Portland peace activists will remember the commencement of the first U.S. attack on Iraq with a
Visibility Action titled "The 'Gulf War,' 20 Years Later," on Friday, January 14, 2011 at
4:30 PM at the corner of SW 3rd and Madison by Terry Schrunk Plaza. The Peace
and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group sponsoring the action. The focus of the event will be to
connect the 43-day bombing and ground campaign which began January 16, 1991 to the current
U.S. occupation of Iraq, now nearing the end of its eighth year.
Organizers expect there to be demonstrators lining the sidewalks near the (currently closed for
repair) Federal Building from 4:30 to 5:30 PM, when the action will take to the sidewalks and cross
the Hawthorne Bridge, heading east and then returning to the start point.
Sanctions imposed on Iraq in August, 1990 were in place until the March, 2003 invasion and
devastated the country, including the estimated deaths of over 1 million people, many of them
children under 5, by bombing and lack of food, clean water and medicine. The sanctions, imposed
by the United Nations, included demands that Iraq dismantle any weapons of
Though it is now known that Iraq did not have any such weapons, the sanctions continued for
nearly 13 years until the current conflict broke out. "The U.S. war on Iraq began in 1991, continued
in the form of sanctions and bombing throughout the Clinton presidency, and escalated with the
invasion in March, 2003," said Dan Handelman of the Iraq Affinity Group. "Just since then,
hundreds of thousands more Iraqis have died, and nearly 4500 Americans. By remembering the
beginning of the war we hope to bring an end to it, calling for all the troops to come home now."
The participants in the weekly Portland Peaceful Response Coalition rally for peace and justice,
held weekly for over 9 years since after the invasion of Afghanistan, are expected to join the
visibility action after rallying in Pioneer Courthouse Square at 5 PM.
The January 14 action is endorsed by Northwest Veterans for Peace and the Pacific Green Party.
For more information, if your organization would like to cosponsor or endorse, or to get involved,
please contact the Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group at 503-236-3065 or email us at iraq@ pjw.info .
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