Voices Responds to Raids

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Posted by Alli from ? ( on Friday, February 22, 2002 at 4:35PM :

Bush et al. tried to pin Iraq with the anthrax scare, & then attempted to define Iraq as a nation that sponsors terrorism - both arguments fail. So, now Bush resorts to terrorizing the very people he governs... how pathetic.
FEBRUARY 21, 2001

Voices in the Wilderness Responds to Raids on Agents that Transfer Money to Iraq

Chicago — Responding to news that US Customs agents have investigated efforts by Iraqi families to send desperately needed funds to loved ones in Iraq, Voices in the Wilderness members again assert determination to openly violate the US laws which forbid extending the hand of friendship to ordinary people in Iraq. Sending anything of value or any package weighing more than 12 ounces violates United States sanctions against

42 Voices in the Wilderness delegations have traveled to Iraq, carrying medicines and medical relief supplies, since our campaign began on Martin Luther King’s birthday, January 15, 1996. Each of our delegations has returned with eyewitness accounts about the punitive effects of economic sanctions. Visits with beleaguered children and families in Iraq help us understand why their loved ones in the United States would undertake extraordinary steps to aid needy Iraqi relatives with financial support. We cannot, ourselves, imagine walking away from
the bedsides of dying children in Iraq without reaffirming our commitment to end the economic sanctions. We will not ourselves be bound by laws which are cruel and unjust. We feel responsible to help Americans understand that US residents of Iraqi descent who send money to their families are engaging in a rational act of compassion, not a desperate act to fuel terrorism.

We’re grateful for the support and solidarity which has emerged from a long list of faith-based and community groups who join us now in our efforts to use nonviolent civil disobedience to defy the economic sanctions. Organizations dedicated to peace, justice, human rights and the alleviation of human suffering have sent delegations to Iraq and encouraged their membership to explore nonviolent ways to break the economic sanctions.

We’re confident that all of the groups and individuals who have campaigned and petitioned to end the economic sanctions will assert a collective support for Iraqi families as they face escalated consequences of the most comprehensive state of siege ever imposed in modern history.

Voices in the Wilderness, based in Chicago, has already been issued a $160,000 pre-penalty notice for the so-called crime of bringing toys and medicine to children and families in Iraq. We wish to reiterate that we’ve done exactly that. We’ll continue to undertake travel to Iraq, we won’t pay any penalties, and we invite US government officials to join us in our efforts to challenge the economic sanctions.

We encourage all who receive this message to help educate their local media, elected representatives and surrounding community about the effects of economic sanctions on ordinary Iraqi people. Guided by such information, it will be easier for people to endorse and laud the refusal of Iraqi American families to abandon their loved ones.

We also ask all who read this to note that we have gone on record, since the beginning of this campaign, as a group opposed to the development, storage, sale and use of all weaponry, including the weapon of economic

Voices in the Wilderness, Chicago office

Voices in the Wilderness
1460 West Carmen Ave
Chicago IL 60640

-- Alli
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