[Media-watch] Resist the attack on Fallujah
david at milwr.freeserve.co.uk
Wed Oct 27 20:00:43 BST 2004
1) Phone Blockade 3 November
4) Contingency Plans
Fallujah and over a dozen other Iraqi towns are under threat of major assault by US forces. JNV supports those organising activities to try to prevent these assaults. No US attack is inevitable. Public protests inside and outside Iraq have the power to derail these attacks, or at the very least to minimise the damage done, and to help prevent further such atrocities.
Britain is complicit in these attacks, directly, by redeploying British troops to the centre of Iraq to free up US forces to take part in the planned assaults. Here are some ideas for pro-active action, and some London contingency plans if the major attacks do take place. (More info on our website www.j-n-v.org )
1) Phone Blockade of the MOD & Email Geoff Hoon
Wednesday 3 November
Phone the MOD between 9am - 5pm on the day after the US elections. Please ask to speak to Geoff Hoon, to tell him to oppose the planned assaults on Fallujah and other cities, and to demand that he withdraw the Black Watch from their supportive role in Central Iraq.
MOD Public Enquiry Office: 0870 607 4455
MOD Press Office: 020 7218 2906
You may also wish to try this email address for Geoff Hoon's PA:
sofs.pa2 at modho.gsi.gov.uk
2) Stop The Attacks - Petition
At a meeting called by Voices UK, there was a call for a petition to be drawn up and circulated immediately for use this weekend. A pdf is attached of two versions of the petition, one concentrating on the immediate crisis, the other including the demand for troops to be withdrawn. Next is the text of the narrow focus petition:
BASIC PETITION TEXT
To Our Local MP
Please tell Geoff Hoon: Don't let British Troops support Bush's massacres in Iraq's cities. The senseless slaughter of civilians is making a desperate situation even worse.
Don't Attack Fallujah-Recall The Black Watch
For Using This Petition
This petition is designed to be used the weekend of 30/31 October. Using pretty much this text, Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum collected 450 signatures in 2 hours recently.
1) One reason for their success is that they had a huge poster version of the text behind them so that people knew what they were signing. People were queueing to sign.
So JNV has included in the pdf full A4 size versions of the text, for you to enlarge to A3 or larger size (some photocopy shops can enlarge to A1).
2) Please do let the local radio and newspapers know about your petitioning, and take your own photos to send to the paper if they do not send a photographer themselves. Whatever the response of your local MP when you present the petition, that is worth press releasing also.
3) Please let us know the results of your petitioning. If you have any suggestions for improving the petition or how to present it on the street/at work, please let us know.
This petition initiative came out of an emergency meeting called by Voices in the Wilderness UK. There may be further editions of this petition in future weeks.
Please check out the JNV website <www.j-n-v.org> and the Voices UK website <www.voicesuk.org> for more campaigning information.
Write to your MP
This is something that anyone and everyone can do. If you ask your MP to ask Geoff Hoon to recall the Black Watch from central Iraq, and to withdraw all British support for the planned US assaults, then she/he will pass on your concerns to the Defence Secretary, and you get two (small) impacts from one letter. A veteran letter-writer informs us that when/if you receive a response, it is well worth writing back, as it is this reply of yours that has most impact.
You can (a) find out who your MP is and (b) fax your MP from the following website:
Some possible points for a letter:
1) Human Cost
Please remind the Defence Secretary of the horrors of the earlier (April 2004) siege of Fallujah - horrors which the British Government refused to condemn, 'insist[ing] that there were "no disagreements" with the US about its tactics on the ground' (Independent, 14 April). On 11 April the director of Fallujah's general hospital, Rafie al-Issawi, estimated - on the basis of figures gathered from four clinics around the city as well as the hospital itself - that more than 600 people had been killed and that 'the vast majority of the dead were women, children and the elderly' (Guardian, 12 April). Ask whether the British government has sought assurances that US tactics and rules of engagement have been changed to prevent such carnage in any future engagement.
Please ask the Defence Secretary why British troops are being redeployed with the 'aim of . free[ing] US forces to attack Fallujah' (Telegraph, 18 Oct) again - this time causing possibly even greater carnage.
3) Condemnation and Withdrawal
I urge you to condemn the redeployment and to support calls for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. I would be grateful if you would ask the Defence Secretary to withdraw British troops from central Iraq, and ask also whether contingency plans have been prepared for the withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq in the event that the January elections produce a government in Baghdad which calls for the removal of foreign forces.
Voices UK has drawn up more points for writing to your MP, available at
4) Contingency Plans
There are now plans for a London demo, and for London nonviolent direct action, on the night of any major attack. Please see www.j-n-v.org for more details. If your local group draws up any similar contingency plans, please register them with Stop The War and with JNV.
Justice Not Vengeance
landline 0845 458 9571 (UK) +44 1424 428 792 (int)
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