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Launch of Constituency Petition


Immediate release


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 )

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

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.


Note: Times article: 'Sanctions on Iraq "could go in six months"', Times, 20
November 2000, p. 15

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