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(en) No Blood For Oil's action today at the UN 11 arrested - please help!

From Eric Laursen <laursene@earthlink.net>
Date Mon, 4 Nov 2002 16:00:20 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

No Blood For Oil's action today at the UN included a fine,
rainy-day turnout, a good amount of press attendance, lots of
passionate resistance to war - and the arrest of 11 activists
who refused to leave the main gates of the headquarters
compund without being allowed to deliver an open letter
against the Iraq invasion to the secretary general.

The arrestees included two women and nine men; at least
four of the activists were among those who were arrested two
weeks ago when No Blood For Oil occupied the General
Assembly hall. Today's arrestees were taken in NYPD wagons
to the 17th Precinct, on 51st Street between Lexington and
Third Avenes. Legal observers from the National Lawyers
Guild were told by police that the arrestees would most likely
all be given desk appearance tickets rather than being
processed through the system, meaning that all are likely to
be out within the next several hours.

Anyone who would like to help is encouraged to go to the
17th Precinct after 3pm to show solidarity. If you can, bring
food - our friends are not likely to receive anything to eat
from the police!

No Blood For Oil faxed the secretary general last Friday to
request a meeting at which members of the group could
deliver the open letter, which was composed and signed by
some 1,400 prominent academics, writers and artists from six
continents. We received no reply, and were told that we could
not check back with his office by phone. When the letter
itself was originally mailed to the secretary general a month
ago, it also received no reply or acknowledgment.

This fits an unfortunate pattern that the UN has followed
ever since the prospect of an invasion of Iraq first arose: Just
as the Security Council have engaged in closed-door
negotiations on the proper "formula" for the UN to sue in
responding to the US request for action, almost completely
excluding public scrutiny, the secretary general and the other
major UN bodies have almost completely excluded civil
society from any participation in the debate. With only a few
exceptions, the only persons allowed to address the UN on the
subject of the Iraq invasion have been representatives of
states and governments - not of the people who will have to
endure the effects of an invasion.

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