Against Sanctions on Iraq
|Contents||Introduction||UN Watch||International News||Westminster Watch||Campaigning News|
It's time to wish a happy 3rd birthday to the CASI email lists, which were set up at the end of January 1998. Along with the website, the email lists represent the public face of CASI for most people who come into contact with us. The announcements lists, to which we send the newsletter plus occasional messages about our activities, now have more than 1000 subscribers worldwide, compared to just over 800 last spring.
CASI also runs an email discussion list on which subscribers share news, information, and campaigning tactics. A roundup of news items from around the world is posted each week, and we would like to thank the list members who have put so much work into compiling these. A searchable archive of the discussion list is kept on our website and can be a useful resource. There are currently 2616 messages in the archive and 218 list members. About half the subscribers are UK residents, while the rest live in countries including Malaysia, Cuba, Canada, Germany, Australia, Norway, Italy, Trinidad, the US, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, South Africa, France, and Iraq itself.
To join any of our email lists, see www.casi.org.uk/lists.html or contact email@example.com.
CASI's famous website (www.casi.org.uk) continues to steadily evolve, both in content and appearance. As well as information about our activities and copies of our newsletters, it contains links to a vast array of documentation on sanctions from a range of sources.
22nd-28th February 2001: 24-hour week long picket outside the House of Commons. Organised by the Mariam Appeal - contact 0207 403 5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
28th February 2001, 7:30pm: Rally: 'No more war, no more sanctions', Grand Committee Room, House of Commons. Speakers include John Pilger, George Galloway, Tony Benn. Contact the Mariam Appeal - details as above.
10th-11th March 2001: "Alternative Policies to Sanctions on Iraq" public conference in Cambridge, hosted by CASI. Details & order form below.
The past six months have seen a number of non-violent direct actions against sanctions on Iraq, including the high-profile August 2000 'die-in' on the 10th anniversary of the imposition of sanctions on Iraq, coordinated by Voices in the Wilderness UK More recent acts of protest have included an international 'week of action' in November, a 'day of silence' in December, a blockade of parliament in January which probably featured more police than protesters, and the infamous tomato-throwing incident in Bristol. Perhaps Tony Blair could claim the resultant dry cleaning costs from the UN Compensation Commission?
The first weekend of December saw an anti-sanctions activists' conference, organised by Voices UK and co-sponsored by CASI. Those who attended were treated to a highly motivating speech by Hans von Sponeck (which you can listen to on the CASI website). All in all, the weekend was a great opportunity to meet other anti-sanctions campaigners from across the country to share ideas and plan activities. One of the most striking aspects of the weekend was the sheer number of activists present who had visited Iraq in recent months. The weekend also sparked the formation of "Manchester CASI", based at the university. Incorporated into the conference was a National Coordinating Meeting (for more information about these six-weekly gatherings of anti-sanctions groups please contact CASI or Voices UK).
Don't forget to help gather signatures for the current National/Constituency Petition against sanctions on Iraq. The petition operates on a parliamentary constituency basis, with a Local Contact in each constituency to coordinate activities. There is also a national version of the petition for situations where those present will be from a variety of constituencies. Copies of the petition and details of how it works are at the petition's interactive website, www.notinournames.org.uk (developed by CASI), or are available by phone on 0845 458 9571. The deadline for returning completed sheets to Local Contacts has been extended to 11th April, and the deadline for Local Contacts to sent a copy of the signatures to the Voices UK office is now 23rd April, owing to a revised estimate of the date of the general election. There is still time to become the Local Contact for your constituency - please see the website or contact us for more information.
In recent months CASI's energies have been focused mainly on collaborations with other groups and preparation for the upcoming conference. We have also hosted talks in Cambridge by Felicity Arbuthnot (who inspired CASI's creation in 1997), Chris Doyle of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) and Richard Byrne of Voices UK, and in conjunction with CamPeace we have manned an anti-sanctions stall in Cambridge on several occasions. Various CASI committee members have given talks in Cambridge and elsewhere. In June, Colin Rowat and Yousef Ghazi-Tabatabai apprehensively mingled with multinational coorporations when they attended a conference on 'The Economics, Geopolitics and Investment Terms in the Middle East' in Versailles, where Colin presented a paper about UN agency reports on Iraq. In December Colin Rowat travelled to Iraq with Chris Doyle of CAABU to conduct interviews with Iraqi and international agencies.
CASI's contact details are on the front cover. The contact details of two of the more prominent anti-sanctions organisations mentioned in this newsletter are below. There are many other anti-sanctions groups than these, especially local groups. Contact details for many of them are listed on our website.
[please check the 'Campaigning Organisations' page for up to date details]
Voices in the Wilderness UK - organise sanctions breaking trips to Iraq,
coordinate non-violent direct action, produce highly recommended newsletter
and briefings. They also organise a monthly letter-writing campaign.
tel. 01865 243232
16B Cherwell Street, Oxford, OX4 1BG
The Mariam Appeal - founded by George Galloway MP
tel. 0207 403 5200
13a Borough High St., London SE1 9SE
Copies of the published proceedings of CASI's conference 'Sanctions on Iraq: background, consequences & strategies' are available for just £6 inc. P&P (£10 / $15 outside UK). The 220 page book (ISBN 1-903488-22-2) features edited transcripts of the papers presented by the 18 expert speakers at the conference. Place your order using the form below. [For full ordering information, see the Proceedings web page.]
Boosted by the positive feedback from its November 1999 conference, CASI is pleased to announce that it is to host a second international conference over the weekend of 10-11 March 2001.
The Conference will examine how the international community could feasibly lift economic sanctions without jeopardising regional or international security. It will also inquire into the effects an end to economic sanctions would have on Iraqs internal humanitarian situation. While the Foreign Office claims that those of us opposing the continuation of economic sanctions can offer no coherent alternative, we are moving the debate forward to confront the real policy options facing the worlds leaders. The final session will open a debate on how the current political stalemate between the major players in the UN can be broken.
Experts from a variety of disciplinary and occupational backgrounds will speak at the conference, including Hans von Sponeck, former UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, George Joffé, of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Kamil Mahdi, from the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies, Abbas Al-Nasrawi, from the University of Vermont, Charles Tripp, from the School of Oriental and African Studies, Gareth Stansfield, from the Iraqi Kurdistan Research Programme, and Eric Herring, from Bristol University.
The Conference is open to all those interested in the future of Iraq and its people. Places are limited, so please make your booking as soon as possible using the form below, or contact us if you have any enquiries. Please help us to publicise the conference by displaying the enclosed poster (more copies are available on request!)
[To find out more about the conference, please see the conference web pages]
CASI is funded solely by donations from its supporters. Organising an international conference, even when all work is carried out by volunteers, incurs significant expense. Ongoing projects such as the production and distribution of newsletters also cost money: printing and posting this newsletter alone will cost around £500. Over the coming few months, our finances will be stretched to their limit, and we therefore ask that you consider making a donation to CASI to enable us to continue operating: at the moment our activities are constrained by our finances! You can use the form below.
[To make a donation to CASI, please see the comments about donating on our contact page.]