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PRESS RELEASE Immediate release ANTI-SANCTIONS PETITION LAUNCHED IN LONDON Today, 20 November Universal Children's Day, comedian Jeremy Hardy and veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent (pictured) launched a new nationally-coordinated Constituency Petition Against the Economicc Sanctions on Iraq, which will run until the British General Election. Standing outside Downing Street, Mr Hardy said, 'On Universal Children's Day, it's vital to emphasise the impact Tony Blair's Government is having on the sick children of Iraq. The excuse for sanctions is the behaviour of the Iraqi leadership, who are not suffering at all. Our leaders are also guilty of human rights abuses in Iraq. I hope our children are never made to pay the price.' The Constituency Petition is a nationally-coordinated campaign of local petitions. It is believed by the organisers to be the first national petition campaign to centre around an interactive website http://www.notinournames.org.uk ) Milan Rai, a spokesperson for the coalition of anti-sanctions groups behind the petition, said, 'We welcome Peter Hain's change of tone towards Iraq. What we demand is a change in real policy that will benefit ordinary families in Iraq. We are demanding the lifting of economic sanctions on Iraq.' On Sunday Mr Hain admitted indirect negotiations with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, in a declaration which the Times described as a 'vastly different' in tone from earlier statement. The Constituency Petition is backed by Act Together/Women Against Sanctions on Iraq; Cambridge Campaign for Peace; Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq; Committee for Lifting the Economic Sanctions on the Iraqi People; Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding; Institute for Independence Studies; New Internationalist magazine; Sheffield Campaign Against War in the Gulf; Voices for Justice in Iraq; Voices in the Wilderness UK; and Women in Black. ENDS Note: Times article: 'Sanctions on Iraq "could go in six months"', Times, 20 November 2000, p. 15 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk