NATIONAL ORGANIZING CONFERENCE ON IRAQ, Oct. 15 to 17
“You ask me about the sack of Baghdad. It was so horrible there are no words to describe it. I wish I had died earlier and not seen how the butchers destroyed these treasures of knowledge and learning. I thought I knew the world, but this holocaust is so strange and pointless, I am struck dumb.” – a Persian traveler writing of Haluga’s attack on Baghdad, 1258 ANN ARBOR, Michigan – October 15 to 17, 1999 Join Kathy Kelly, Economist Abbas al-Nasrawi, Rania Masri & Professor
Richard Garfield. Also invited: UN Coordinator Hans Von Sponick, Ali Abunimah, Edward Said & Members of Congress!
Since 1991, economic sanctions have claimed the lives of over half a million children in Iraq (UNICEF, August ’99). Despite this and the failures of the Oil-for-Food program to end the humanitarian crisis, the U.S. Administration remains entrenched in a war of strangulation against the 23 million people of Iraq.
Over the past years, from Columbus, Ohio to Raleigh, North Carolina, an anti-sanctions movement has emerged. With it, the U.S. Administration has been losing ground. Last October, 43 members of Congress wrote the President calling for an end to the suffering. Universities, city councils, labor unions, over a dozen major faith denominations and, most recently, the Santa Clara County Board, have passed resolutions condemning economic sanctions on Iraq. This summer, a delegation of Congressional Staffers made a trip to Iraq despite the State Department’s refusal to grant them permission. In December, Pope John Paul II will travel to Iraq. Pressure is mounting to end the siege! Now is the time for the grassroots to organize nationally, to strategize the end game.
The National Organizing Conference on Iraq will bring together anti-sanctions grassroots groups from around the country to provide an opportunity for all of us to meet, exchange ideas, and form an effective national strategy. To this end, we will also build regional coalitions and develop a more complete understanding of the impact of sanctions and of the people of Iraq.
The next phase of the national movement will begin here. Ann Arbor has been one of the flagships of the anti-sanctions movement. Whether you were one of the first people to call sanctions a weapon of mass destruction or you learned of the crisis yesterday, the national movement needs you! See you in Ann Arbor!
The following is a partial lists of topics to be covered:
WORKSHOPS & PANELS
Media activism A Critique of the Human Rights Community Modeling a Successful Anti-Sanctions Resolution Campus and Community organizing Outreach to Faith Communities POLITICS Demonizing Iraq and the U.S. Media
Weapons of Mass Destruction: the History of U.S. policy towards Iraq
The Oil-for-Food Deal & the 1999 UNICEF Report The Politics of Oil International Law & Sanctions Iraq’s Refugee Crisis – 1990-99 Depleted Uranium
Tales from the Hill: the Anti-sanctions Lobby
CULTURE/HISTORY The Literature, Music and Art of Iraq
History of Iraq: from Gilgamesh to Baghdad’s Golden Age
Modern History of Iraq: occupations, interventions and wars
The Last Sack of Ninevah & the Loss of World Heritage Three Generations of Iraqi Americans
FRIDAY, October 15 12-6 PM Registration 4-6 PM Regional/National Networking 6-7 PM Introduction to Conference 7-9 PM Keynote Address SATURDAY, October 16 8-9 AM Bagel Breakfast/Registration
9-9:15 AM Announcements etc Full Group
9:15-Noon Panel Sessions Noon-1 PM Lunch Break 1-3 PM Keynote Address 3-4:15 PM Panel Sessions 4:30-5:45 PM National Strategy Forum 6-7 PM National/Regional Networking 7-8 PM Dinner on the Town 8-10 PM Cultural Event
SUNDAY, October 17 8-9 AM Bagel Breakfast 9-10:15 AM Panel Sessions 10:30-Noon National Agenda-Full Forum Noon-2 PM LUNCH & Regional Networking (Setting a Regional Agenda)
2-3 PM Report Back from Regions
3-4 PM Closing Remarks & Thanks
(conference schedule subject to change)
REGISTER by OCTOBER 7th
REGISTER on-line at… http://www.umich.edu/~drabiah/iraq To receive registration forms by mail, contact:
National Organizing Conference on Iraq
at (202) 543-6176
Please consider helping to SUPPORT this important effort!
Send donations made out to:
National Organizing Conference on Iraq 1388 Esch Court Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The organizers are united in their demand for the immediate lifting of economic sanctions on the Iraqi people and an end to all military interventions in Iraq. The views of speakers expressed at the conference are not necessarily held by the participating organizations.
ORGANIZED by: Peace Action Voices in the Wilderness
LIFE for Relief & Development American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Boston Mobilization for Survival (Boston MOBE) Detroit & University of Michigan Chapters of the ADC Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) Fellowship of Reconciliation (Houston) the Global Movement to End the War on Iraq (Ontario) Good Samaritans of the Knights Templar Austin Peace & Justice Commission Campaign for International Justice (Austin) Iraq Action Coalition Iraqi Democratic Union Iraq Interfaith Coalition (Seattle) PREVENT (Ann Arbor) Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice (Ann Arbor) Muslim Student Association (MSA) Ann Arbor chapter Metro Detroit Against Sanctions U.S. Out Now (Madison) Peace with Iraq (Albuquerque) Veterans for Peace Washington Peace Center