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PPRC Friday Rally: United We Stand with the International Peace Movement!

The PPRC weekly rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday, November 15, at 5:00 p.m., will spotlight the growing international peace movement, focusing the group's effort on the last two days before Portland's next large-scale peace march set for Sunday. "Last week, half a million Europeans marched for peace in Florence, Italy," said Chris Roehm of the PPRC. The November 17 march for peace is intended to show that Americans also oppose Bush's war.
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For Immediate Release
Event: PPRC Friday Rally
Date: November 15, 2002
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

PPRC Friday Rally declares: "United We Stand in Solidarity with the International Peace Movement!"

The PPRC weekly rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday, November 15, at 5:00 p.m., will spotlight the growing international peace movement, focusing the group's effort on the last two days before Portland's next large-scale peace march set for Sunday. "Last week, half a million Europeans marched for peace in Florence, Italy," said Chris Roehm of the PPRC. "We're hoping this Sunday's march will send the message to the world, loud and clear, that Americans stand with the people of the world in opposing George Bush's war." A collaboration of fifty local and state community organizations, including church, human rights and peace groups, have organized the Sunday peace rally and march, set to begin at Pioneer Courthouse Square at 1:00 p.m.. "The war-mongers in Washington say "United We Stand" behind Bush's criminal plans to bomb and invade Iraq," said Roehm, "but we're saying "United We Stand" with the growing international peace movement, rain or shine this Sunday we will march for peace."

PPRC spokespersons cited a recent study released by Medact, the British affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The study predicts that an invasion of Iraq could lead to casualties as high as 250,000 within the first three months of the conflict.1 "It is clear that the international community can deal with any threat from Saddam Hussein without carrying out the wholesale slaughter that Bush has in mind," said Will Seaman of the PPRC. "Bush and his war cabinet are willing to kill or maim a quarter-million people in order to distract Americans from our declining economy, and to give US companies control over the Iraqi oil fields."

PPRC spokespersons also cited the heightened threat to the Kurdish population of Iraq that is expected to result from a US attack. "We are looking at a humanitarian disaster like the one that occurred in 1991 when thousands of Kurds were massacred and upwards of two million were forced to become refugees," said Seaman.2 "It is clear that the US has no plans to deal with such an outcome." It is likely that the international community will be expected to provide for these refugees, as happened in Kosovo when the US began the bombing campaign there in 1999.

In the next two days, the PPRC will be focusing their efforts on outreach for the November 17th anti-war event, Rally and March for Peace & Justice: No War on Iraq!

The current list of c-sponsors for the November 17 peace march include Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (503-274-2720), Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (503-471-1535), American Friends Service Committee (503-230-9427), Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Oregon Peace Institute, Oregon PeaceWorks, Catholic Archdiocese of Portland's Office of Justice & Peace/Campaign for Human Development, Metanoia Peace Community, Jews for Global Justice (503-299-4772), Women in Black, East Timor Action Network/Portland (503-235-4986), War Resisters League-Portland (503-238-0605), Peace and Social Concerns Committee of the Multnomah Meeting of Friends (Quakers), Journey Catholic Community, Freedom Socialist Party, Radical Women, Unitarian Universalists Economic Justice Action Group, Student Activist Alliance (503-236-4387), Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch), Palestine Action Group, Christ the Healer-United Church of Christ, Portland National Organization for Women (NOW) and others.

Endorsers for the peace march include Northwest Veterans for Peace, Rainbow Coalition of Portland, Peace & Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, Families for Peace (503-227-0748), Palestine Arab-American Association, Portland Metro Chapter of the Pacific Green Party, Labor Coalition for Peace, ILWU Local 5 Executive Board, St. Andrews Catholic Church, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, Street Roots, Laughing Horse Books, No Endrun Committee, Oregon Green Coalition, Friends of Sabeel-North America, Friends of Peace and Justice in the Holy Land, Church of Scientology Celebrity Center, Meeting for Peace and Justice of Reedwood Friends Church (503-234-5017), Campaign for Peace with Cuba, East Side Democratic Club, Socialist Party of Oregon, National Lawyers Guild, Oregon Wildlife Federation, Northeast Youth Peace Club, Lower Columbia Clinic (Astoria), Southwest Washington Institute for Peace and Social Justice (360-260-8937), and others.

1. "Physicians: Iraq War Would Be 'Catastrophe' U.S. Invasion May Cause Massive Loss of Life, Report Says", George Edmonson and staff writers, Atlanta Journal and Constitution, November 12, 2002, page A 12.

2. "Fears of new tragedy lead Kurds to call for help", Michael Howard, Guardian (UK), November 15, 2002.

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