NION Seeks $$$ For Inquiry Into Bush War Crimes
Commission Of Inquiry On Crimes Against Humanity
Not In Our Name Calls For Donations For Witness Travel Costs
It's now in your hands. Your support will make a qualitative difference in whether the world hears a remarkable exposure and analysis.
Next weekend, the first session of an International Commission of Inquiry on crimes against humanity committed by the Bush administration will open, and we need to get the witnesses there. There is no foundation money for this necessary and daring act. It depends on the contributions of people like yourself.
The Commission will hear indictments and take testimony from a range of witnesses including Denis Halliday, ex-UN Assistant Secretary-General and former head of UN Humanitarian Mission In Iraq, Barbara Olshansky, Center for Constitutional Rights and coordinator of Guantanamo detainee defense, and Marcus Raskin, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies and member of The Nation's editorial board.
The Commission itself has been endorsed by such outstanding figures as former Senator James Abourezk, Russell Banks, Prof. Richard Falk, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Gore Vidal, and Cornel West. For complete details and registration, see the expanded commission web site at www.bushcommission.org
A special section of this first session will deal with Bush administration's egregious disregard for life in New Orleans, and its vicious condemnation of the victims themselves as criminals. In order to provide searing eye-witness testimony, we are trying to fly up to New York the following witnesses:
* Gloria N. : "I was devastated by the sight of bodies floating in the streets and the police and National Guard doing nothing. I was just going to get what my family needed, but on the way I saw people on the rooftops with the flood waters rising, pleading with us to save them. And that's what we started doing."
* Kimberly S.: "There was devastation all around us and the government did nothing. The Coast Guard was there and they just watched; the police were going around like marauding bands of criminals, if it hadn't been for the young men they were calling thugs, I would have died and many other people would have died."
* Abigail B.: bus driver from Houston who helped organize an expedition of bus drivers to take supplies to New Orleans and to transport people to safety, but who were prevented from helping by the military surrounding the city.
As well as Camilo E. Mejia, who was court-martialed for refusing to return to his unit in Iraq.
To get them and other witnesses to New York, we need your help. In the past, your generous contributions helped to publish the Not In Our Name statement of conscience at a moment when the voices of opposition in this country most needed to be heard.
Now we are at another such crucial moment. Are the actions of this government simply "bad policies" or "negligence," or are they crimes? This is what the Commission with hear evidence on and decide. Through this we intend to spark a society-wide and change the very terms of that debate as well.
You can contribute on line at www.nion.us/NSOC/sign.htm, or you can make a check to Not In Our Name, and send to NION, 305 West Broadway, #199, New York, NY 10013. Also, frequent flyer miles can be used: contact firstname.lastname@example.org.