The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FAO: Newsroom & Political Editor
21st June 2001
IRAQ: 1000 miles…1000 untold stories. Walking all over “Smart” sanctions.
Leeds students Corinne Fowler and Sally Entwistle set out today to walk from John O'Groats to Lands End for a 1,200mile, 2 month long protest. They will be challenging the new US-backed British proposed changes to the Iraqi sanctions regime. They aim to bring the reality of the new so called "Smart" sanctions to the public's attention. In addition they will be raising money for humanitarian projects in Iraq.
The press has reported this new initiative as the ‘end of sanctions’. We wish to inform the public of the words of Colin Powel, US Secretary of State, that the new Iraq policy "wasn't an effort to ease sanctions [but] an attempt to rescue the sanctions policy that was collapsing" (8th March, 2001)
They are aiming to raise thousands of pounds for the Human Relief foundation , the only registered British charity active in Iraq. The HRF carry out vital humanitarian projects such as rebuilding schools, hospitals and water treatment plants
"When we learned what Britain was doing in Iraq, we were overwhelmed by a tremendous sense of shame", explained Corinne. Unicef has estimated that an additional half million children under the age of five have died due to sanctions. Sally and Corinne got involved in the campaign after watching John Pilger’s documentary ‘Paying the Price – Killing the children of Iraq’ “We felt so ashamed of the genocide being committed in our name that we decided to do something there and then to combat it in some small way”.
Sally and Corinne will walk 20 miles a day for 2 months without the help of a back-up vehicle, stopping in towns, cities and villages along the way. They will be alerting local media, informing and urging locals including MP’s to voice their opposition by sending personal messages of condemnation, addressed to 10 Downing street, on balloons symbolising the desperate need to re-INFLATE the Iraqi economy.
This is the first walk of its kind in the growing anti-sanctions campaign. It is unique in that it has a very up-to–the-minute political edge as the UN Security Council votes on the proposed “smart” sanctions resolution on 4th July – right in the middle of their walk!
They are readily reachable and are willing to meet with journalists and give interviews at any point along their route . They are also encouraging people to join them at any point long the route. They hope to reach Land’s End on the 21st August in time for Corinne’s birthday for a double celebration!
The past few years have seen a growing tide of opposition to the sanctions. Two Assistant Secretary Generals to the UN and Humanitarian Co-ordinators in Iraq resigned in protest. The first Denis Halliday said "We are in the process of destroying an entire society, it is as simple and terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral".
The second Hans von Sponeck was particularly outspoken about the effects of sanctions on children, pointing out that infant mortality had more than doubled under the sanctions. He added, “Can we afford, can anyone afford to associate himself or herself with such a reality? I cannot”.
For more information:
visit: www.basinet.org where you can also follow their progress day by day.
Tel: 0113 282 4810 Mobile: 07713 74 2021 E-mail: email@example.com
Address: BASI, 6 Main Street, Carlton, Wakefield, WF3 3RW
NB: Corinne and Sally are members of the Leeds University Students Union  campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Society and Britain Against Sanctions on Iraq (BASI). Both organisations aim to raise awareness of the effects of the economic sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq and campaign for the lifting of non-military sanctions. They do not support or have any ties with the government of Iraq.
Notes to Editors:
1. They will pass through some major towns and cities: Inverness, Stirling, Glasgow, Carlisle, Lancaster, Bristol to name a few...contact BASI for more details.
2. The Human Relief Foundation - Registered Charity No: 1043676
Contact details: P.O. Box 194, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1YW, England, U.K.
Tel: 01274 392727 Fax: 01274 739992 www.hrf.co.uk
3. A motion was passed at this years Annual General Meeting of the Leeds Student Union, which condemned the economic sanctions on Iraq. The sanctions are killing 5000 children every month and have caused the deaths of millions of Iraqis since their imposition. The Leeds University Union now officially opposes this genocide.