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Albright demonstration posting


 F r e e d o m * Linking Palestinians & Their Friends *

A report about tonights demonstrations in Chicago at Albright's speech.
>From Voices in the Wilderness:

November 10, 1999

Dear Friends,

This evening, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke in Chicago at
the Council on Foreign Relations. The topic of her speech: "Priorities of
US Foreign Policy."

Of course, there could be no Madeleine Albright speech in Chicago lacking
a Voices in the Wilderness presence. We fasted in June when she was to
receive an honorary degree from Northwestern University School of Law, and
this evening we were outside with signs and placards, and inside with

Just three minutes into her speech, Father Bob Bossie of the 8th Day
Center for Justice rose and told the crowd of 2500, "Ms. Albright, 500,000
Iraqi children have died because of the sanctions. Is the price worth it?"
He repeated this line several times as he was dragged out of the Hilton
ballroom, waving a photograph of an Iraqi child who has since died from
leukemia. Fifteen others, including Kathy Kelly, Karl Meyer, Paul Bossie,
and Brad Simpson followed suit with similar statements, expressing our
frustration with the US State Department and its cruel policies in Iraq.
Five were arrested outside, in the plush Hilton lobby (see press release

Ms. Albright was visibly perturbed, as were the conveners of this event.
They repeatedly told the activists that there would be a forum later for
discussion (there actually never was). They said we were rude, out of
place, and disrespectful. She reasserted her support for economic
sanctions, and blamed Saddam Hussein for the suffering of the Iraqi
people. "I assure you that the State Department cares about Iraqi children
more than Saddam Hussein," she explained. "Now let me finish my speech,

We did not take pride in disrupting this event, forking over $20 to listen
to the Secretary of State, and we are not proud to have caused such a
disturbance. But, we know of no other way to reach the hearts and minds of
those who have the power to make decisions that affect so many. We cannot
allow standing ovations for a person who said that the "price is worth it"
when considering 500,000 young deaths. Local reporters covered the event,
and portions were aired on local television and radio.

As we rudely interrupted Ms. Albright, we recalled the children we have
met in Iraq, their parents, and the daily grind and pain that ensue each
day because of sanctions. 200 each day, at least 15 while Ms. Albright
spoke. We watched a woman speak who in many ways is complicit in this
madness, an insane policy of sanctions, who embodies all that we oppose in
our government and its policies towards Iraq. Some people in the audience
were moved by our statements, others were shaken in many ways by our
audacity and seeming impunity in the presence of venerable and consummate
leaders and politicians, but all were overwhelmingly forced to consider
the veracity of what Ms. Albright was saying. Many in the halls afterwards
commented that while we were rude, we could be right. One person said,
"You know, I oppose sanctions and I am glad someone spoke up."

Please keep Kathy, Karl, Danny, Kristin, and Brad in your thoughts and
prayers, as they sit in jail tonight for speaking the truth at the Chicago
Hilton, where the US Secretary of State addressed the pressing question:
priorities in US foreign policy.


Nicholas Arons, for VitW


November 10, 1999 Contact: Voices in the Wilderness  773-784-8065


CHICAGO-- Aiming to draw attention to civilian suffering in Iraq, five
activists were arrested at the Hilton and Towers Hotel on charges of
trespassing during Madeleine Albright's November 10th address to the
Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. Those arrested were Kathy Kelly,
Karl Meyer, Danny Muller, Brad Simpson, Kristin Sundell. Kelly and Simpson
have traveled to Iraq in open defiance of the US sanctions, bearing first
hand witness to the catastrophic suffering occurring there. Activists
involved in the opposition of US embargo against Iraq included members of
Voices in the Wilderness, 8th Day Center for Justice and other Chicago
area peace organizations. Fifteen stood to question Ms. Albright on the
current suffering in Iraq, while displaying enlarged photos of sick and
dying Iraqi children.

The sanctions deny Iraqi people food, clean water and necessary medicines
to battle common infections and rising deterioration of infrastructure.
Both Ms. Albright and President Clinton have stated that sanctions will
continue as long as Sadaam Hussein remains in power. Sanctions, first
imposed in August of 1990, have created the most comprehensive state of
siege ever inflicted in modern history.
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