Hungry for Terror Suspects in UK
Source Ken Hanly
Date 03/03/04/11:15

Voices in the Wilderness UK ( )
Press release  Tuesday March 4th 10.40 am
0845 458 2564/ 0794 783 9992

     Anti war activist put on suspected terror list for sending food to Jack

A peace activist has allegedly been placed on a suspected terrorist list
after sending a letter to Jack Straw, containing rice as part of a letter
writing campaign to evoke compassion in the Foreign Office for the ordinary
people in Iraq facing a massive humanitarian crisis in the event of war. The
letter unexpectedly closed down Jack Straw's office for 3 hours on Friday
January 24th after an x ray of the mail sparked a bio terror alert. The
activist was visited by police that night who told him of the result of his
innocent mailing and advised him he was now on a suspected terrorist list
and it was only his postcode and his "respectable" family that saved him
from being raided by anti terror police.

The campaign, "deluge the decision makers" was initiated by anti war group
Voices in the Wilderness UK, who are now concerned that they and the many
other supporters who took part in the action are now on a list of suspected

The campaign was inspired by a similar campaign in the 1950s which is
credited with helping prevent a US nuclear attack on China.(2)  The 1950s
model has inspired numerous other groups who have recently been sending rice
to Downing St. from groups as widely spread as Women in Black to Franciscan
monks (in one case sparking a similar scare at King's Cross Post Office

Voices in the Wilderness UK spokesperson Richard Byrne said,
"Our action was never intended to cause any fear or alarm at the foreign
office and we regret that it did. Our intention was simply to evoke feelings
of compassion for the 22 million people in Iraq who right now have real
reason for fear and alarm from the terror of a US/ UK attack. We are greatly
concerned at the heavy handed police response to this incident. We have
written to the police and the Home Office seeking reassurance without
response. It is ridiculous that someone could be told by a police officer
they are on list of suspected terrorists for sending foodstuffs to the
foreign office."

Voices sent out a message cancelling the rice action as soon as they became
aware of the problem at the Foreign Office. They are running other postal
campaigns however, sending photographs of children to the Prime Minister
higlighting the damage to children caused by the sanctions and war and
sending bone shaped dog biscuits to Tony Blair, urging him to not be George
Bush's poodle.

Voices on 0845 458 2564/ 0794 7839992

(1) Voices in the Wilderness UK is a campaign to lift the economic sanctions
and stop the war on Iraq.
(2) In the 1950's the US Fellowship of Reconciliation launched a "Feed Thine
Enemy" campaign in response to reports of famine on the Chinese mainland.
Thousands of bags of rice were sent to President Eisenhower in the White
House, who never acknowledged their arrival. A decade later it emerged that
during meetings with Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider US options in the
conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu, the generals twice
recommended the use of nuclear weapons. Eisenhower each time turned to his
aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. The huge number of
bags convinced Eisenhower not to use nuclear weapons.
(3) see Camden Chronicle Feb 13, 2003. Police spokesman said, "It's all part
of a political awareness campaign. This is not a crime because no offence
has been committed."

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