Take us to your leader®. Then take us to your reader®.
How it works? [Click here]
Who we are
Our Agenda

Latest News
Good & Bad News

101 Palestinian History
Link & Resources
The Valley Galleria
nileMedia Reader

Join US
Contact Us

May 17, 2001
Press Release: Media Ignores Anti-Sanction Activists in New Hampshire

By Patrick Carkin


NH Peace Action didn't receive much media coverage for this -- which is astonishing to me given the level of outreach we did to all the various denominations. On the bright side, this was an excellent "getting to know you" project. We mailed letters to approxmately 800 religious leaders in the state, called more than 100, distributed a few thousand flyers on the street and to various churches, went on public access TV, was interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter, and received support from the national Jesuit Order, a local "Sisters of Mercy" order, and the American Friends Service Committee. While I had hoped that this would be more of a slam dunk event, I'm upbeat because this could lead to a broader base of support for NHPA's anti-sanctions work in the future.

Patrick Carkin, NH Peace Action

Press Release

Mother's Day: Over 100 NH Churches Recognized Plight of Iraqi Women & Children Under US Led Sanctions

May 16, 2001 -- Approximately 100 churches* across the state of New Hampshire (or on the border with members from New Hampshire) participated in NH Peace Action's (NHPA) "Remember the Women and Children of Iraq on Mother's Day" project. Religious institutions, mostly churches, commited actions which varied from a simple public prayer to an organized effort to write letters in opposition to the sanctions to the White House, State Department, and New Hampshire's members of Congress. To further promote this effort, NHPA also ran quarter page ads on Mother's Day in the NH Weekly of the Boston Globe, the Union Leader, and the Concord Monitor.

Ruth McKay, 81 years old, long time anti-sanctions activist and East Congregational UCC Church (Concord) member, explained why she helped organize members from other denominations to participate in this effort: "I keep thinking of an Iraqi mother, holding her dying child in her loving arms, and she's wondering, 'What did my child do to deserve this? Why are we being punished?' There are hundreds of thousands of such women who must feel that way. And there's nothing that these mothers can do to help their children. They can't even give their child clean water to drink."

NHPA Co-Director Patrick Carkin, a former US Army Intelligence Analyst, Gulf War resister, and the organizer behind the Mother's Day project, added, "People don't realize that this policy is not about the removal of a dictator. This policy is about either keeping Hussein in power or replacing him with another dictator. There has been absolutely zero support from the US for democracy in Iraq. The people are literally caught between their government and ours. If you speak to New Hampshire Congressmen about this they will tell you how this is all Hussein's fault for not abiding by the UN mandates. Such arguments are irrelevant. In 1991 our government actually assisted Hussein in slaughtering people who wanted to overthrow Hussein because, as one White House source commented at the time, 'We didn't know if they would support U.S. policies.' We call upon Representatives Bass and Sununu, and Senators Gregg and Smith to stop supporting this misleading and counterproductive genocidal policy."

The Mother's Day project was a two week series of events intended to raise awareness of the genocidal effects of the US led policy toward Iraq and its impact on the women and children. UNICEF, an official organization of the United Nations, estimates that over 4,500 children die every month due to the sanctions.

The history and meaning of Mother's Day was originally about civic responsibility, activism and building bridges to peace. Anna Jarvis (both mother and the daughter) and Julia Ward Howe, the three women who made Mother's Day a reality, all worked for social justice, peace, and a remembrance of the sacrifice of all mothers. Howe, in particular, believed that peace was one of the most important causes of the world. In 1870 she called for women to rise up and oppose war in all its forms. She wanted women to come together across national lines, to recognize our common humanity, and commit to finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts. In honor of the hundreds of thousands of mothers who have lost children in Iraq, in honor of all the mothers who have themselves died from the bombings and sanctions, NHPA created the Mother's Day project in effort reach out to religious institutions around the state and to remember the original intention of this holiday.

Dozens of national denominations have come out against the sanctions on Iraq, including the American Baptist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Friends Meeting (Quakers), the Unitarian Universalist Church, and numerous others. The Pope himself has stated that the sanctions are a weapon and that "the weak and the innocent cannot pay for mistakes for which they are not responsible."

* The 100 churches is a minimum estimate based on verbal confirmations, number of religious leaders contacted, media outreach via paid advertisements, and word of mouth/outside promotion by certain denominations and churches.

NH Peace Action PO Box 771, Concord, NH 03302
(603) 228-0559