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Afri's Féile Bríde 2003

Up to two hundred people attended Afri's 11th Annual Féile Bríde Conference in Kildare this year. The theme was Paths to Peacemaking and the focus, appropriately was on the critical situation in Iraq. One of the speakers, Kathy Kelly, is a founder member of the Voices in the Wilderness organisation, which was set up to end the US/UN sanctions against Iraq. She has been to Iraq numerous times and was threatened with twelve years in prison and a million dollar fine for breaking sanctions by bringing food and medical supplies into Iraq.

Kathy flew back to Iraq after the conference and remains there as part of a peace team which consists of people who choose to live among the Iraqi people during any aggression directed at them. They are using their presence to communicate the effects of war on ordinary people. One of the issues of major concern to Kathy and the peace team is the effect that the cutting off of water supplies, which will result from the mass bombing, will have. As Kathy describes in a recent article: 'People panic as they wonder how they will find drinking water. How will they be able to cook stored rations without water? How will they get medical care for the injured? Once the electricity goes down, how will they manage without fridges, lights and communications? 'Explosions, fires, shrapnel, destroyed buildings, maimed bodies, unburied corpses… Baghdad's residents have tasted all this before - but now comes anticipation of yet another agony: a squeeze that can cause chaos and panic to flow like lava.'
Other speakers at the Conference were new Afri chairperson Iain Atack, Ciaron O'Reilly of the Dublin Catholic Worker and Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy.


134 Phibsborough Road,
Dublin 7,

Tel. 01 8827581 / 8827563
Fax. 01 8827576 Email: afri@iol.ie


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