White House Vigil Against Sanctions on the Iraqi People 100-Person Delegation to Deliver Medicine & Supplies to Iraq
Wednesday, May 6, 1998
12:00 p.m. noon
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A network of peace and justice organizations will be holding a vigil at the White House on May 6, in support of a delegation leaving Wednesday to deliver tons of medical supplies to Iraqi civilians. Protesters will fast from dawn to dusk and picket the White House beginning at 12:00 noon. Vigils will continue daily until May 16.
The 100-person delegation of religious leaders, medical professionals and peace activists will be led by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Participants include Rev. Lucius Walker of Pastors for Peace, Christopher Arnold of the Bruderhof Community, Kathy Kelly of Voices in the Wilderness, and representatives of the International Action Center, which initiated the delegation. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) will be represented by ADC-New Hampshire Chapter President Nabil Migalli.
The delegation will deliver large quantities of badly-needed medicine, such as penicillin pills and tablets to cure children of intestinal parasites, as well as supplies such as IV solutions, sutures, asthma medicine, anesthetics, and recent medical journals. According to UN agencies such as UNICEF and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly a million Iraqi children are malnourished and up to half-a-million children have died as a result of sanctions — more than four times the number of Americans killed in Vietnam.
“The time has come to lift the sanctions,” stated ADC President Hala Maksoud. “We can no longer stand aside and watch hundreds of thousands of innocent people suffer and die. This delegation is an act of conscience that cries out for the awakening of a sense of compassion for the Iraqi people, who are not responsible for the policies of the Iraqi government.” Participants in the delegation are risking possible 12-year prison terms and million dollar fines.
The White House vigil is co-sponsored by the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, Baltimore Emergency Action Network, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, Fellowship of Reconciliation, International Action Center, Jonah House, National Peoples Campaign, Pax Christi – Metro DC, Peace Action, Voices in the Wilderness, and Washington Peace Center.
(Note to Editors: ADC is the largest grassroots Arab-American organization in the country. It is a non-sectarian, non-partisan service organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Americans of Arab descent and combatting anti-Arab racism, discrimination and stereotyping.