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* Please support Richard as he fasts against sanctions on Iraq
Suggested action are set out at the end of this mailing
This morning, Friday 10 March 2000, long-time Voices member Richard Crump begins an INDEFINITE FAST against the sanctions on Iraq.
Richard was in the 1991 Gulf Peace Team in Iraq (he volunteered to stay behind when the peace camp was evacuated). Since then he has been the mainstay of the ARROW anti-sanctions vigil which has taken place outside the Foreign Office every Monday evening since July 1991. It is not an exaggeration to say that the vigil would not have survived for the last eight and a half years without Richard's determination and persistence.
Richard has participated in the three day fasts outside Downing St organised by Voices in August 1998 and August 1999. He was very deeply moved by John Pilger's documentary on Iraq, PAYING THE PRICE, which he saw at the Friday night preview a week ago. Following the screening he decided to embark on an indefinite fast as an expression of the shame and outrage he feels at the British government's indifference to human suffering in Iraq.
'I don't want to die. But I am willing to risk my health and my life,' Richard said yesterday.
Richard was a Merchant seaman in the Second World War (he visited Iraq during his service in the navy), and has been a stalwart member of the Ex-Services Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. After seeing PAYING THE PRICE, Richard wrote the following statement:
'A fresh millennium has dawned, with a good deal of hype, flashing lights, etc. But the wickedness continues re: Iraq, as it has done for the past ten years. Crippling sanctions continue to cause death and privation and the bombing of that country by British and American aircraft is so commonplace as to be un-newsworthy. My feeling is that we entering a new era of barbarism...'
1) We would be grateful if you could send letters of support to Richard at his home: Upper Flat, 4 Salisbury Road, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 3HD.
2) You are invited to attend Richard's press conference, at the Monday evening vigil 5.30 - 7.00pm on 13 March, at the corner of Whitehall and King Charles St, London SW1.
3) Please circulate and publicise this statement as widely as you can in the next few days, and mobilize more people to write to Richard.
4) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be kept up to date with Richard's fast as it progresses.
Yours in solidarity
Voices in the Wilderness UK
16B Cherwell St
Oxford OX4 1BG
Phone 01865 243 232
Voices UK breaks the sanctions against Iraq by taking medicines and medical supplies to children's wards without applying for export licences.