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[casi] Iraq Letter-writing Action This Week!

Hello letter-writers. Glenn from Voices UK here.

With one week to go before the Weapons Inspectors report now is a crucial
time to make our voices heard. Below is the latest Voices postal action. It
takes very little time or effort, but could make a big impact. Suggested
letter text is at the end. Copy and paste, add rice, and off you go. Please
join in! Forward to friends, email lists etc etc!




Deluge the Decision Makers
in the week of Monday 20th January.

Big demonstrations are important. But between them, how can people make
their voices heard?

Imagine this for a moment: Next Monday, Jack Straw’s office is swamped with
ten thousand letters, with each envelope containing a handful of rice. The
letters are from members of the public sending rice as a symbol of the
humanitarian consequences of war. It’s worth taking a moment to picture the
space and time that the delivery of ten thousand small packets of rice would
take up. Imagine if your own office received such a deluge; and somewhere in
the middle of it all is your usual mail. Someone in the corridors of power
will have to open all those letters.

For the people who are deciding to launch this unnecessary, immoral war, the
letters would be a nuisance, a nag. But importantly they would also be a
noticeable demonstration that there are thousands of people out there
opposed to their policy.

Voices UK is calling for people across the country to send a handful of rice
to Jack Straw at the Foreign Office. A suggested text for an accompanying
letter is below.

Please send the rice and your letter in the week of Monday 20th January.
This is the week immediately prior to the UN Weapons Inspector’s report,
which many commentators expect will be used by Bush and Blair as a pretext
for war. If our voices are to be heard, they have to be heard now!

“… peaceful, well-focused and widespread nuisance … forces the issue to the
front of people's minds, and ensures that no one can contemplate the war
without also contemplating the opposition to the war. All this will, of
course, be costly. But there comes a point at which political commitment is
meaningless unless you are prepared to act on it. … if our action is
confined to shaking our heads at the television set, Blair might as well
have a universal mandate. Are you out there? Or are you waiting for someone
else to act on your behalf?”

George Monbiot, Guardian, 7th January 2003

10,000 letters is an achievable target. Nearly 4,000 people have pledged to
take direct action in the event of war. Websites and email lists reach
thousands more. And of course, no one is limited to sending only one letter.

Voices will be calling similar actions focused on Tony Blair, Geoff Hoon and
others over the coming weeks. For each participant it’s a small effort. If
thousands make that effort, the effect can be impressive. Please take part!


Suggested text:

Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Whitehall, London SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr Straw

I am writing to express my opposition to the likely war with Iraq. I
consider it unnecessary, illegal, immoral and inevitably counter-productive.

Save the Children, who have long worked in Iraq, predict that a war there
will lead to a “humanitarian disaster”. Many thousands of innocent Iraqis
suffered and died in the last Gulf War, and in the years of bombing and
economic sanctions since then. For their sake, I urge you to pull back from
war and instead pursue peaceful means of promoting peace in the Middle East.

I enclose a handful of rice as a symbol of the human needs that should be
our prime concern especially in time of war. Real people are under these
bombs, and real people will die when we destroy the things they need to
survive. I welcome your reply.

Yours sincerely,

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