May 30, 2008 Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (BIP)

The Reality of the Iraq War Comes to Hilo!

     With the help of the Quaker based organization, The American Friends Service Committee, Iraqi journalist Ra`ed Jarrar and his wife Niki visited Hilo on May 26th and spoke to an evening public gathering at the Church of the Holy Cross attended by more than 200 people. Raed also met in the afternoon with Hawaiian sovereignty activists to discuss the common ground of being invaded, occupied, and having a regime change imposed by foreigners, and to learn from one another's experience.

      Raed had a lot of charisma and warmth. He laid out clearly the reality in Iraq today, Iraq's history of resisting 20 occupations in the past, and the need for a complete withdrawl and end to US occupation of Iraq today. More than 1 million Iraqis have been killed and 4 million made homelss since the U.S. invasion of 2003. If those numbers were translated to U.S. equivalent casualties, the numbers would be 11 million Americans dead and 60 million made homeless. That's some on the reality on the ground in Iraq today. The country's infrastructure is destroyed: clean water, food, electricity, health care, education, employment are in short supply. There is not a family in Iraq untouched by the trauma of the war. And while Iraq faces the long-term consequences of widespread radiation contamination from US depleted uranium weapons used in Iraq, there are more immediate harsh realities of war to deal with on a daily basis.

      Raed's talk made many Hawaii residents question all the escalating US military presence in Hawaii -- Strykers, Army, Navy, and Air Force expansion. More people are realizing that military training in Hawaii is not defensive in nature. It is preparation for continuing the US criminal occupation and war of aggression in Iraq for the benefit of a few. Oil companies and arms makers are profitting big time, while the majority are having a more difficult time making ends meet.

     During the question and answer period following Raed's talk one Hawaii resident emotionally apologized for his complicity in paying taxes that supports the US occupation and destruction in Iraq. It was clear that many others in the audience had similar feelings.

     Now is an opportunity to build understanding and solidarity in resisting the U.S. empire, and occupation of Iraq, Hawaii, Palestine, etc. People are awakening!

End the occupation! US Troops Out Now!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination: anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Ola`a (Kurtistown),

Hawai`i 96760. Phone (808) 966-7622 Email ja@interpac.net http://www.malu-aina.org

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 30, 2008 - 350th week) - Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post

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