Small protest outside U.S. Embassy in
                           Georgetown
                           By Abigail Kippins
                           A SMALL band of women yesterday gathered in
front the United States
                           Embassy in Georgetown protesting the bombing
of Afghanistan by the
                           U.S. and Britain.

                           The group, comprising about 20 women, carried
placards and chanted
                           disapproval of the bombings, describing the
act as a military slaughter.

                           "Bombing innocent women and children in
Afghanistan is not an answer
                           to the bombing that took place in the United
States", spokesperson for
                           the group, Ms Andaiye commented.

                           She said while they are in sympathy with the
relatives of the 6,000 odd
                           people killed in the September 11 terrorist
attacks in the U.S., the
                           answer is not in the U.S. and Britain bombing
Afghanistan.

                           The U.S. and Britain Sunday launched powerful
air and missile strikes
                           against bases, airports and training camps in
Afghanistan in retaliation
                           for last month's attacks on the World Trade
Center in New York and the
                           Pentagon in Washington.

                           An informal group calling itself Women
Opposing Military Action Now
                           (WOMAN) organised yesterday's protest outside
the U.S. Embassy here
                           and a main slogan they carried was Mahatma
Gandhi's saying, "an eye
                           for an eye makes the whole world go blind".

                           "We will continue protesting and we hope that
women from other
                           organisations will come out", Andaiye said.

                           She explained that they started off as a
women's group deliberately
                           intending to send the message that whether
people like it or not, women
                           are raised to care about everyone and
everything and that gives them a
                           particular place to look at what happens in
the world.

                           She further noted that many women who have
lost loved ones in the
                           attacks have been speaking out against the
talk of going to war - that it
                           be not carried out in their husbands' and
children's name.

                           "You don't raise children for them to be
killed in wars. We are beginning
                           as a women's group to make the point that
women, as carers, say no",
                           she stated.

                           In a flyer distributed by the group, the
women said they do not want
                           bombs dropped on a country where seven
million people already face
                           starvation, 60% of them women and children.

                           They said women are the life-givers, the
first caregivers, from
                           breastfeeding and subsistence farming which
feeds most of the world, to
                           cleaning, nursing and teaching and asked,
"must mothers watch the
                           slaughter of children in whom we have
invested our lives to be used as
                           cannon fodder for the military?"

                           They said while US$80 billion a year would
provide the basic needs of
                           everyone in the world, the U.S. has already
committed US$40 billion to
                           sending cruise missiles and bombs into
Afghanistan "and wherever else
                           they intend to kill and maim".

                           They said this is on top of the more than
$800 billion invested yearly in
                           military budgets worldwide to ensure the
world's submission to
                           globalisation and the multinationals that run
it.

                           "We will all pay, either as targets or be
deprived of our basic rights and
                           needs, for America's New War", the group
stated.

                           Andaiye said as long as the war continues the
group will continue to
                           protest.

                           She said many Guyanese were killed in the
attacks in the U.S. but
                           pointed out that that did not prompt their
demonstration.

                           She added that they are not protesting
because they feel they can stop
                           the war, but what they hope to do is to build
up the mood which is
                           already spreading worldwide with the hope
that eventually it will begin to
                           have some influence.

                           She said the people in favour of the war are
the ones stressed on while
                           those in opposition are hidden.

                           "...it is important that people protest,
including Guyanese and over time,
                           in the connections between Guyana and other
countries, we will begin to
                           have some influence. We cannot spend the rest
of our lives thinking we
                           are too small or too weak to speak out",
Andaiye said.

                           "Women the carers have been central to every
anti-war movement. Now
                           we demand an immediate end to the destruction
of life in Afghanistan.

                           "We demand that the resources being lavished
on killing be invested
                           instead in life and caring. We call on all
justice movements to stand with
                           carers against war", the women said.

from the Guyana chronicle, http://www.guyanachronicle.com




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