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Voices in The Wilderness Tent Encampments

Tent Encampment in Uptown To End Iraq Sanctions
Chicago Neighborhood is Home to National Movement
From September 1 to Labor Day, Uptown will see one of
the “Life Under Siege” tent encampments being
organized around the nation to support a 40 day fast.
This Labor Day weekend two former Nader campaigners
will set up camp at the peace garden at 1054 W.
Lawrence (west of Broadway) in Chicago’s Uptown
neighborhood to draw attention to the effects of the
US and UN’s eleven-year sanctions on the people of
Iraq. From dawn Saturday to dusk on Monday September
3, these two will live without electricity,
substantial food or adequate shelter to draw attention
to the “Life Under Siege” endured by the people of
Iraq since the initiation of sanctions that have
killed over one million.

Uptown is home to “Voices in the Wilderness,” the
nation’s leading anti-Sanctions organization, and to
its chief activist Kathy Kelly, a two-time Nobel Peace
Prize nominee who has been conducting a 40-day fast
against the sanctions since August 5th in New York
City. She and ten of her fellow activists are
splitting their time between the steps of the UN and
the New York jail system being indicted of eating small
“sanctioned” rice and lentils meals on UN property.)

From September 1 to Labor Day, Uptown will see one of
the “Life Under Siege” tent encampments being
organized around the nation to support the fast – this
one by Edgewater-Uptown Greens, a local of the
Illinois Green Party – its activists Sean Reynolds and
Craig Althage will be manning the tent.

Reynolds, a founding member of the Edgewater-Uptown
Greens, is ready to rough it a bit to make his point.
“I want Chicago and the rest of America to understand
what we’re doing to the people of Iraq. UNICEF says
the sanctions kill five thousand children a month and
the sanctions have been going for eleven years. War
through starvation is against international law, and
it’s inhuman – and if we’re going to commit war crimes
ourselves, why bother with Saddam?”

Althage, Green party member and housing activist,
says, “Sean and I live and work at this stuff in
Uptown and we see many of our neighbors living a “life
under siege” as they deal with bad healthcare,
scrape-by wages and disappearing housing. But we
can’t just look locally – like more of the people of
Uptown than you’d think, the Iraqi people struggle
daily to defend their homes, their environment and
culture, or just to survive.”

Althage and his group have been active on universal
health care and specifically in promoting the
Bernardin healthcare amendment. He notes that poor
access to medical services is one of the greatest
trials for the people of Iraq – but housing
destruction (the US engages in regular civilian
bombings) is nearer to his heart. “What’s worse?
Condos or UN sanctions?” Althage quips. COURAJ, a
local housing group in which Althage volunteers, will
be coming out to support the encampment Saturday.

The Edgewater-Uptown Greens, a local of the Illinois
Green Party, focuses on housing rights and food safety
issues within the Uptown, Andersonville and Edgewater
neighborhoods while alerting their neighbors their to
opportunities to affect national and global
environmental and human rights policy.
 
 

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