For Immediate Release: August 23rd, 2002
Contact: David Potorti, Co-Director, Peaceful Tomorrows
Joseph Gerson, AFSC
or Janet Culpepper Jculpepper@afsc.org
September 11 Families Join International Victims Of Terrorism and War in Speaking Tour
“No More Victims” Panel To Promote Public Dialogue On Alternatives
Victims of terrorism and war from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines, and Japan will join family members of September 11 victims for a joint speaking tour in the days immediately before and after September 11, 2002.
The “No More Victims” tour, co-sponsored by September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and the American Friends Service Committee, will place the human dimension and experience of the 9-11 attacks and of war at the center of the national debate over the “war against terrorism.” In doing so, the participants hope to educate and to raise public consciousness about the meanings and consequences of the war by providing a thought-provoking dialogue in counterpoint to other, more ceremonial, remembrances of September 11.
“By putting a human face on the casualties of terrorism and war, we hope to demonstrate the price of responding to violence with violence,” says David Potorti, Co-Director, Eastern U.S. Coordinator of Peaceful Tomorrows. “The true cost of the U.S. war on terror, in human terms, is reflected in the experiences of these people, which have led them to seek alternatives.” Potorti lost his brother, James, at the World Trade Center on September 11.
“In joining the 9-11 families with the voices and stories of others who have suffered around the world since September 11, we hope to shatter some of the illusions maintaining that ‘war will solve our problems,’” says tour organizer Joseph Gerson of the AFSC. “We firmly believe that the real lesson of September 11 is that war and violence are the problems, not the solutions.”
Following statements by all of the participants, time will be allowed for questions and public dialogue with members of the audience.
Participants scheduled to appear include:
Ms. Rangina Hamidi, an Afghan-American who has twice returned to Afghanistan to provide assistance since the U.S. war began last fall.
Dr. Imad A. Alduri, an Iraqi living in Philadelphia.
Sinan Antoon, an Iraqi living in Boston.
Ms. Amirah Ali Lidasan, Secretary General of the Moro Christian People’s Alliance in Mindinao, Philippines.
Miyoko Matsubara, a leading Japanese Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) from Hiroshima, Japan who continues to speak out for the elimination of atomic weapons and the prevention of war.
David Potorti, Co-Director, Eastern U.S. Coordinator of Peaceful Tomorrows, who lost his brother James at the World Trade Center.
Kristina Olsen, Peaceful Tomorrows member who lost her sister Laurie on American Airlines flight 11, and who recently returned from Afghanistan.
Ryan Amundson, Peaceful Tomorrows Midwest Coordinator, who lost his brother Craig at the Pentagon.
Kat Tinley, Peaceful Tomorrows member, who lost her uncle Mike at the World Trade Center.
Joseph Gerson (Ph.D), Director of Programs of the American Friends Service Committee in New England, co-organizer of the tour, and recently returned from the founding conference of the Asian Peace Alliance in Manila, Philippines.
Regrettably, appearances by Dr. Misk Adel Jumah (Palestinian) and Roni Hirshenson (Israeli), members of The Parents’ Circle of Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace, both of whom lost their children in the cycle of violence consuming their region, have been cancelled.
Not all tour participants will appear at all events.
The tour will be visiting the following cities:
Philadelphia, Pa. Sept. 6
Foundation for Islamic Education
Contact Ben Waxman, AFSC, 215-241-7000, BWaxman@afsc.org
New York City (Manhattan) Sept. 7
Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Synod Hall, corner of Amsterdam Avenue at Cathedral Parkway (110th Street), 7pm.
Contact David Potorti, Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows 919-466-9355,
or Cheshire Frager, AFSC 212-598-0950 ex. 0963, Cfrager@afsc.org
New York City (Brooklyn) Sept. 8
Park Slope United Methodist Church, 8th Avenue at corner of 8th Street, Park Slope, 7pm. Nearest subway: “F” train to 7th Ave. stop, back of the train coming from Manhattan. Contact Eliabeth Braddon or Liz Schell at email@example.com 1-718-768-3093.
Boston, MASS. Sept. 9
Boston College and Faneuil Hall
Contact Joseph Gerson AFSC,
617-661-6130, Jgerson@afsc.org or Janet Culpepper
Northampton, MASS. Sept. 10
Contact Jo Commerford
AFSC 413-584-8975 firstname.lastname@example.org
Providence, R.I. Sept. 11
Contact Anna Galland AFSC
New Haven, Connecticut Sept. 12
Contact Marcia Morris AFSC
Chicago, IL. Sept. 13
Contact Chuck Hutchcraft
AFSC 312-427-2533, Chutchcraft@afsc.org
St. Louis, MO. Sept. 14 -15
Contact Lori Reed,
September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (www.peacefultomorrows.org) is an advocacy organization formed by family members of September 11 victims. Its mission is to seek effective, nonviolent responses to terrorism, and to identify a commonality with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world. The group is urging the American government to create a fund that would compensate Afghan people who lost members of their family to the war. On Sept. 11, the group, along with U.N. General Assembly President Mr. Jan Kavan and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, will be honored at an interfaith service marking the opening of the 57th Session of the United Nations General Assembly entitled, “A Celebration of Remembrance and Hope, Dedicated to Victims of Violence Everywhere.”
Founded in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian victims during World War I, AFSC (www.afsc.org) is grounded in Quaker beliefs respecting the dignity and worth of every person. AFSC has programs in the United States, and in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East that focus on issues related to economic justice, peace-building and demilitarization, social justice, and youth. In 1947, the AFSC and the British Friends Service Council received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends, for humanitarian service, work for reconciliation, and the spirit in which these were carried out.