Friday, March 16, 2012, Noon-1:00 p.m. — White House (north side on Pennsylvania Ave.)
Monday, March 19, 2012, 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. — Pentagon (outside Pentagon Metro entrance on the southeast side of the building)
What: March 19, 2012 mark’s the 9th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As part of the Lenten Witness for Peace and Justice that is being organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and co-sponsored by other groups, there will be a prayer service at the White House on March 16th and at the Pentagon on March 19th to remember the victims of U.S. warmaking in Iraq, to repent for the war crimes the U.S. has committed, and to demand that reparations be made to the Iraqi people. We will also call on all remaining CIA personnel and U.S. private contractors to leave Iraq immediately. Ray McGovern, retired CIA analyst, peacemaker, writer and member of Intelligence Members for Sanity (VIPS) will speak at the prayer service.
Why: For over 20 years the U.S. government and military has waged war against Iraq. U.S. bombings, U.S. UN-led sanctions, invasion and occpation has resulted in the death’s of over 2 million Iraqis and has traumatized an entire nation. Several million Iraqis have been displaced. In December the U.S. withdrew its troops from Iraq, but an estimated 5,000 private U.S. “security contractors” and the CIA remain. U.S. Drones patrol Iraqi skies. The Iraqi people continue to suffer from the effects of U.S. warmaking and occupation. We remember,too, the 4,801 soldiers who died in Iraq and the unknown numbers of soldiers who committed suicide, as well as the countless thousands of soldiers maimed, injured and traumatized for life. We will also remember Rachel Corrie, the U.S. peaceworker who was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza on March 16, 2003.
Lent is a time for personal and societal repentance, a time for radical conversion, renewal and transformation. Living under the brutal occupation of the Roman empire, Jesus declared: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mk.1:15) Living in the U.S. empire, which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” we need to heed Jesus’ proclamation now more than ever.
Please join this March 16th and March 19th witness and publicize it through your networks.
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