February 14, 2001
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, MA—Lauren Cannon and Tom Jackson will bring “Reports from Basra 2000: Living under Sanctions” on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center Theater at Amherst College. Their firsthand report of the effects of sanctions on the people of Iraq is free and open to the public.

Cannon, 30, will speak about her recent experiences in Iraq. She traveled to Iraq in 1998 to witness the effects of sanctions on the people of Iraq, to bring donated medical supplies and to break the embargo, risking a $1 million fine and 12 years in prison. Last summer Cannon was one of six delegates who lived in Iraq for eight weeks as members of the “Basra 2000 Project.”

Tom Jackson will give the premiere presentation of his documentary video, “Greetings from Missile Street.” The film is based on the “Basra 2000 Project” in which delegates lived with Iraqi families in the Al-Jumhuriya district of the southern port city of Basra. Jackson was also one of the six who lived in Basra as part of the project.

“The Basra 2000 Project” is the work of Voices in the Wilderness, a Chicago-based campaign to lift the economic sanctions against Iraq. After first going to Iraq, Cannon organized non-violent demonstrations calling to end the production of the Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, which were used against Iraq, at the Raytheon Corporation in Andover, Mass. She served 30 days in a maximum-security prison for women for this action at the weapons plant. Cannon has also become a war tax resister since seeing the effects of the bombings in the “southern no-fly zone” of Iraq in '98.

The program is sponsored by the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Task Force of the Franklin/Hampshire Chapter of CPPAX, Amherst College Community Outreach Program, Traprock Peace Center, Northampton Committee to Lift the Sanctions and Stop the Bombing of Iraq, American Friends Service Committee, NOOR and the Amherst College Center for Religious Life.