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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Peace Team Support Callout
Below, you will find the callout for peace team support. Please circulate
Remember, Peace Team Support Meeting! Friday, January 10, 2003 7:00 pm, City
Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, (Richmond Room. Up the stairs at the
Lisgar Street entrance. Turn right). Two Ottawa individuals are joining the
Iraq Peace Team. Both Mary and Mick will be at the meeting and talk about
their plans. We will then organize to support them.
Montreal/Ottawa activists joining the Iraq Peace Team, leaving for Iraq 30
Four members of the Ottawa and Montreal communities will be leaving for Iraq
at the end of January, as participants in the Iraq Peace Team at the end of
January. This message provides the basic details of the delegation and the
various ways in which you can support the IPT.
IRAQ PEACE TEAM. In the face of mounting threats against Iraq on the part of
the Bush administration, the US/UK group Voices in the Wilderness initiated
the Iraq Peace Team project. Since September 2002, this has ensured ongoing
presence of international activists on the ground in Iraq standing in
solidarity with the Iraqi people, while at the same time working to prevent
a US/UK attack. The Iraq Peace Team intends to remain with the Iraqi people
during an attack and will provide accurate reports about the effects of the
war (both economic and military) on Iraqis. Voices in the Wilderness
participated in the Gulf Peace Team in 1990, and has been very actively
opposing the sanctions and continuing bombing ever since. They have
organised over 50 delegations to Iraq from the US and, as a result, have
excellent connections in Iraq and a solid understanding of the situation.
For more information about the Iraq Peace Team, see www.iraqpeaceteam.org.
Throughout November and December 2002, Canadians associated with the
Canadian Network to End Sanctions on Iraq (CANESI) have also been active
participants in this project. First, with the 4-week presence of Dr. David
Swann from Calgary (see http://swann.activist.ca/) and Dr. Amir Khadir from
Montreal. And then with the more recent trip of four women from Vancouver:
Irene MacInnes, Linda Morgan, Irene Vandas, and Jennifer Ziemann (see
GOALs. Although we don't entertain any illusions that the presence of four
Canadians in Baghdad is going to directly influence the Bush
administration's decision to escalate the war on Iraq, we do hold out hope
that it can deepen resolve and concretely assist the growing antiwar
movement in Canada. This is our primary goal as participants of the IPT.
This goal is important not only for the immediate situation in Iraq, but
because the invasion of Iraq is unlikely to be the last step along the war
path of the Bush administration. The mere fact of our presence - a powerful
symbol of solidarity and a statement that Iraqi lives are no less valuable
than Canadian and American lives - can potentially help to build the antiwar
movement in North America and beyond. To facilitate this, insofar as
possible in the very difficult circumstances, we will be providing our
networks and media with accurate reports (written, radio, interviews, and
photos) on the impact that the war (or threat of an escalated war) is having
on Iraqis, already weakened by over a decade of sanctions and bombing. A
second possible goal, depending on circumstances, is to use our localised
presence in particular situations to protect Iraqi citizens from attack,
where this is likely to be effective through support from our networks.
ACTIVITIES IN IRAQ. Our programme in Iraq could include visits to families,
hospitals, universities, and other public centres. If the situation allows,
we will meet with NGOs and other organisations, give interviews with
international and Canadian media, participate in press conferences, and take
part in public protests against the war. Our programme will have to be
flexible to adapt to the volatile situation.
MONTREAL/OTTAWA GROUP. The members of the Montreal/Ottawa group soon leaving
for Iraq are Mary Foster (peace and social justice activist in Ottawa and
Montreal), Lisa Ndejuru (religious studies student at Université du Quebec a
Montréal), and Mick Panesar (a teacher working for CAUT and journalist with
CKCU FM in Ottawa). Bios of each individual are to be found at the end of
this message. We will be joining other internationals, mostly from the
United States, in a delegation due to enter Iraq around 30 January. We
intend to remain two weeks.
YOUR SUPPORT. There are many ways in which you can help to ensure our
delegation to Iraq happens and is effective in building resistance to the
---> Financial support. Each member of the team needs to raise $2400. This
will cover the flight to Amman (about $1200) and all logistical costs,
including transportation to Baghdad, accommodation, food, support from
Voices in the Wilderness (about $1000). In addition, we will be purchasing
and bringing a limited supply of children's vitamins, other vital health
supplies, CD ROMs of medical journals and small gifts prohibited by the
sanctions. Checks can be made out to either "NOWAR – PAIX" (c/o UNIT 12, 604
MacLaren St., Ottawa ON K1R 5K9) or "Objection Conscience – Voices of
Conscience" (c/o 8166 Henri-Julien, Montreal QC H2P 2J2). In either case
they need to be clearly marked "for Iraq Peace Team."
---> Endorsements. If you are connected with any organisations likely to
support us (unions, NGOs, grassroots organisations, faith-based groups,
etc.), we are seeking endorsements. Please let us know.
---> Translation. Two members of our team speak and write French, but there
will be a need for English to French translation. If you can volunteer to
translate reports and media bulletins, please let us know.
---> Written reports. If you would like to receive and use our reports about
how the war is affecting people in Iraq, please let us know or sign on to
our list (firstname.lastname@example.org). It would be great if as many folks as
possible could circulate them, post them on websites, publish them, and
generally use them in your antiwar work.
---> Media contacts. If you have contacts in alternative or mainstream
media, please put us in touch with them. We are looking for opportunities to
publish our reports in print, online and tv/radio media before, during and
after our visit. Daily columns in print media would also be a good idea if
people have contacts to set something like that up.
---> Radio reports. We intend to report regularly to community radio
stations, including CKUT and Radio Centre-Ville (TBC) in Montreal, CKCU in
Ottawa, and CKLN in Toronto (TBC). These reports will also be posted online.
Please pass on and otherwise use the reports once they are posted.
---> Support groups. If you can help to coordinate support for us, join the
support groups in Ottawa (contact Jo Wood, email@example.com, tel 613
565 5959) or Montreal (contact Raymond Legault, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 514
858 7584). They will be fund-raising, organizing contact with MPs and other
government people (as necessary), providing support for our families,
sending reports and appeals, doing media work and other support as it
---> Follow up. It will be very important to speak to as many people as
possible about the Iraq Peace Team when we come back. If you can set up a
public speaking event for us, please let us know.
CONTACTS: email@example.com, tel. 514 521 5252
During our stay in Baghdad, we can be reached by telephone at our hotel
(please contact support groups for telephone numbers).
You can also contact:
---> Montreal and Ottawa support groups (contacts above)
---> Canadian coordination of Iraq Peace Team, Erica Lamacraft, tel 1 604
215 2779, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
---> International coordination of Iraq Peace Team, Voices in the
Wilderness, Stephanie Schaudel, tel 1 773 784 8065, email
Mary Foster has an MA in Political Science (thesis in Political Philosophy)
from McGill University. She has worked as a teacher in northern Quebec and
Turkey, at peace-oriented NGOs and as a researcher at a peace research
centre in Bonn, Germany. She has been active in the peace and social justice
movement since the mid-90s, with active involvement in a number of different
groups in Montreal and Ottawa. With 11 September and the threat of perpetual
war, helping to build resistance to the dangerous agenda of the George Bush
administration became a priority. In addition to living and working in
Turkey and Germany, Mary has travelled in the Middle East, Europe and North
America, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and India.
Lisa Ndejuru was born in Butare, Rwanda in 1970. Her parents were able to
leave the country when she was an infant. Lisa grew up in Cologne, Germany.
In 1982, Lisa and her family immigrated to Quebec, Canada. Lisa has traveled
to her country of origin twice - once before and once after the war and
genocide that was perpetrated there in 1994. Today, she is preparing for a
master's degree in religious studies at Université du Québec à Montréal.
Through her studies, writing and performance she has worked on and around
issues of identity, co-existance, conflict and the necessity for peace. She
has completed the curriculum from Violence to Wholeness by Pace e Bene, is
an active member of the Quebec section of Voices of Women for Peace (VOW)
and a member of the steering committee for the Quebec section of the
Canadian Peace Alliance.
Mick Panesar has degrees in engineering, philosophy and education. He has
been politically active for many years in the student, environmental, labour
and anti-war movements in the Ottawa area. In addition to his recent
anti-war efforts, he has been working on curriculum development with the
global education organization, World Inter-Action Mondiale, and, over the
last several years he has been a public-affairs and music programmer,
producer and board member at CKCU-FM 93.1. He works both as a Grade 7/8
teacher with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board as well as with the
Canadian Association of University Teachers in the area of communications.
During the summer months, he works as a field biologist (ornithology and
botany). Some of his other interests include hiking, camping, canoeing,
cooking, eating, music, reading, cycling, running (10K/marathons),
travelling, gardening, ecology, political theory, philosophy, and theology.
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