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URGENT: Falluja Massacre Update. Eyewitness Accounts. Please Take Action!

Iraq Solidarity Action - Resist the Massacre in Falluga Urgent information and appeal from Ewa Jasiewicz, who worked with Voices in the Wilderness and Occupation Watch in Iraq, lived there for 8 months (Basra and Baghdad) and in Palestine, mainly Jenin camp for 6 months, speaks Arabic, and who got back from Iraq 2 months ago. She is in regular contact with her friends in Basra and Baghdad.
URGENT: Falluja Massacre Update. Eyewitnes Accounts. Please Take Action!
by Ewa Jasiewicz (via marais) Saturday April 10, 2004 at 10:38 AM

I just spoke to friends in Baghdad - Paola Gaspiroli, Italian, from
Occupation watch and Bridges to Baghdad, Journalist Leigh Gordon,
England, (NUJ, Tribune, Mail on Sunday) and a Palestinian friend with
family in Falluja and friends in the Iraqi Islamic Party. Both he and
Leigh have been ferrying out the injured from Falluja to Baghdad for the
past three days. Ambulances have been barred from entry into the
blood-drenched city.

Here is their news, which they told me over the telephone tonight
(Friday)

Paola:

There has been a massacre in Falluga. Falluga is under siege. 470 people
have been killed, and 1700 injured. There has been no ceasefire. They
(Americans) told people to leave, said they have 8 hours to leave and
people began to leave but they're trapped in the Desert. The Americans
have been bombing with B52s (Confirmed also by Leigh in an email three
days ago). Bridges to Baghdad are pulling out. We have flights booked out
of Amman. Tomorow a team will go to Sadr City to deliver medicines. 50
people have been killed there. ?? (Forgotten name) the 'elastic' shiekh
in Sadr City (I've met him, young, brilliant guy, describes himself as
'elastic' because he is so flexible when it comes to his interpretations
of Islam and moral conduct definitions etc, he's pretty liberal) he has
told me I should leave. He says that even he can't control his people.
Foreigners are going to be targeted. 6 new foreigners have been taken
hostage. Four of them are Italian security firm employees - they were
kidnapped from their car, which was found to be full of weapons, and
there were black uniforms. Baghdad was quiet today except for Abu Ghraib
(West Baghdad, where a vast prison is located and is bursting at the
seams with 12,000 prisoners) an American convoy was attacked there and 9
soldiers were injured and 27 were kidnapped. That's right 27. None of the
newswires are reporting it though. And I heard this from (*name best not
to supply without permission). Its really really bad. They (Americans)
have been firing on Ambulances, snipers are following the ambulances,
they cannot get in.

Falluga, there are people in the Desert, they've left Falluga but they're
not being allowed into Baghdad, they're trapped in the Dessert, they're
like refugees, its terrible but the people, Iraqi people are giving all
they can; they're bringing supplies, everybody is giving all their help
and support to Falluga.

I want to stay but I have to go, if I want to come back and be useful,
you know I think its best to leave, Bridges to Baghdad has decided this.
It's getting really dangerous for Italians. We feel like we're being
targeted now. (Italy has a 2500+ force including Carabinieri occupying
Nassiriyah which has been subject to a number of resistance attacks
including the devastating attack on the Police station which claimed the
lives of 4 soldiers, one civilian, one documentary film maker, 12
Carabinieri police and 8 Iraqis).

(... ) and Leigh have been great. They've been driving into Falluga and
bringing out people, going back and forth. They know what's going on,
really they have been great. They want more people to help them but we
couldn't from here. It's getting much much worse.

ends

My friend who's been in Falluga today and for the past few days:

We've been seeing it with our own eyes. People were told to leave Falluga
and now there are thousands trapped in the Desert. There is a 13 km long
convoy of people trying to reach Baghdad. The Americans are firing bombs,
everything, everything they have on them. They are firing on Families!
They are all children, old men and women in the dessert. Other Iraqi
people are trying to help them. In Falluga they (Americans) have been
bombing hospitals. Children are being evacuated to Baghdad. There is a
child now, a baby, he had 25 members of his family killed, he's in the
hospital and someone needs to be with him, why isn't anyone there to stay
with him, he just lost 25 from his family!??? The Americans are dropping
cluster bombs and new mortars, which jump 3-4 metres. They are bombing
from the air. There are people lying dead in the streets. They said
there'd be a ceasefire and then they flew in, I saw them, and they began
to bomb. They are fighting back and they are fighting well in Falluga.
But we are expecting the big attack in 24-48 hours. It will be the main
attack. They will be taking the town street by street and searching and
attacking. They did this already in a village near-by, I forget the name,
but they will be doing this in Falluja. Please get help, get people to
protest, get them to go to the Embassies, get them out, get them to do
something. There is a massacre. And we need foreigners, the foreigners
can do something. We are having a protest, Jo (Jo Wilding
 http://www.wildfirejo.org.uk) and the others from her group are coming to the
American checkpoint tomorrow. We haven't slept in 3 or 4 days. We need
attention. I have photos, film, we've given it to Al jazeera, Al Arabiya
but get it out too. Do everything you can. We are going back in tomorrow.

Leigh Gordon: It's kicking off. Come by all means but me and (..)
probably won't be around. I mean they're going to crazy. (... ) is saying
for foreigners to come but its not safe. Sheikh ... . from Falluga said he
couldn't guarantee my safety. I mean its going to go crazy, I think
foreigners will start getting killed soon - I mean people are going to
start getting desperate, when they've seen their mother father, house,
cat, dog, everything bombed they're going to start to attack. They
(Americans) have said this operations only going to last 5 days' it's
drawing to an end. They need to free up troops on other fronts breaking
out all over the country. They're going to go in for the kill. There's no
way of guaranteeing anybody's safety. I think you can be useful but its
not like you can just not tell your mum and think you'll be back in a
week. We're probably going to get killed tomorrow. Come, but we might not
be here.



Palestine

2 years ago right now, the Jenin camp Massacre was tearing into its 7th
day, the 1km square tight-knit Palestinian refugee camp was suffering an
Israeli military invasion which would see 79 killed (in the last count
after bodies had been recovered form the rubble), including a head
paramedic doctor and people who slowly bled to death from superficial
injuries because all medical services were barred from entering for the
duration of the attack (14 days). Over 800 homes destroyed, most in the
Hawasheen neighbourhood which suffered a 4-day-long continuous bulldozer
offensive, crushing residents including young children to death. Hundreds
were injured in the attack which involved also involved apache helicopter
gunships, hundreds of Merkava tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers and
hundreds of troops. 23 were killed (official Israeli figure but the
actual toll is estimated at much higher. An entire road route from Jenin
into '48 (Israel) was sealed off as a closed military zone and witnesses
barred whilst the dead and injured from the Israeli side were being
transported out).

All Palestinian emergency services, The UN, The Red Cross, foreign aid
workers, and human rights observers were banned from entering Jenin camp.
The massacre gouged on as the worlds media attention was fixated on
Aarafat besieged in his compound. Jenin suffered in silence. Falluga, a
city with a population 18 times the size of Jenin Camp (Jenin camp's
population was approx. 14,000, Falluga's is 232,000), is now undergoing a
parallel trauma, but with a larger, more powerful, better armed enemy,
which has carpet bombed, recently and historically when the war-heat has
forced land-troops to retreat. This is another Jenin. This is another
massacre. We have to do what we can in solidarity with the dying and the
bereaved and those still struggling, defending, fighting back. Resistance
is dignity, is the honour of fighting back. Iraq is on fire. The Iraqi
intifada is raging. We cannot be silent. Stop the massacre in Falluga.
Remember the massacre in Jenin. Never Again.

What to Do

This is an appeal to the anti-war movement, to the peace movement,
eco-action movement, animal rights movement, anti-fascists, everybody
active, everybody who can respond, can call a demo, can organise a
protest, an office occupation, an embassy storming, a road blockade, mass
civil disobedience, industrial shut-down, work-place occupation,
solidarity work stoppage, blockade the US Embassy, Fairford Military Base
action campaign - what's taking off at Fairford? Are B52s being deployed?
Shannon Peace Camp protestors - are there new movements at Shannon? We
need to address this, we need to resist this. We become the solidarity
resistance in Iraq by taking action in our neighbourhoods and in our
cities. Print up a leaflet. Paint up a banner. Take to the streets. Only
a small group can make a change. Show people in Iraq that we are standing
by them. 700 more British troops have been flown in to quell the uprising
in the South. No Pasaran. Take to the embassies, the bases, the US
interests, the streets.

 http://www.usembassy.org.uk/ukaddres.html - addresses of US Embassies in
London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff

 http://cndyorks.gn.apc.org/caab/ - Campaign for the Accountability of
American Bases - this site has a list of the locations of all the main US
air bases used in the UK

 http://www.caat.org.uk/links/companies.php - full list of arms companies.
BAE Systems, and Lockheed Martin have been principal supplies of weapons
of mass destruction for the war on Iraq

 http://www.caat.org.uk/support/confronting-companies.php - tips on
confronting arms companies by Campaign Against the Arms Trade

 http://english.aljazeera.net/HomePage - Keep up to date with Al Jazeera

Sample Leaflet Text

As you read this, a massacre is taking place in Falluja, Iraq. Falluja is
a town which has been resisting the occupation of Iraq since June. US
troops have been forced to the border of the town since then. It has
fought hardest and most uncompromisingly and has regularly pummelled by
F16 fighter jets and apache helicopter gunships since then, with
civilians being slaughtered on a regular basis.

Well over 470 people have now been slaughtered by US troops in Falluja,
this week. 1700 have been injured. The deathtoll is expected to rise due
to the siege nature of the military cordon around the town. ambulances
are being fired upon and followed by sniper sights if they attempt to
enter the town. Eyewitnesses have reported seeing bodies lying dead in
the streets. Hospitals have been attacked. Medical supplies and bed
shortages are at crisis levels. Residents are calling it a massacre.
People from all over are attempting, some succeeding, to get into Falluja
to help evacuate the injured by car. People are donating food, medical
supplies and water to those fleeing. All of Iraq is watching and
sympathising with Falluja say people on the ground there.

There is at the time of writing (10/04/04) a 13km column of Falluja
residents fleeing the bomb-smashed town, trapped in the desert and
surrounded by US troops which eye-witnesses report have been firing on
them. Most of the desert marooned refugees are elderly men, women and
children.

For US soldiers stationed near the town, they have been in an impossible
situation and their blood too is being shed for the market-profit-power
chasing interests of the US and UK government and corporate interests.
Recently, the long-time brewing discontent, frustration, humiliation, and
mounting rage against the occupation has exploded. The occupation is
being fought for its very existence, its racism, its violence. Its
recycling and re-empowerment of a neo-Baathist ruling elite, its
re-training and re-hiring of over 10,000 Baathist torturers and
intelligence agents, its re-writing of Iraq's laws through Coalition
Provisional Authority Orders (principally Order 30 on Salaries and
Employment Conditions for Civil Service Employees which sets the minimum
wage for Iraqi Public Sector workers at 69,000 ID ($40 per month - less
than half the recommended wage of a sweatshop worker in a free trade zone
in neighbouring Iran), plus Order 39 on Foreign Investment which allows
for 100% foreign ownership - privatisation - and slashes the highest rate
of income tax from 45% to 15%) has resulted in insurrection.

The climate in Iraq has moved on from protest to resistance, and now to
insurgency. Demonstrations have been taking place every day all over the
country since the occupation began, with protestors ranging from students
to pensioners, unemployed, women, former soldiers and children. This new
uprising has been labelled a revolt in support of the anti-Occupation
cleric Muqtada al Sadr, but the reality is that it is widespread,
uncontrollable, inchoate and varied. It is not Islamic, it is not just
nationalist, it is not Baathist. It is a generalised struggle against the
Occupation - the biggest incitement to violence in the country.

Please stand in solidarity with the people in Iraq during this upheaval
and time of bloodshed. Please join the protest against the bloody
massacre in Falluja, which will spread if the occupation armies continue
unchecked and un-challenged.
Stop the ongoing war on Iraq.
Troops out of Iraq.

homepage: homepage: http://italy.indymedia.org/news/2004/04/522309.php

Maybe it's time... 15.Apr.2004 13:24

Z

Maybe it's time to take the streets....
We sit in our comfort as genocide happens.

Not a Surprise 15.Apr.2004 14:01

xyzzy

Yesterday, at the end of the following article:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3625879.stm , the BBC reported: "At least 87 US soldiers have died while aid agencies counted at least 470 Iraqi dead in the Sunni city of Falluja alone last week, with 243 women and 200 children among them."

Do the math. If the report is accurate that means NINETY-FOUR PERCENT of the Iraqi casualties are women and children.

Note that Winston may have been busy at his workstation in the Ministry of Truth. Today's version of the article has the final clause about women and children deleted.

Portland

Not A Surprise-- xyzzy misquoted his article 15.Apr.2004 17:31

anon

The BBC article that you reference says only that 87 Americans died and 470 died in Falluga. It does not break this down into deaths of women and children. Where are you getting those figures?

BBC article 15.Apr.2004 18:00

mariposa

Does anyone have the BBC article archived or knows of a link?

the article 15.Apr.2004 19:27

mariposa

17:31, if you'd done a Google News search, you'd have noticed that the lines quoted by xyzzy will turn up the article - despite the fact that the phrase is now missing from the article on BBC. Go figure.

That's newspaper business 15.Apr.2004 22:22

*

It's not uncommon for newspapers to quietly correct their errors, either within the text of a subsequent article, or, in this case, by simply removing the incorrect statement. (If we're assuming it's incorrect.) If so, then it's just a case of not owning up to mistakes and choosing to correct them without making a note of it in the corrections section, as they should do.

Just a thought. I recently read an article about the practice of burying statements owning up to errors in the middle of paragraphs of new articles rather than actually listing the correction prominently, in the Editorial section of the New York Times. An interesting tactic in any case.

what happened to the article? 16.Apr.2004 11:04

mariposa

Seems the right-wing pressure group 'The American Thinker' (as if!) is responsible for this act of censorship.  http://www.americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=218 has them boasting about the 'correction'. Elsewhere, they boast about the slaughter of civilians as follows:
"This would mean that over 94 percent of the casualties in Falluja are comprised of women and children. If the Beeb is to be believed, the barbarous Yanks are very carefully aiming away from adult males, and actively targeting noncombatant females and kids.
The British state-owned, compulsorily-funded broadcaster does not provide any explanation at all for why Americans would avoid hitting those who are most likely to threaten our troops."

'Thinkers', huh? Ever heard about aerial bombardment? Ever heard of guerilla hiding in tunnels? Ever heard that a civilian casualty percentage of 80+% is late-20th/early-21st-century standard for guerilla wars?

Barbarians that they are, they deserve to die by the hands of the Mujahedin, mutilated and dumped in a shallow grave somewhere near the al-Fallujah Highway (the Mujahedin at least have the decency to bury their victims, and as a proven fact, did NOT intentionally target non-combattants in recent weeks). But cowards like these like to do their sneak work from behind the scenes.
With people like these 'thinkers' (mental cave-dwellers, more likely), it is no wonder we got 9-11.