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US Mission to the UN Arrests it's Critics (english)

Several Arrested with Lentils and Rice on the steps of the US Mission to the UN
Dear Friends, Below is an update from Breaking Ranks: A Fast to End the 
Siege Against Iraq: 
 
On Day 10 of the fast, (Wednesday, August 15), nine participants along 
with three supporters were arrested for bringing a meal of cooked 
lentils and rice to the steps of the US Mission to the UN. We invited 
staff members to share the meal and engage in dialogue about how 
sanctions affect Iraqi civilians. The NYPD jailed us for 8 - 10 hours 
of "processing." On September 20 we'll be tried for criminal trespass 
and obstruction. The head of security for the US Mission to the UN 
stated several times that we have no right to be on the steps of the US 
Mission because we have no official business to conduct inside. Rev. 
Daniel Berrigan, SJ clarified that we have very important business to 
conduct, that we had come to talk about the death of 5000 children under 
age five who, according to UNICEF, die each month as a direct result of 
the economic sanctions against Iraq. 
 
Those arrested included Rev. Dan Berrigan, SJ New York, NY, Rev. Simon 
Harak, SJ NewYork, NY, and Dr.Earl Crow, Winston-Salem NC. 
 
The following participants in the fast were arrested: Cynthia Banas, 
Vernon, N; Ceylon Mooney Memphis, TN; Melissa Muro, Chicago, IL; Kathy 
Kelly, Chicago, IL; Mark Paye Chicago, IL; Lori Blanding, Easthampton, 
MA; Johannes Limberger, upstate NY; Rev. Jerry Zawada, OFM, Hammond, 
IN; Joan Gregory, Marlboro NY 
Our August 13, 2001 letter of invitation to the US Mission to the UN, 
said: 
"We again invite you to partake with us in a simple meal of cooked 
lentils and rice, symbolic of daily fare available to many Iraqi 
civilians as a consequence of economic sanctions. We will also have with 
us untreated water from the East River. We don't want to serve or drink 
it, but rather remind ourselves of how vulnerable Iraqi civilians are to 
water borne diseases. 
 
Many of us have traveled to Iraq and, like you, we have tried to keep 
ourselves appraised of developments as they affect ordinary Iraqi 
people. We have followed the proposals of the UK and the US as regards 
smart sanctions very carefully, yet the UK proposal in its final form 
still did not convince us that the so called smart sanctions would 
alleviate the suffering endured by innocent Iraqi civilians. We look 
forward to an opportunity to talk with any members of your staff who are 
willing to gather with us. 
 
In a press statement, the fasters noted that Condaleeza Rice assured the 
world that the US has Iraq on its radar screen. Our response to her 
statement: "We'd like to see the vulnerable Iraqis, particularly 
children, who continue to suffer under sanctions and bombardment, appear 
on the screen." In 1999, UNICEF estimated that the sanctions had 
already cost the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five. 
 
We were pleased to celebrate, in jail, two anniversaries: Dan 
Berrigan professed his vows as a Jesuit priest 62 years ago and Jerry 
Zawada took vows as a Franciscan priest 42 years ago. 
 
On our website, www.nonviolence.org/vitw, we'll post additional 
updates, photos, reflections from our delegation that just returned from 
Iraq and descriptions of "life under siege" encampments planned for 
September 1 - 14. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Voices in the Wilerness fast members in NYC 
 
Voices in the Wilderness 
1-773-784-8065 
www.nonviolence.org/vitw 
1460 West Carmen Ave, Chicago 60640 
UN Fast: mailto:Breaking_Ranks (at) yahoo.com 

www.nonviolence.org/vitw
 
 

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