenty years older whom they have never met; most prostitutes in Jordan are Iraqi. For many, domestic tensions increased but some found that their husbands, out of work and helping at home, now understood them better.
Emad Salman of the Iraqi Community Association and the Committee for the Lifting of the Economic Sanctions on the Iraqi People, recounted his father's death in 1997. He first went blind after the £2.50 antibiotic eyedrops posted to him by Salman were returned: the drops needed a Department of Trade and Industry permit, which takes weeks to process. When his father was admitted to hospital with a respiratory infection the single cylinder of oxygen was insufficient for all the patients. Doctors explained that, "your father has seen life; give the children a chance to life". His father died the next day.
UEA Weapons of Mass Destruction expert Hugh MacDonald explained that the weapons embargo against Iran and Iraq in the 1980s were aimed at Iran, teaching Iraq that the rules didn't apply to it. He believed that the West did share responsibility for building Iraq's arsenal in the 1980s and noted that the UN weapons inspectors have decided not to publish the names and addresses of Iraq's suppliers, understood to include "many of the major companies involved in the arms trade". Prof. MacDonald remarked that India and Pakistan's recent development of nuclear weapons have diminished the shock of Iraq's weapons programmes and concluded that, while the sanctions regime is "tough to move out of the way", its legitimacy is quickly declining in the international community.
Doug Rokke has been the Pentagon's advisor on depleted uranium. He stressed that concerns about DU's health effects were first raised by his US Army team, not by Iraqis. He went on to document how uranium use's long-term consequences had been known since 1943, when they were explained to the officer in charge of the Manhattan Project. Upon impact, DU shells vapourise into "talcum powder" with a half life of 4.5 billion years; decontamination requires the powder's physical removal. Prof. Rokke's cleanup team had the highest mortality rate of any US unit involved in the Gulf War but he claims that the US military has denied his team members medical care. The US has also refused to share information on decontamination procedures with Iraq, in spite of direct requests. Explaining his continued persistence in the face of official attempts to deny the problem, Rokke explained that "in February 1991 I was tasked to clean up this mess by name. And I'm gonna finish the job". He remarked that the US and UK governments were seeking to destroy archival material relating to DU.
New Internationalist editor Nikki van der Gaag recounted her experiences in Iraq, which she described as an onion: fine on the surface, but falling apart as one moves further in. She said that she had "never been anywhere where there's such a feeling of isolation". Her tour guide at an archaeological site allowed his photo to be taken, but only after she promised not to include his shoes, which were falling apart.
Freelance journalist Felicity Arbuthnot has made over a dozen visits to Iraq. She described that, without reliable electricity, Iraqis had turned to dangerous lamps and stoves; burns are "the new thing". A guard at her hotel recently approached her weeping and repeating, "my wife, my child". His wife had lost her breasts due to burns; his three year old child had no recognisable face. She tried to find a plastic surgeon to help but "even those who swore that they would never leave are leaving". Expensive exit visas force many Iraqis to buy false passports known as "Schindlers passports".
Milan Rai, coordinator of the anti-sanctions group Voices in the Wilderness UK, explained that most anti-sanctions groups were opposed to the non-military sanctions on Iraq, rather than all sanctions. Their concern was the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, and they regarded the lifting of the non-military sanctions as a necessary prerequisite to its end. Rai was critical of the UK-Dutch proposal to the Security Council: he explained that it was a less generous version of some UN recommendations which, by their own account, might lead to an "incremental change" in the situation in Iraq.
Chris Doyle of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding sketched "the Arab view" of the sanctions on Iraq, explaining that this view was often informed by personal experience of sanctions, a feeling of impotence, humiliation, betrayal and the application of double standards. Doyle guessed that any representative government of Iraq would not be able to have close relations with the US and the UK. He believes there to be a growing realisation within the Arab world that Iraq might have to be reintegrated, with Saddam Hussein remaining as its leader. The current policy, "is a policy that has failed, it is a policy that is unspeakable", and Doyle conjectured that the Arab world would not overlook it much longer.
Rita Bhatia and Andrea Ledward explained the work of Save the Children in northern Iraq.
Anthonius de Vries, the European Commission's Coordinator for Economic and Financial sanctions, spoke on the role the EU plays in sanctions policy.
Finally, Jon Davies of the Foreign Office and Anis Nacrour of the French Embassy in London presented their respective government's position, speaking off the record. Speaking in the same session was Dr Eric Herring of the University of Bristol, who criticised many aspects of the British government's narrative on sanctions against Iraq, citing and exposing instances of what he believed to be, at best, incomplete information issued by the government. He considers the Iraqi people to be trapped "Between Iraq and a Hard Place" (the title of his recent paper), with suffering inflicted on the one side by the Iraqi regime, and on the other side by the sanctions.
Further information about the conference, its speakers and the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) is available from Seb Wills on 01223 363882 (additional contact details are given above). The CASI website is at http://welcome.to/casi
- ENDS -
This is the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) announcements list
for people outside Cambridge. We also run a 'discussion list'.
All email list admin requests should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CASI Website: http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/casi/
PARIS CONFERENCE ON
" J U S T I C E A N D W A R "
REPORT ON THE 25 OCTOBER 1999
A dozen speakers from seven countries presented a devastating case against NATO's illegal war against Yugoslavia at the international conference on "Justice and War" held in Paris on Monday, October 25. The speakers included jurists, experts and activists who have closely studied the background of the Yugoslav conflict and NATO intervention.
Alternatives to War
Jan Oberg, director of the Transnational Foundation for Future and Peace Research based in Lund, Sweden, attacked "the one biggest myth of the war": that there was "nothing else to do" about the Kosovo problem. Oberg, who before the NATO bombing had carried out some three dozen peace missions to Kosovo and acted as advisor to the Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova, presented a long list of sensible, practical things that could have been done to help solve the Kosovo problem in a peaceful way. None had been tried by the Western powers. Instead, the United States chose war and backed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) chieftain Hashim Thaqi, "the Albanian equivalent of Arkan" (the notorious Serb gangster), said Oberg.
Oberg stressed that none of the Western officials dealing with the Yugoslav problems had any understanding of peaceful reconciliation methods. The first thing to do to help solve a conflict, he stressed, is to listen to both sides, to understand their needs and their fears. This was never done. American journalist Diana Johnstone, who co-chaired the conference, accused the Clinton administration of aggravating and exploiting the Kosovo problem in order to inaugurate NATO's new mission of "humanitarian intervention". The "humanitarian" pretense is the public relations cover for NATO expansion eastwards for economic and strategic reasons.
Professor Raju George Thomas of Marquette University in Wisconsin (USA) warned of the extremely negative impact on international relations of NATO's illegal attack on a sovereign nation that had not committed any act of aggression. Other powers will be encouraged to emulate NATO's aggressive behavior in defense of their own national interests, while fear of NATO's unpredictable expansion is certain to trigger a new worldwide arms race. An American citizen of Indian origin, Professor Thomas stressed that India, like most of the world (with the exception of NATO countries), did not believe the "humanitarian" pretext for the NATO bombing and sympathized with Yugoslavia as the victim.
International Law and NATO Aggression
Roland Weyl, speaking on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Jurists, denounced NATO's "open contempt" for the United Nations and the post-World War II system of international law aimed at banning war. The bombing had no legal basis and would be unjustifiable even if the United States succeeded in turning the United Nations Security Council into a pliant rubber stamp to approve NATO military operations.
Two contrasting views of the ambiguous concept of "self-determination", in relation to Kosovo, were presented by Catherine Samary of the University of Paris and Barbara Delcourt, who teaches international law at the Free University of Brussels. While Samary tended to favor self-determination for Kosovo Albanians, Delcourt pointed out that under existing international law, self-determination did not imply secession except in regard to decolonization. If the right of self-determination is to be broadened, this should be done systematically by international convention, rather than ad hoc, Delcourt argued. Today we are no longer in the period of decolonization, but in a recolonization period where the "right to self-determination" mainly favors nationalists and great power manipulations.
On the subject of a hypothetical "law of humanitarian intervention", Olivier Corten, professor of international law at the Free University of Brussels, noted that any such law is open to differing interpretations as to when it is applicable. The purpose of a legal system is to provide procedures to mediate between differing evaluations. There is no law without procedure, he stressed. We are in danger of reverting to the 19th century practice of Great Powers which regularly invoked "natural rights" to justify use of military force.
Toronto lawyer Christopher Black explained that the ad hoc "International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY)" in The Hague is not a step toward a real international criminal tribunal (a project that has encountered U.S. opposition), but something quite contrary: a political tribunal instigated by the United States for political purposes. The ICTY receives funding and personnel from the United States government and private corporations, its chief justice describes U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as "the mother of the tribunal", it ignored a brief presented by an international group of lawyers calling for indictment of NATO leaders for war crimes, based on more solid evidence than the subsequent indictment of Yugoslav leaders. Its procedures are contrary to all the guarantees of the defense written into democratic legal systems, Black said.
Other speakers were Roman judge Domenico Gallo, who concluded that the circumstances did not justify NATO intervention; Zeljan Schuster, of the University of New Haven, who described various scenarios of economic and political effects on Yugoslavia of NATO bombing; and University of Paris historian Annie Lacroix-Riz, who drew from her vast knowledge of diplomatic archives to describe the extraordinary degree of continuity between present and past Great Power intervention in Yugoslavia.
Brian Becker of the International Action Center in New York represented an activist approach to the war strikingly absent in today's France. Becker's description of the IAC plans to hold hearings in various cities on the indictment against NATO leaders drafted by Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, aroused considerable enthusiasm among the people attending the conference, who were eager to offer support. Becker explained that the campaign will culminate in a people's tribunal in New York on next March 24, anniversary of the start of the NATO bombing. Ramsey Clark sent a message of greeting to the conference.
Participants in the conference intend to get together to plan further action.
In addition to support to the Ramsey Clark initiative, the conference strongly condemned economic sanctions as an unjustifiable continuation of war against the people of Yugoslavia.
It was generally agreed that:
· Economic sanctions are a warlike, not a peaceful measure: a means of continuing the bombing destruction by other means, in a "bomb now, die later" strategy already employed against the people of Iraq;
S uch methods as economic sanctions, "selective sanctions" and other encouragements to further secession and civil war in Yugoslavia are totally inappropriate means to produce "democratic change";
Such deliberately divisive measures seem designed to preclude peaceful democratic change and instead provide NATO with a pretext for further armed intervention;
A truly neutral tribunal should determine legal responsibilities for the 1999 war and assess damages and liability for reparations;
Governments should provide humanitarian and reconstruction aid to all parts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, without ethnic or political discrimination.
The conference also adopted by acclamation a proposal from the floor to protest against the exclusion by the humanitarian organization "Doctors Without Frontiers", on the day after it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, of its Greek chapter for having treated Serbian victims of the NATO bombing.
A message of personal testimony from Cedomir Prlincevic, former archivist and head of the Jewish community in Pristina, was read to the conference. Prlincevic, who was driven from his home by Albanian gangsters, accused NATO and KFOR of allowing KLA thugs to threaten, kill and drive out members of non-Albanian ethnic groups and steal their property. With NATO/KFOR support, the KLA had installed a reign of terror, he said.
The conference on "Justice and War" was held in the Town Hall of Paris' 9th arrondissement and financed by individual contributions. Each invited guest in the international audience of 140 contributed at least 150 francs ($25) to cover costs. The papers and proceedings will be published by the Paris-based review "Dialogue".
If you wish to obtain copies, or distribute copies, of the special "Justice and War" conference issue of "Dialogue", please contact (by e-mail): email@example.com.
Report on Washington Peace March from Vietnam Memorial to Pentagon 6/4/99
We'd estimate something around 10,000 as the number of participants, the march column was as long as the eye could see. Other estimates vary from 30,000 to 5,000 (by detractors). C-Span covered the speeches at the Pentagon, but not at the Vietnam Memorial where the march began. About 20% of the participants were Serb/Americans. The march was organized by a leftist group with speeches heavy towards the Left. Ramsey Clark and Brian Becker of IAC (sponsor) gave emotional speeches. However, other speakers included Editor Tom Fleming of Chronicles who spoke against communism of old. There was a very moving children's choir to start the speakers. Tables included much from the Left, very interesting in the evolving of positions since the collapse of communism..
Generally the Left tries to find rational, economic and political reasons for the bombing. Generally the interpretation was that the U.S. wants chaos in the Balkans so as to have an excuse to dominate the region, either to continue breaking up Russia's old sphere of influence or as a stepping stone to domination of the central Asian oil fields and to continue splitting off Russia from its old economic interests. Multi-national business was attacked as just being a continuation of old imperialism. (Editors disagree strongly with this old Marxist view, today American business wants peace so it can trade with a prosperous world--the American War Party is not the business party (except for military manufacturers, a small (but very influentional) part of the American economy). Another interpretation was that Washington wanted to wreck the European Union's new Euro currency which might have been a competition for the dollar before its declining value since the bombing.
The march was notable in the silent treatment given it by Washington's daily newspapers, unlike is done for most leftist marches by the WASHINGTON POST. There was very little local turnout in DC, mainly it was people coming from other parts of the nation. Again and again C-SPAN shows its fairness and good news seeking. It's a wonderful addition to America's media.
Placard signs were often ingenious and we quote a few of them below for ideas. As Justin Raimondo writes, the whole success of street theaters/demonstrations is in putting great ideas into just 5 or 6 words.-------------
KOSOVO WAR TAX RESISTOR
EXIT STRATEGY--SERBS ALL DEAD
US/NATO NEW EVIL EMPIRE--WANT TO RULE THE WORLD
US ALWAYS KILLS WOMEN AND CHILDREN--NEVER PEOPLE WHO CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES
CNN--CLINTON NONSENSE NETWORK
WE NEED BOMB CONTROL LEGISLATION
NATO--NEW EVIL EMPIRE
I VOTED FOR CLINTON & ALL I GOT WAS A LOUSY WAR
(MADELEINE) STOP ME BEFORE I KILL AGAIN
SERBIA NOW, IS RUSSIA NEXT?
GEORGIA SUCCEEDS FROM NATO
SERBIA TODAY, TOMORROW THE WORLD (YESTERDAY IRAQ)
ABOLISH NATO, ABOLISH WAR
Peace March Sponsor
Emergency Mobilization to Stop the War
39 West 14 St., #206 New York, NY 10011
(212) 633-6646 fax: (212) 633-2889
email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.iacenter.org