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[casi] peace tent established in Iraq- Kuwait demilitarized zone

Voices in the Wilderness US  001 773 784 8065
1)Contacts in Baghdad: Charlie Liteky, Kathy Kelly or Mike Ferner 718-8007
Room 509
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sunday, February 23, 2003

BAGHDAD-On Sunday, at a 4:30pm news conference at the Ministry of
Information's Press Centre, the Iraq Peace Team (IPT) will announce plans
to take 23 members Monday to the Demilitarized Zone along the Iraq-Kuwait
border, establish a Peace Tent and conduct a four-day, water-only fast. The
activists' intent is to direct a message to U.S. military personnel poised
across the border and to Americans opposed to another Iraq war.

"It is half-past the eleventh hour to preserve peace and avert unimaginable
suffering," said Charlie Liteky, 72, a Viet Nam Congressional Medal of Honor
Winner, from San Francisco. "With all our hearts we hope that our messages
to the 90,000 American troops waiting in Kuwait and to American peace
activists back home can help prevent a war."

Liteky's plea for peace, detailed in a statement read at the news
conference, was directed to U.S. soldiers and sailors, praying for their
return home "without having to participate in the horrors of war." It also
acknowledged that servicemen and women have been placed in a
"position full of anxiety and danger" because "back home we do not truly
govern ourselves-but are instead ruled by a minority who decide questions
of war and peace in the interests of the few, not the many."

The statement's final appeal to U.S. troops was to humanize the Iraqi
people who ".like the innocents in every war will bear the greatest
suffering-and who are virtually indistinguishable from our families back
home." Calling the soldiers and sailors "our fellow citizens," it asked them
".think with your head and your heart and do the right thing."

Kathy Kelly, a 50 year-old Chicagoan and IPT's coordinator, then issued a
stunning appeal to the U.S. peace movement. She urged "people of
conscience all over the United States to conduct a massive, preemptive
sit-down for peace," saying the tactic used by American unions and civil
rights activists was ".the only thing that can avert war and a humanitarian
disaster in Iraq."

Kelly concluded by calling the worldwide peace demonstrations of February
15 "not the end of our efforts, but only the beginning," and paraphrased
activist Rev. Daniel Berrigan, that "we will only achieve success when we
show the same courage for peace as soldiers do for war."

The Iraq Peace Team has been in Iraq since September, 2002, pledging to
live alongside Iraqi families before and during a U.S. assault, should a new
attack occur.

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

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