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Iraq Sanctions Challenge delegates demonstrate on 9th anniversary
Iraq Sanctions Challenge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THOUSANDS MARCH IN BAGHDAD ON ANNIVERSARY OF BOMBING
January 17, 2000 - The Iraq Sanctions Challenge (ISC) accompanied thousands of energetic and militant protesters in Baghdad today in a march commemorating the ninth anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. war on Iraq.
The protesters, many of whom have experienced the devastation of the Gulf War, the sanctions and the continued bombing of Iraq first-hand, chanted 'Down, down, U.S.A.,' burned U.S. flags, and carried a coffin draped in U.S., British and Israeli flags. Protesters also chanted, 'Clinton Bush Albright, you can’t hide, sanctions equal genocide.'
The demonstration included many students from around the Middle East and Africa including Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan and Somalia, who are able to study at no cost in Iraq. The students report widespread public opposition throughout the Arab World to U.S. policy towards Iraq. A Spanish delegation of 120 member from the Campaign to Lift the Embargo on Iraq also participated in the demonstration.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the head of the ISC, said, 'The sanctions are genocide, they weaken and permanently debilitate the strongest of a society and kill the weakest and most vulnerable.' Infant and child mortality, along with other standard indicators of poor public health, have risen sharply in Iraq since 1990. And in a communiqué from Iraq, ISC delegate Sarah Sloan pointed out that 'the anti-imperialist sentiment at this demonstration shows why the U.S. is intent on continuing the war against Iraq through sanctions, bombing and covert action.'
The delegation is spending five days in Iraq. Before today’s demonstration, they visited the Amariyah shelter, a bunker destroyed by U.S. bombs during the Gulf War, killing over a thousand Iraqi civilians who had sought shelter inside. Tomorrow the delegation will meet with Sa’dun Hammadi, the Speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly, Tariq Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the minister of History and Archaeology. Delegates will also be visiting hospitals, grade schools and universities, a water treatment plant, and the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. The ISC will return to New York, JFK Airport on January 21.
Return to main page on Iraq.