PPRC Friday Rally and March Calls for End to US Occupation of Iraq
Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March for Peace
Date: Friday, April 18, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square
The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition regular Friday,
5:00 p.m. peace rally and march at Pioneer Courthouse
Square will focus on the US occupation of Iraq, the
US client state occupation of the West Bank and Gaza,
and the Bush Administrationís plans for permanent war.
"Thousands of Iraqis were in the streets of Baghdad
today protesting the US occupation of their country,"
said Chris Roehm, longtime PPRC volunteer and co-MC
for the Friday rallies.1 "They may still celebrate the
overthrow of Saddam Hussein, but they are also mourning
the deaths of their fellow Iraqis and they know full
well that Bush ís occupation of Iraq has nothing to
do with bringing them democracy, but everything to do
with stealing their nationís oil wealth."
Roehm cited the ongoing civilian casualties, many of them children,
resulting from cluster bomblets that have been strewn across Iraq by
invasion force. "While Ali Ismail Abbas has been flown to Kuwait for
treatment, there are unknown numbers of children who suffer from
injuries far from the view of US television cameras." Abbas, the child
whose parents were killed and whose arms were torn off by an American
missile strike, has become a symbol of Iraqi civilian casualties. Yet
were at least six children wounded by US cluster bombs just within this
week. There are thousands of such bombs that now lie throughout
Ali Mustafa made the near-fatal mistake of picking up one of these
colored packets, with the result that his legs will be scarred from the
shrapnel, and he has lost his sight permanently.2
"Not a single weapon of mass destruction has been found, the nationís cultural
heritage has been looted or destroyed, Iraqi children
are being torn to pieces daily by the bombs that weíve
littered across their tortured country but the US troops
have secured the Ministry of Oil," said Roehm.
The weekly protest will also focus on the US support
for Israelís ongoing occupation of the West Bank and
Gaza, and on US threats now being directed against Syria
and Iran. "The US has again joined its Israeli client
state as an illegal and unwanted military occupation,
plundering the resources of another people," said Will
Seaman, a PPRC volunteer. "More similarities will appear
in the coming months."
1. "Baghdad protesters denounce 'occupation'", BBC World Service
18 April, 2003.
2. "Bombs silent, but the children still suffer", Jonathan Steele,
(UK), April 18, 2003
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