FAO Newsdesks - 19th October 2001
'Lou Beale' to hand in Downing St. petitions
Network for Peace, a coalition of more than 20 peace organisations, will be handing in petitions to 10 Downing St. at 10 a.m. today.
Network for Peace has received more than 50,000 signatures calling for the de-militarisation of the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Petitioners are urging that, through international co-operation, every legal diplomatic means available should be used in bringing the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.
Tony Blair is asked to refrain from military action, which will not remove the terrorist threat and will cause hundreds, perhaps thousands, more innocent people to lose their lives. Network for Peace also ask that the Prime Minister address the root causes of global terrorism by means of a long-term programme of concerted international action.
Network for Peace spokesperson Pat Gaffney said:
"It is so important not to respond to these atrocious terrorist attacks with unlawful military action, which in the longer-term, will cause many more innocent fatalities and fuel international-scale conflict."
Handing the petitions into Downing St. will be President of Labour Action for Peace, Tony Benn, Anna Wing (formerly Lou Beale in 'Eastenders' ) from Quaker Peace, Sam Akaki of CND, and Pat Gaffney and Steve Whiting of Network for Peace.
The UN estimates that at least 5.5m Afghans are short of food, while 2m people lack enough food to last the winter. Of those, half a million will be cut off when snows sweep in by mid-November.
Pat Gaffney continued:
"Restraining from military action is even more important as it emerges there will be huge loss of life and unbearable suffering through the winter in Afghanistan if the bombing continues."
For further enquiries please contact Pat Gaffney on 07808 218822 or Richard Bingley on +44-(0)-20 7281 0297.
Network for Peace is a coalition of over 20 organisations working for peace including: Campaign Against Arms Trade, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Conscience, Labour Action for Peace, Northern Friends Peace Board, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Pax Christi, Quaker Peace and social Witness, Medact, Chrisitian CND Nonviolent Action and others.