For Immediate Release
Event: Cries from Iraq: Effects of Sanctions and US Invasion
Sponsor: Marylhurst Student Action Council
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2003
Time: 5:30 to 7:00 pm
Place: Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy. 43), Clark Commons (main cafeteria)
Contacts: Kayse Jama, 503-890-1896, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday, February 15 at 5:30 pm, the African Community Language and Culture Bank will present: Cries from Iraq: Effects of Sanctions and US Invasion. Dan Handelman, a Portland activist who visited Iraq in 2002 and 1997 with Voices in the Wilderness, will speak and present a video from his recent trip to Iraq.
Since end of the Gulf War in 1991, the only information we get about Iraq is what Saddam Hussein is not doing, but we never hear about Iraqi civilians. Why are the US/UN so adamantly insisting that Iraq should be disarmed, while over a million people have died as a direct result of the US/UN sponsored sanctions? As global citizens, should we allow these institutions to commit what some experts call a new modern war machine, resulting in genocide since the end of the Gulf War? What is our moral responsibility? Since the end of World War II in 1945, the global community had trusted the UN to become a pioneer of peace and justice around the globe. However, many people who live in poorer nations such as Asia, Africa and Latin America are now questioning if the UN has become an arm of neo-colonial power and new imperialism that brings poorer nations to their knees, and in many cases commit genocide.
Dan Handelman is active in Portland with Peace and Justice Works, focusing on educational programs regarding both Iraq and police accountability, and Flying Focus Video Collective. He will speak about his first-hand experiences with the people of Iraq, and the possible ramifications of a US invasion. In the video, Iraq: State of the Sanctions 2002, the Iraqi civilians speak for themselves about the devastating effects of the sanctions. The video includes interviews, images from within Iraqi hospitals, tours of water and sewage treatment plants, and more.
Despite the current climate of war talk, Handelman holds out hope that ordinary Americans can stop the war. "In Portland, we turned out over 20,000 people to protest the war on January 18," he said. "We know that the true majority of Americans do not want this war, and that majority will grow stronger the more people seek out information on what is really going on."
The African Community Language and Culture Bank (ACLCB) provides sensitivity trainings, language interpretation, and promotes global consciousness. As part of the global community, the ACLCB is bringing awareness to the suffering of Iraqi people and the interconnections of global and institutionalized racism.