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________________________________________________________________________ F r e e d o m * Linking Palestinians & Their Friends * email@example.com ________________________________________________________________________ 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 flyers. 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 below). 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, please." 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. Sincerely, Nicholas Arons, for VitW PRESS RELEASE November 10, 1999 Contact: Voices in the Wilderness 773-784-8065 LOCAL ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AT ALBRIGHT EVENT FOR PROTESTING SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ 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. -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Please do not send emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***