Peaceful Response Gears Up for Historic Peace March, Calls for Massive Turn-out to say “NO WAR ON IRAQ!”

Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March
Date: Friday, March 14th, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The PPRC's weekly rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday, March 14th, at 5:00 p.m., will focus on the world’s united efforts to stop Bush’s war on Iraq. “This week we heard directly from Donald Rumsfeld that the US may attack Iraq alone, without even Tony Blair as an ally,” said Chris Roehm, a volunteer with the PPRC. “While the rest of the planet is desperately trying to find a way to resolve this crisis peacefully, the Bush Administration is possessed by an insane lust for war.” Roehm said that local activists are hoping this weekend’s peace march in downtown Portland will contribute to persuading Bush to step back from the brink of war.

Some members of the peace movement are hoping that the UN General Assembly may step in, using an obscure Cold-War era resolution that seems to be relevant in the current crisis. According to UN resolution 377, the General assembly can recommend collective action “if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”. “The US wants to go to war without a Security Council vote, or with a bare majority vote of a ‘coalition of the coerced’, but this 1950 UN legislation allows the UN General Assembly to intervene if the Security Council is not unanimous,” said Roehm. “They’ve stepped in ten times in the past so we’re hoping the General Assembly will come together to prevent Bush’s war today.”1

“Our planet is in a world of hurt right now,” said Roehm. “Today we hear again of another ten Palestinians gunned down in the West Bank, the North Korean crisis is worsening, and the struggling Serbian democracy is at risk after President Zoran Djindjic’s brutal assassination.” Roehm said that the US should be working to reduce conflict in the world, not to set off a Middle East conflagration with a war on Iraq. “ The Saturday peace march will be this region’s most important contribution to the efforts for peace,” said Roehm. “What we do here on Saturday may make the difference between a future of hope, and a future of endless war and despair.”

The Saturday peace rally is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Waterfront Park in downtown Portland.

1. “The forgotten power of the General Assembly”, Robert Fisk, Independent (UK), March 14, 2003.


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