In the face of recent threats against Iraq, the group Voices in the Wilderness has initiated an "Iraq Peace Team" plan. This envisions sending seasoned nonviolent activists to take up residence in Iraq, before and during a US attack, should such an assault occur. The Team will be independent from any government or organization. The Government of Iraq has agreed to the proposal in principle.
It will be an international team working to prevent an escalation of the current war against Iraq. Anyone who wishes to act for peace and for the victims of this possible war is invited to consider joining. When and if it appears that war against Iraq is at hand, team members will go to Iraq with these intentions:
To live among the Iraqi people;
To be with the Iraqi people during any aggression directed at them, including continued economic sanctions;
To use their presence and non-violent actions to protect, if possible, both the civilian population of Iraq and those facilities (e.g., water purification plants) which make daily life possible for the Iraqi people;
To use their experiences to speak truthfully, from Iraq and through supporters in the US, to all who will listen about the effects of sanctions and war on the people of Iraq.
The team will not take the side of any government, none of which is considered blameless, and all of which are asked to initiate dialogue and negotiation, especially under the auspices of the Secretary General of the United Nations. All parties are urged to listen to the advice of Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, who resigned their posts as UN Coordinators of Humanitarian Concerns in Iraq in order to speak more freely about the devastating effects of the US economic sanctions and ongoing bombardment.
For more information, contact Voices in the Wilderness: 1460 W. Carmen Ave., Chicago IL 60640; 773-784-8065; www.iraqpeaceteam.org.