The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Unexpectedly, we had to prematurely end the postal campaign advertised with the last newsletter and on the casi list in January. You may recall we suggested you send rice to the Foreign Office with a letter expressing your concerns about the humanitarian crisis attacking Iraq is likely to cause. The inclusion of rice, a staple foodstuff in Iraq was intended to represent the hunger many Iraqis could face in the event of war. Unfortunately the first such letter to the Foreign Office sparked a bioterror alert, closing down Jack Straw's Office for 3 hours. The person who sent the letter received a visit from his local police that evening telling him what had happened and advising him that he was now on a list of suspected terrorists. (They also told him that had it not been for his nice postcode and "respectable background" he would have been raided by anti terror police.) This massive over reaction is obviously of great concern to Voices and we have taken legal advice over this matter. We think the threat re the suspected terrorist list was probably an empty one intended to scare the person concerned rather than a definite statement of fact, but we obviously feel it necessary to pursue this to try and establish whether supporters who sent rice to Straw are now on such a list. Our lawyers advised us that individuals approaching the Government regarding this were in a "Catch 22 " situation. If any individual approaches the state to ask if they are on a list of suspected terrorists then they may find themselves entered on some kind of database they didn't want to be on just because they approached the state to say they were worried they may be on a database! With this in mind we are pursuing this matter ourselves and taking legal advice, so as to avoid any individuals in Voices having to get any more involved in this mess than they are already. We felt we had to write informing you of this development, but we don't wish to unduly worry anyone. At the same time as our rice campaign started we received dozens of emails from other groups independently suggesting sending rice to Tony Blair, so many hundreds, probably thousands of people have probably engaged in this action. Even an order of Franciscan monks has taken part! Please do call or write to us at the office if you would like any more information. As this matter moves on we will keep people informed. Richard Voices sign the pledge of resistance to the "war on terrorism" www.j-n-v.org _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk