portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

imperialism & war

HUMAN SHIELDS: FROM BAGHDAD TO PORTLAND

Benjamin Joffe-Walt, who recently returned from Iraq as a peaceworker with "Human Shields Iraq," will lecture and lead a multimedia presentation on the effects of U.S. policies and actions in Iraq, and on peace and anti-war groups in Baghdad.
HUMAN SHIELDS: FROM BAGHDAD TO PORTLAND

TUESDAY, APRIL 29
Reed College
Vollum Lecture Hall, 7:00 PM

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30
Lewis & Clark College
Olin Center Rm. 301, 4:30 PM


Benjamin Joffe-Walt, who recently returned from Iraq as a peaceworker with "Human Shields Iraq," will lecture and lead a multimedia presentation on the effects of U.S. policies and actions in Iraq, and on peace and anti-war groups in Baghdad.

Benjamin Joffe-Walt, a high school history teacher in Toronto, was a main organizer of "Human Shields" and one of the few U.S. citizens that participated in the "Human Shields" action. He spent three weeks away from teaching to place himself as a volunteer human shield in Baghdad. He was the first from the group to attempt to re-enter the U.S, and is also one of only two openly Jewish members of the Human Shields group. He also works as a seasonal wildland firefighter in Oregon. He says about the experience, "Acting as a Human Shield is just one of the many forms of protest that need to happen to intervene in a cycle of violence led by our country and driven much more by the economic interests of a few than by a safe and non-violent vision of the world. Yes, it is scary, but I am not going to live my life in fear of my own government imprisoning me for expressing disagreement with violence."

Human Shields is an international anti-war group of people from around the world placing themselves in areas of importance to Iraqi civilian life such as schools, hospitals, and water treatment plants, to act as a deterrent to military attack on civilians. Founded by a former US Marine and Gulf War veteran, the action has attracted volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.


Contact:
Liana Foxvog
Reed Student Peace Action Network
 liana@reed.edu

Deborah Schwartz
Lewis and Clark Organization for Peace and Politics
 deborah@lclark.edu

phone: phone: 503-768-8311

Some Shield 27.Apr.2003 18:14

?

So, uh, what exactly was shielded by this human shield? There was a war in Iraq, if you remember, and the U.S. dropped quite a few bombs.

Seems like he talks a better game than he plays.

Response 28.Apr.2003 00:37

x

In response:
this is an opportunity for us to learn about this form of civil disobedience. I recommend attending.

The fact that one person in one action did not stop a war does not mean that they did not do something valuable.

If you are going to argue that since one person did not stop a war through his action, why listen to him, then it follows that nobody who did anything to try to stop the war should be listened to. Obviously, this logic does not go anywhere and I caution against it.

The way we create social change is by working hard, and continuing to do so despite setbacks and challenges...

The point is to learn about the action and the politics. I doubt it's a lecture focused on the accomplishments of the speaker.