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Dear all We have been very remiss in not notifying everyone properly about the Basra 2000 project. You may have noticed an item in the news round-up for 10 - 16 July that in mid-July six very courageous Voices US people went to stay in Basra, to live with ordinary families, eat the oil-for-food ration, and try to live the ordinary life of Iraqis under sanctions. (Article reproduced below.) The Voices US group are sending out weekly reports, the last of which is dated 2 August, and they can be found at the following website: http://www.nonviolence.org/vitw/Basra%202000.html Best wishes Mil ASSOCIATED PRESS ARTICLE · 6 Americans Sample Iraqi Lifestyle, AP, 15 July '00 http://www.newsday.com/ap/international/ap899.htm by WAIEL FALEH BAGHDAD -- Six American opponents of U.N. sanctions on Iraq set out Saturday to live in a southern city for two months and experience the hardships ordinary Iraqis face every day -- food rations, power shutoffs and sewage problems. Activists from the Chicago-based group, Voices in the Wilderness, picked al-Jumhoriya district in Basra, 340 miles south of Baghdad. Allied forces pounded Basra during the 1991 Gulf War that drove Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. U.S. and British jets still carry out airstrikes on the area during patrols over southern Iraq. In Basra, the activists would ''live simply, study Arabic and, as best as we can, become voices on behalf of people whom we believe are innocent victims of a pitiless siege enforced by military might,'' Kathy Kelly of Chicago said Saturday before setting out from Baghdad. Voices in the Wilderness, which has a branch in London, seeks an end to U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which led to the Gulf War. The sanctions have crippled the Iraqi economy, and health and education systems and have left residents dependent on U.N. food rations. They also are blamed for countless deaths of Iraqi citizens, especially the very young and elderly. The group was planning to live on the same amount of food rations Iraqis receive and deal with the power cuts, bad water and damaged sewer system in the Basra neighborhood. They planned weekly reports detailing their activities. ''We would like for people of the United States and the world to know what really is going on, otherwise they may remain unaffected by sufferings Iraqi people endure,'' Kelly said. Kelly, 47, has visited Iraq 13 times since December 1990, when she was among hundreds of foreigners to camp out in the Iraqi desert for 10 days in an attempt to dissuade allied forces from attacking. In 1996, she established Voices in the Wilderness, which has brought delegations of U.S. citizens to Iraq to see for themselves how the sanctions hurt ordinary Iraqi citizens. While not a humanitarian aid organization, Voices has delivered more than $1 million worth of medicines for Iraqi hospitals and other humanitarian donations. [Mil adds: The 1990/91 Gulf Peace Team actually only had 70-odd foreigners on it. Richard Crump, one of the mainstays of the 9-year-long Foreign Office vigil - Mondays, 5.30-7.00 - was also a member of the GPT.] Milan Rai 158 Springfield Road Brighton BN1 6DG ph/fax (0)1273 508 331 firstname.lastname@example.org National Office Voices in the Wilderness UK 16B Cherwell St Oxford OX4 1BG 01865 243 232 email@example.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi