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Jordanian Authorities Ban Protest by US Anti-War Group
Published on Saturday, January 1, 2005 by the Agence France Presse
Jordanian Authorities Ban Protest by US Anti-War Group

AMMAN - Jordanian police banned relatives of US servicemen killed in Iraq and members of anti-war groups from holding a candlelit vigil outside UN headquarters, an AFP correspondent reported.

Medea Benjamin (R), a member of a delegation of U.S. military family members whose sons died fighting in Iraq , joins a rally outside the United Nations office in Amman, December 31, 2004. The visiting group of U.S. anti-war activists, which is currently in Jordan, say they are sending urgent humanitarian supplies to Iraqi victims of the U.S. led war in solidarity with ordinary Iraqis. REUTERS/Majed Jaber
A police officer at the scene in western Amman told reporters the protest was banned because the activists failed to get a permit from the authorities three days ago in line with the law and urged everyone to leave the area.

"The police banned us and asked us to leave for security reasons," said Medea Benjamin, the founding director of human rights group Global Exchange which is opposed to the US-led war in Iraq.

"We are all very upset because we had done similar protests all over the world. We're very shocked," she said.

As the protesters walked away they sang a refrain from one of John Lennon's classic songs" "All we are saying, is give peace a chance."

Benjamin was among a group of 15 people, most of them US citizens, who carried candles and banners with the word "peace" who wanted to stage a peaceful protest outside UN headquarters in Amman.

She said the group, including members of Families for Peace and women's anti-war group Code Pink, will go ahead with plans to hold a candlelit vigil Saturday on the Jordan-Iraq border to protest US involvement in Iraq.

The group recently sent 600,000 dollars worth of humanitarian aid to residents of the Iraqi town of Fallujah who were displaced by a massive US-led assault in November.

© Copyright 2005 AFP


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