Voices for Creative Non-Violence: Walk for Justice

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Peoria, IL. The “Walk for Justice” is now on Day 8 of a 30 day journey through central IL, from Springfield to Chicago. Below is a press release we’ll send out tomorrow morning, just before half of our group returns to Springfield, IL, “detouring” from our planned itinerary because of alarm over an impending attack against the Iraqi city of Ramadi. We plan to visit Senator Dick Durbin’s office and read the names of people already killed in Iraq, while urging that he prevent a new attack on civilians who are trapped in Ramadi.

More information is available at the Voices website:
For steady monitoring of news about Ramadi, visit

We hope that all who receive this update will act swiftly to urge that your elected reps vigorously oppose U.S. plans to launch an attack on civilians living in Ramadi. We look forward to remaining in touch with you.

Sincerely,

VCNV Walk for Justice participants
Jeff Leys, Kathy Kelly, Tim Keough, Bob Abplanalp, Renee Espeland, Dan Pearson, Lee Jankowski and the Argyle office crew, Scott Blackburn, Laurie Hasbrook, Joel Gulledge, Michael Beckman


Press Release
For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Contact: Jeff Leys 773-573-5380, Kathy Kelly at 773-619-2418
Scott Blackburn 773-410-2673
Website: www.vcnv.org

“Walk for Justice” Calls Upon Senator Durbin to Act to Prevent U.S. Military Atack in Ramadi, Iraq

Springfield, IL–“Walk for Justice” members will enter Senator Durbin’s Springfield office on Thursday, June 15 at approximately 2:00 p.m. to urge that he immediately denounce U.S. military preparations and plans to attack the Iraqi city of Ramadi, home to 400,000 people. The names of the dead will be presented to Senator Durbin’s office.

“The U.S. appears to be preparing a major military assault against Ramadi, a city of 400,000 people, similar to the 2004 Battle of Fallujah in which hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed,” says Jeff leys, Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. “The U.S. military allowed women and very young children to leave, but men and older boys were denied exit. Soccer fields were turned into graveyards. The L.A. Times reports now that food and medical supplies are running low in Ramadi and the city’s citizens seeking refuge in Baghdad are being turned away at checkpoints. The scene is set for yet another massive military offensive which will result in the deaths of unknown numbers of Iraqi citizens and yet another humanitarian crisis—as Iraqi civilians struggle to survive bombs and lack of water, food and medical supplies.”

“The U.S. government claimed success because its forces hunted down and eliminated Abu Musab Zarqawi,” said Kathy Kelly, also a co-coordinator of Voices. “Zarqawi must be killed, we were told by U.S. political and military leaders, because he took hostages, brutalized them, and killed them. Now it appears that U.S. policy makers are holding a whole city hostage, brutalizing civilians and preparing to kill many of them. Assuredly, the frustration and rage felt by hundreds of thousands of people in Ramadi and beyond can create many more ‘Zarqawis.'”

As the U.S. waged war against Mexico in 1848, Congressman Abraham Lincoln rose to denounce the war as unnecessary and unconstitutional, saying “God of heaven has forgotten to defend the weak and innocent and permitted the strong band of murderers and demons from hell to kill men, women, and children, and lay waste and pillage the land of the just.”

“Senator Durbin and President Bush should carefully consider the words of Abraham Lincoln,” says Timothy Keough, a Christian Brothers University student who is a core member of the walk. “If either were to deliver these words perhaps he could then look in the eyes of people in Ramadi and discuss security and freedom.”

The Walk for Justice is a 30 day walk from Springfield to North Chicago, Illinois. Begun on June 6th, the walk will enter Eureka on June 15 and El Paso on June 16 before heading north towards LaSalle. The Walk for Justice calls for an end to the U.S. war in and occupation of Iraq; a nonviolent resolution to the conflict in Israel-Palestine; an end to U.S. participation in and complicity with torture; a commitment to no military attack against Iran; and a radical reformation of the prison and jail system. The Walk for Justice is a project of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (), a Chicago based national organization which seeks to end to all forms of economic and military warfare against Iraq and full U.S. provided funding for the reconstruction of Iraq.