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SEPTEMBER 23, 2005
2:42 PM

CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Perspectives on Iraq War and Protests

WASHINGTON - September 23 - The following activists and analysts are available for interviews:

Rev. Hagler is national president of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice. He is also senior minister of the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.; mothers of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq will be speaking there on Sunday.
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Khalil is organizing coordinator for United for Peace and Justice, a major umbrella group helping to organize the protests in Washington this weekend. According to the group, protests by various organizations are also slated this weekend for Los Angeles, San Francisco and other U.S. cities, as well as in England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, the Philippines, Greece, Spain and South Korea.
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Eman Ahmed Khammas is a human rights activist in Baghdad.
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Currently in Washington, D.C., Jamail is an independent journalist who has reported for eight months from inside Iraq. He writes for the Sunday Herald, the Guardian, Inter Press Service and Asia Times; his work was recently cited by Project Censored. Jamail said today: "As the occupation of Iraq is nearly two and a half years old, the recent military operation in Tal Afar demonstrates the ongoing reactionary tactics by the U.S. military to attempt to gain control of a spreading and brutal guerrilla war. Meanwhile, in Basra recently crowds of angry Shia demonstrators set a British tank ablaze as tensions flare in the once-calm south. Journalists working in Iraq continue to work in the most dangerous war zone on the planet as over 66 have been killed there since the invasion."
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Ruebner is grassroots advocacy coordinator for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a nationwide coalition of more than 200 organizations. In addition to marching, the Campaign and dozens of other groups will be tabling and holding teach-ins and cultural events and showing movies on the grounds of the Washington Monument on Saturday and Sunday.

Ruebner said today: "Our government's atrocious neglect of the underprivileged and marginalized people of the Gulf Coast before and after Hurricane Katrina presents us with a stark choice. We can fund either the social needs of the people of the United States, including health care, and quality jobs, housing, and educational opportunities, or we can fund empire abroad, but not both. The Bush administration has spent more than $200 billion on an illegal and unjustified war of conquest in Iraq and continues to lavish $3 billion of aid per year on Israel to fund its brutal military occupation of the Palestinian people."
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Shallal is founder of Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives and owner of Bus Boys and Poets, a new restaurant in D.C. which is hosting a series of activist events this weekend.
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Director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes, Kull said today: "A fairly strong majority of people in the U.S. now says that the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq, but only about 30 percent say U.S. troops should be withdrawn now. For that to change, a leader would have to step forward and make the case that our efforts to stabilize Iraq cannot succeed and that staying only provokes more conflict. It's more likely to be a moderate Republican since the Democrats are so committed to looking 'strong on national security.' Another contributing factor would be if Americans perceived the Iraqi people as wanting the U.S. to pull out. Interestingly, the International Republican Institute recently stopped publishing its polling data from Iraq. The findings were getting pretty negative toward the U.S. presence there."
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