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Public Meeting: Ground Zero to Baghdad

Just to remind people about the following event:


Earlier this month two members of voices in the wilderness uk travelled to
Iraq on a sanctions-breaking trip. Prior to this they had joined a Walk for
Healing and Peace in the US, from the Pentagon to Ground Zero in New York,
which was also joined by relatives and friends of those who died in the
11th atrocities.

The delegates will be returning from Iraq tomorrow and will be reporting
back on their trip at a public meeting this Tuesday (see details above). If
you can't make it to this meeting but would like to invite one of the
delegates to come and speak to your local anti-war group, union, church
etc... please contact the voices office on 0845 458 2564 or e-mail us at

Below I've reproduced a letter from the two delegates to Tony Blair.

Best wishes,

voices uk


17 December 2001

To: The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Tony Blair MP

We write to inform you that we have returned today from a sanctions-breaking
delegation to Iraq. We were moved to travel to Iraq at this time by the
mounting tension, and the increasing risk of a new US assault on that

Having seen for ourselves the continuing suffering of the Iraqi people, and
of the children of Iraq in particular, and been briefed on the precarious
nature of the public health infrastructure, we urge you not to participate
or to support any US-led military assault on Iraq.

We urge you further to end your support for the economic sanctions which
have contributed to the deaths of 500,000 children under the age of five,
according to UNICEF, the UN children’s agency.

We have broken the sanctions legislation in Britain by taking modest medical
supplies, medical journals and medical CD-ROMs to Iraqi hospitals – without
an export licence – and by purchasing goods in Iraq which we intend to
publicly auction in Britain – without authorization from your Government or
the UN.

We realize that the penalty for these actions could be a prison term of up
to five years incarceration. We do not undertake these actions lightly or
thoughtlessly. We believe that our actions are legally and morally
justified, and would defend ourselves vigorously if prosecuted by the
relevant authorities.

We hope to contribute to the bringing forward of the day when the economic
sanctions will be lifted, and the people of Iraq can begin to rebuild their
country in earnest.

We would also like to inform you that our delegation was a joint US/UK
project, and was preceded by a joint US/UK Walk for Healing and Peace from
the Pentagon in Washington DC to Ground Zero in New York. The walk, which we
participated in, was led by relatives of victims of 11 September. These
family members spoke out eloquently against the war in Afghanistan, against
the sanctions war on Iraq, and against the threat of a new assault on Iraq.
We are humbled by their courage, and we urge you to hear their voices for
peace. Some of their words can be found at

Yours sincerely

Matt Barr
Milan Rai

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