Eleanor Coghill
Clare College
Cambridge, CB2 1TL
tel: (01223) xxxxxx
e-mail ejc22@cam.ac.uk

re: National discussion meeting on Iraq (5 December 1998)

23 November, 1998

On behalf of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI, a Cambridge-based student group) and Voices in the Wilderness UK (a sister organisation of the US body of the same name) we are writing to invite your participation in a day long discussion on how groups which are opposed for humanitarian reasons to the current treatment of Iraq can organise and act more effectively.

The meeting will be held in Cambridge on 5th December 1998 (11am - 5pm) and will be chaired by Bishop Michael Hare Duke. We apologise for the short notice but events have been moving quickly and we feel that a rapid response is important.

Although the meeting is being hosted by CASI and Voices UK, our purpose is to create a space for discussion and not to advance any particular organisational agendas. The input of CASI and Voices UK is therefore entirely administrative: having sent out this invitation we will now be contacting as many of you as possible by phone to build an agenda that reflects your interests with Bishop Hare Duke. This process will be facilitated if you contact us as well.

At this point it seems likely the agenda should include discussions of:

  1. who we are as organisations;
  2. fundamental issues regarding the legitimacy of the current foreign policy;
  3. what the centre of our concerns are and how to communicate them effectively;
  4. how, if at all, to better work together both during times of "crisis" and more normal periods;
  5. particular projects that we might need to be undertaking.

Please circulate copies of this letter of invitation to any other organisations that you think might be interested in participating in the meeting. We have tried already to reach NGOs, religious organisations, and trades unions that might have an interest in this issue as well as organisations more specifically concerned with Iraq.

If your organisation is constitutionally unable to participate in the meeting given its potential political content, or otherwise hesitant, you are invited to send individuals in observer status. As we feel that it is important for the various groups working in this area to talk we are willing to offer further guarantees if these are insufficient. In either case, the meeting will not be generally publicised.

If you are interested in attending or have further questions please contact Eleanor Coghill (CASI) at the above address. We will be asking for a £5.00 fee to cover administrative fees (postage costs for the minutes, chair expenses, etc.).



Eleanor Coghill -- CASI national planning meeting co-ordinator
Seb Wills -- CASI co-ordinator
Milan Rai -- Voices in the Wilderness UK


The Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) is a University of Cambridge student society. Voices in the Wilderness UK attempts to draw attention to the sanctions regime by importing medical supplies to Iraq. Both campaign in the UK for humanitarian reasons against the sanctions. Neither is linked to, supported by or supports the Hussein regime. Attendance does not imply support for either host organisation.

Bishop Hare Duke (Scottish Episcopal Church) is the editor of "Prayers for Peace", a 1991 book of reflections on the Gulf War whose contributors were Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Christian. He was also involved in the recent Miriam campaign.