Civilian Casualties, Civilian Solutions
9/11 Families Join Terror Victims from Around the World to Create an International Network for Action and Policy Change
NEW YORK – August 15 – Thirty people from around the world who have suffered personally from terrorism, violence and war will join 9/11 families in New York to create an international network to share new initiatives for building a more just and secure world, free from violence. They represent Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Algeria, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Ireland, Britain, Russia, Sudan, Rwanda, Colombia, Chile and the U.S. Each individual has gone on to break the cycle of violence by creating an organization devoted to healing, reconciliation and peace.
“Five years after September 11th, we’ve seen the limitations of our military actions, which have often provoked more violence, more civilian casualties, and more anti-American sentiment than before,” said David Potorti, Director of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, which is organizing the conference. “It’s time we listened to those who have been most affected by terrorism, violence and war, and to learn how they have successfully promoted conflict resolution in their own countries and communities.” Peaceful Tomorrows has been nominated for the 2003 and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
Among the participants will be representatives of Peaceful Tomorrows, all of whom lost family members on 9/11/01; Jesus Abril Escusa of Spain, whose son died in the Madrid train bombings; Naba Hamid of Iraq, whose nephew was killed in the Iraq war; Febby Isran of Indonesia, who survived the 2003 Jakarta Marriott Hotel bombing; Olga Takaeva of Russia, who was present during the Beslan school hostage crisis; Jo Berry of Britain, whose father died in an Irish Republican Army bombing; Father Michel Lapsley of South Africa, whose hands were blown off by a letter bomb sent by agents of the South African apartheid regime; Cherifa Kheddar of Algeria, whose family members were killed by Islamic terrorists; and Bud Welch of Oklahoma City, whose daughter was killed in the Murrah Federal Building bombing.
Private organizing sessions will take place at the Garrison Institute (Garrison, New York) between September 5th-7th, 2006 with the aim of creating a mission statement, goals and next steps for the international network. Participants will travel to New York City between September 8th-14th for a series of public speaking events at locations including Columbia University, New York University, New York Society for Ethical Culture, Unitarian Church of All Souls, Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, El Puente, the Jewish Community Center, and elsewhere.
A press conference featuring all participants will take place at St. Paul’s Chapel in lower Manhattan on Friday, September 8th, 2006 at 3pm.
Detailed biographies, event locations and other information can be found at the Peaceful Tomorrows website, www.peacefultomorrows.org.
Launched on February 14th, 2002, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn their grief into action for peace. By developing and advocating nonviolent actions in the pursuit of justice, they hope to break the cycles of violence engendered by war and terrorism. Peaceful Tomorrows acknowledges its common experience with all people affected by violence throughout the world, and works to create a safer and more peaceful world for everyone.