ON THE EVE OF WAR: FIVE CANADIANS IN BAGHDAD STAND FOR PEACE and SOLIDARITY
19 March 2003
George Bush gave them 48 hours to leave. But Lisa Ndejuru and Zehira Houfani
(Montreal), Robert Turcotte (Quebec City), Lisa Martens (Winnipeg) and
Stewart Vriesinga (Lucknow, ON) aren't budging. Despite the Pentagon's
threat of "shock and awe", the strategy of intensive bombing likened to the
Hiroshima strategy, the five intend to stay on in Baghdad.
Ms Ndejuru, Ms Houfani and Mr Turcotte are members of the Iraq Peace Team.
Ms Martens and Mr. Vriesinga are members of the affiliated Christian
Peacemakers Team. "I have a vision for a different world," said Ndejuru,
"where strangers on the other side of the world are treated like brothers
and sisters. We refuse to accept that we must chose between killing hundreds
and thousands of people and being killed ourselves."
The five are staying in order to show solidarity with the people of Iraq and
to bring home reports from the ground. "The stories of what happens to
people under this criminal attack must be told," added Houfani, the author
of several books and numerous articles. "This is one way I can help build
opposition to the racist, profit-driven policies of the United States and
Houfani and Ndejuru were shocked to learn last week that some Canadian
soldiers had been authorised to fight alongside US and UK troops and that
Canadian military ships were in the gulf, poised to support the invasion.
"We want to see Chretien go further than make a statement of
non-participation. We want to see all Canadian participation in this
invasion immediately withdrawn, accompanied by a strong statement
unequivocally condemning this invasion," explained Houfani.
The forty-eight hours will be up on Wednesday night. These five Canadians
For more information or to be put directly in touch with Baghdad, contact:
Caroline Harvey, tel 514 996 2474
Mary Foster, tel 514 521 5252
also contact (about Christian Peacemakers Team members):
Doug Pritchard, tel 416 423 5525
Canadian participants in the Iraq Peace Team www.nowar-paix.ca (biographies
> Iraq Peace Team www.iraqpeaceteam.org
> Christian Peacemakers Team www.cptcanada.org