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Dear All

Voices (campaigning in solidarity with the people of Iraq) are
organising a second action to STOP THE CORPORATE INVASION OF IRAQ on
Monday 27 October.

The last action (at Olympia) got coverage on Newsnight, the Today
programme and in the Guardian (see pictures on

On Monday we will have a giant cake in the shape of Iraq so that we can
offer the attendees a slice of the country they are seeking to
privatise, as well as street actions and music, to highlight the
profiteering behind the reconstruction contracts and the illegitimacy of
the privatisation of Iraq's economy - see the press release below.


1 Whitehall Place (nearest tube Embankment) from 8.30am to around 1pm.
Protest and street actions outside the Reconstructing Iraq conference
(admission £1099...).  This is a conference on ‘how to win contracts
in Iraq’. Focusing particularly on ‘energy, infrastructure,
transport and telecoms’, it features representatives from the US
Department of Commerce, the Foreign Office and talks on 'UK
industry/Army link', 'the potential legal obstacles to trade', 'removing
currency from the county', and 'claiming ownership of Iraqi oil'.

Also contact Voices UK for a copy of the Voices briefing 'Iraq for Sale'
and copies of the free campaign postcard 'Stop the Corporate Invasion of

PRESS RELEASE   22nd October 2003
Voices UK [1]      Contact: 0845 458 2564 or 0794 783 9992

Corporate reps offered a 'slice' of Iraq
Giant Iraq-shaped cake greets delegates to 'Reconstructing Iraq'
business conference.

Monday 27th, from 8.30am, outside 1 Whitehall Place: Business men and
women attending a conference entitled 'Reconstructing Iraq' [2] will be
offered slices from a giant Iraq-shaped cake this morning in a protest
over the continuing 'corporate invasion' of Iraq. Protestors
representing the corporations McDonalds, Olive Security and Bechtel,
amongst others, will also bid for contracts in a mock auction outside
the conference.

The Conference takes place in the wake of the recent announcement by the
US Government of new laws permitting all of Iraq's industries and
services (other than oil, gas and minerals) to be sold off to foreign
companies [3] and allegations by a US Congressman that 'waste and
gold-plating' of contracts are 'enriching [corporations such as]
Halliburton and Bechtel while … actually holding back the pace of
reconstruction in Iraq' [4].

Inside the conference attendees will be treated to talks by
representatives from the US Department of Commerce and the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office as well as talks on the 'UK industry/Army link',
'the potential legal obstacles to trade', 'removing currency from the
county', and 'claiming ownership of Iraqi oil'[B]. Business Consultants
Ernst and Young, the private security firm Olive Security [5] and HSBC
are amongst the corporations sponsoring the event and leading sessions.

A spokesperson for the protestors, Gareth Evans, said 'After thirteen
years of war and economic sanctions Iraqis need a reconstruction process
that they control and which is centred on their needs. What we are
seeing is war-profiteering on a grand scale and cronyism.  Not only are
there concerns about how much ordinary Iraqis will benefit but it is
actually delaying the reconstruction of the country with potentially
catastrophic consequences. It is outrageous that the US and Britain,
having illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, are now forcing their
free-market ideology on the country whilst selling its assets off in
what can only be described as a fire-sale. The whole process is
completely undemocratic.'

Photo opportunities: Delegates will be offered cake from 8.30am onwards.
There will be a special photo opportunity with the cake at 9.45am and
the mock auction and other activities will take place until 12.30pm
For more information contact 0845 458 2564 or 0794 783 9992

[1] Voices UK is a group campaigning in solidarity with the people of
Iraq. Between Feb. 1998 and May 2002 Voices UK sent 11
sanctions-breaking delegations to Iraq to protest the grave humanitarian
impact on ordinary Iraqis of UN economic sanctions. For more info. see
[2] For more information about the conference see:
[3] See 'Foreign firms to bid in huge Iraqi sale', Guardian, 22
[4] See 'Spending on Iraq Sets Off Gold Rush', Washington Post, 9
[5] Olive Security is a British private security firm that worked in
Iraq earlier this year providing security for Bechtel. Their web-site
boasts that 'All our consultants are former members of United Kingdom
Special Forces.'

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