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[casi] Voices Fined

On November 6 the U.S. Treasury Department imposed $20,000 in fines on
Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness (VitW), a campaign to end the
sanctions on Iraq. On December 5 at 10 AM members of VitW will hold a press
conference on the 2nd floor of Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago.  They
will affirm that they have traveled to Iraq in nonviolent defiance of US/UN
sanctions and announce that they intend to raise thousands of dollars to
continue breaking the embargo.

Sue Mackley, Nathan Mauger and others who have returned from Iraq in the
past few weeks will be joined by delegates scheduled to travel to Iraq
before the end of the year.

These fines are for delivering medicine to Iraq without a permit in 1998.
They are directed against VitW co-founder and double Nobel Peace Prize
nominee Kathy Kelly of Chicago. Dan Handleman, of Portland, Oregon, was
simultaneously fined $10,000 for
alleged travel-related expenses incurred during a 1997 VitW delegation to
Iraq.  Earlier this year, Bert Sacks and Rev. Randall Mullins, both of
Seattle, were fined $10,000 each for taking part in the same 1997
delegation. They refused to pay, and instead raised over $10,000 to buy more
medicine to bring to Iraq. This medicine was delivered by Sacks last

The fines come as VitW is sending Americans and other internationals to Iraq
almost every week to take part in its Iraq Peace Team. Currently there are
16 volunteers in Baghdad with Iraq Peace Team. In the event of another US
military assault on Iraq, they intend to help coordinate humanitarian
efforts, offer independent reporting, and stand in solidarity with Iraqi

"We will not consent to pay any fine,” said Kathy Kelly, currently in
Baghdad with the Iraq Peace Team. “We simply reject the government's
contention that we cannot carry medicine to the sick, and assert that it is
a greater evil to let the children die."

Since January, 1996, VitW has sent over fifty delegations to Iraq. In
addition to medicine, they have illegally brought to Iraq toys, medical
books and journals, blood bags, pens and pencils for schools.  Voices in the
Wilderness representatives will be
available to speak publicly and with the media.   VitW has sent hundreds of
delegates from over forty states- for local representatives, please contact
us directly at 773 784 8065.

~ Anai Rhoads

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