An Open Letter to the American Public from Voices in the Wilderness

To those who wish to stand with us:
As the court proceedings continue in the US Justice Department's lawsuit against Voices in the Wilderness, please add your name to our petition to Attorney General John Ashcroft.

On Friday, September 26, in response to the $20,000 lawsuit recently filed against us by the US Justice Department, we filed an Answer and Counter Claim in US District Court in Washington DC. We will refuse to pay the fines, and instead we pledge, with your help, to raise $20,000 for continued relief for people in Iraq. To contribute to humanitarian support for Iraqis, you may send a check made out to Voices in the Wilderness with "20,000 Voices" in the memo line. Our address is: Voices in the Wilderness, 5315 N. Clark St., #634, Chicago, IL 60640.

Our response to the US Justice Department challenges the right of the US government to punish anyone for bringing humanitarian aid to civilians in Iraq or elsewhere. We are asking for a jury trial, for a declaration that the sanctions violated international law, for an injunction prohibiting the government from trying to punish anyone else for providing humanitarian aid, and for damages that will go to pay for medicines for the people of Iraq. Our press release is posted here.

To read our lawyers' answer to the US Justice Department in its entirety, visit this web page.

We are also asking the Court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting the US government from prosecuting or enforcing civil fines against people for donations of food, clothing, or medicine intended to be used to relieve human suffering. We continue to sponsor a team of US citizens residing in Baghdad to monitor the effects of the US occupation of Iraq, and to support Iraqi people in restoring their society.

To check out other writings by the Voices team in Baghdad, go to this web log.

We need your voices, now more than ever.

Thank you for your support of our work.

In Peace,
Mike Ferner
in behalf of Voices in the Wilderness



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This story was published on September 30, 2003.