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[casi] Peace Activist Leaves for Iraq on human rights mission.

Press Release 10:00
Date: 7 February 2003
Contact: Jo Wilding 07979 211897

Peace Activist Leaves for Iraq on human rights mission.

British peace activist Jo Wilding will leave for Iraq on Thursday 13th
February to act as a human rights observer, accompanied by independent film
maker Julia Guest.

The aims of the trip are:

1) to meet with ordinary Iraqi people and report on their situations and to
help them in any way possible with practical tasks like digging wells to
survive the bombardment;

2) to gather evidence of likely and actual breaches of the Geneva
Conventions and other humanitarian law relating to the protection of

3) to take humanitarian items, especially educational materials, vitamins
and painkillers, in breach of the sanctions;

4) to set up a twinning programme between Bristol and Basra, linking
schools, universities, hospitals, workplaces and so on in order to build
understanding between the two communities which have been isolated from one
another by the embargo.

Julia Guest is an independent film maker and photographer who has worked
with the peace and environmental movements for several years. She has
visited Iraq on two previous occasions. Jo Wilding is a part time law
student who appeared in court in December 2002 for breaking the sanctions
against Iraq, and in January 2001 for throwing fruit at Tony Blair in a
protest against sanctions.

Jo will deliver a letter to Tony Blair at Downing Street at 11am warning him
against breaching the Geneva Conventions and other humanitarian law. Such
breaches cease to be "collateral effects" when they are inevitable and known
about in advance.

She says, "After the US puts in its own puppet in Iraq, people will be worse
off even than they are under sanctions. Iraq's massive external debt and the
many spurious compensation claims against it mean Structural Adjustment will
be imposed on it, so public services will be privatised and the natural
resources will be taken over by foreign multinationals. When sanctions are
dropped, the food ration, the only social security Iraqi people have, will
be gone.

"The US wants Iraq held together with an "iron fist" and will never allow
the Kurds genuine autonomy, nor the Iraqi people genuine democracy. It has
nothing to do with freedom or justice and it's wrong. Talking about
solidarity with the Iraqi people at a time like this maybe sounds a bit
inadequate, but one day our kids will have to make peace out of the disaster
we're making for them. That's why we're going to Iraq, to do whatever we

Call Jo on 07979 211897

sign the pledge of resistance to the "war on terrorism"

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