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[casi-analysis] Campaigners urge John Simpson to pull out of Iraq 'Corporate Feeding Frenzy'

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PRESS RELEASE     Voices in the Wilderness UK [A]
21st April 2004
Contact 0845 458 2564 or 07947 839 992 or 07791 486 484


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

[A] Voices in the Wilderness UK has been campaigning on Iraq for the
last six years. For more info. see
[B] See
[C] See
[D] See,3604,1190263,00.html
[E] See
Emma Sangster

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