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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] PRESS RELEASE Voices in the Wilderness UK [A] 21st April 2004 Contact 0845 458 2564 or 07947 839 992 or 07791 486 484 CAMPAIGNERS URGE JOHN SIMPSON TO PULL OUT OF IRAQ 'CORPORATE FEEDING FRENZY' A group of campaigners are urging the BBC's World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, to pull-out of a business conference at which representatives from 300 companies - including Shell, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and US arms manufacturer Raytheon - will meet members of the US-installed Iraqi "government" to discuss 'the wide range of … opportunities available' to make a profit out of the increasingly blood-soaked occupation of Iraq [B]. Simpson is listed as the 'guest speaker' for the 'four course [gala] dinner with wine' on the web-site for the conference, which is scheduled to take place at a secret location in London on the evening of the 27th April [C]. Simpson's appearance comes in the wake of the killing of over 600 people in the US siege of Fallujah, 'the vast majority of [whom] were women, children and the elderly' according to the director of the town's general hospital [D]. It also follows the BBC's recent decision to ban its staff from writing newspaper or magazine columns 'on current affairs or other contentious issues' on the grounds that such work is 'seen as an extension of their work for the BBC' [E]. Also attending the conference will be Tony Blair's special adviser on trade and investment Brian Wilson and former US Rear Admiral David Nash - the man in charge of handing out $18bn worth of US tax-payers money for the "reconstruction" of Iraq. Voices spokesperson Gareth Evans said 'I find it extraordinary that John Simpson has accepted an invitation to be the guest speaker at a conference that is sponsored by a US arms manufacturer and designed to help corporations like Shell and ExxonMobil make a profit out of the increasingly blood-soaked occupation of Iraq - especially after the recent massacre in Fallujah. By attending this event, John Simpson is helping to legitimise both the occupation and the ongoing corporate feeding frenzy in Iraq. We urge him not to attend.' A protest with speakers from Voices UK, the Union of Unemployed Iraqis, the Organisation for Women's Freedom in Iraq, and others will also be taking place on the evening of Tuesday 27 April to coincide with the conference dinner. For more info. contact 0845 458 2564 or 07947 839 992 or 07791 486 484 NOTES [A] Voices in the Wilderness UK has been campaigning on Iraq for the last six years. For more info. see www.voicesuk.org. [B] See www.iraqprocurement.com [C] See www.iraqprocurement.com/docs/agenda.htm [D] See www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1190263,00.html [E] See www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/12_december/16/journ alists_columns.shtml -- Emma Sangster _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk