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MARCH 19, 2003
5:36 AM
CONTACT: Iraq Peace Team (IPT)
BAGHDAD: Ed Kinane or Michael Birmingham, (+964-1) 717-7440 or 718-8007
CHICAGO: Stephanie Schaudel or Danny Muller, 773-784-8065

4603 Days of Sanctions May Be Ending; New Phase of War Crime Poised to Begin:
Iraq Peace Team in Baghdad to Mark Transition Today at 3:00PM
March 19 - At 3:00PM today, Wednesday, March 19 the Iraq Peace Team will gather at the lobby of the Al Fanar Hotel on Abu Nuwas Street (behind Baghdad's Palestine Hotel). >From the Al Fanar they will solemnly walk to the nearby Flying Carpet Monument (also by the Palestine Hotel) to mark the likely end of 4603 days of sanctions and to lament the likely beginning of an accelerated stage in the U.S. war on Iraq.

The Iraq Peace Team (IPT), is made up of 27 internationalists from the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Australia, Algeria and South Korea. Each is committed to stay in Baghdad for the duration of any heightened war. Seventeen IPT members are from the United States.

IPT is a project of the Chicago-based independent grassroots organization Voices in the Wilderness. Since 1996 Voices has been working in Iraq and internationally to end the U.S. sanctions and war against the people of Iraq. Voices is committed to active nonviolence and seeks to put a human face on this painfully protracted crisis.

U.S. citizen and Voices co-founder Kathy Kelly says, "We have struggled for years for an end to the genocidal U.S.-imposed sanctions. We profoundly lament that their likely end will be accompanied by vast destruction and bloodshed. We mourn for the soul of the United States."

Kelly added, "War isn't beginning; it never ended. Sanctions have left 16 million Iraqis totally depending on the current government for food rations. Any breach in the safety net could lead to broad scale epidemics and starvation."


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