top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Anti-War
STOP THIS WAR – SUPPORT THE UKS HUMAN SHIELD MISSION TO IRAQ
by Ken Nichols O’Keefe (uksociety [at] hotmail.com)
Thursday Dec 26th, 2002 11:54 AM
Are you a person who sees the world going terribly wrong? Are you unable to devote your life to worthy causes you feel most passionate about? Then please look at this proposal, those of us who are able and willing need your support to stop this war that threatens to launch World War III.
huma-shield-12-26-02.jpg
U.S. Gulf War Vet Calls for Support for the Universal Kinship Societies Human Shield Mission to Iraq
Strategy
It is the intent of the Universal Kinship Society to purchase or acquire a bus that can carry as many as 40-50 people to Iraq in order to act as “Human Shields.” This bus will be used to transport volunteers to and from Iraq and later used for similar missions to Palestine and/or Chechnya after the Iraq campaign. The strategy being to carry peoples (especially Western people) to “hotspots” where war and oppression dominate. This “Direct Action” is intended to prevent further crimes and highlight global complicity with these crimes by our (Western) governments. Voting and recycling is clearly not enough, so those of us who truly care can now join this action and employ the same principles Gandhi employed to defeat the tyrannical British Empire. Our strategy is ambitious and potentially dangerous but in our opinion valid and necessary if we are truly seeking a better world. Our hope is that our numbers (power) will grow as our mission(s) become well known and successful. What is most important is that we try and try intelligently to stop war, Gandhi is the example that we will refer to most. Ultimately the goal is to spread Western lives around the planet, which would go a long way to eliminating war as such an easy option for tyrants. It will also serve to provide ambassadors of peace from the West so that non-Westerners understand that despite the policies of our governments, we see ourselves as brothers and sisters in the human family. It is up to us, as the originator of this action I give my word that I will pursue these goals even if it means that I am to lose my life. I cannot make any greater commitment than that and I am not alone, what we need is the resources to compliment our determination.

Budget
The costs associated with our Human Shield Mission to Iraq are fluid and impossible to pinpoint at this moment. This is true because we cannot know at this organizational stage how many people will participate, and therefore the size of the vehicle(s) needed, and the food required to feed our volunteers. So the following budget is an estimate that strives to be realistic first and foremost. It is important to note that any funds remaining are to be used to provide direct humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people with no middleman whatsoever, in other words the money will go directly to the cause.

Travel Costs (Necessary)
I know that we can obtain a bus that will suit our needs for as little as 3000-6000 Euro. Of course with more funds we could acquire a better (more reliable) bus, but our primary concern is to get the least expensive bus that can do the job we require. Fuel costs are estimated to be under 1500 Euro. This is based on a 5000-kilometer journey from London to Baghdad via several European cities along the way. We are hopeful that we can find a volunteer who is a licensed bus driver and that is being pursued but if we are unable to find a driver we will later budget at least 1000 Euro. Food costs are only for the journey, once in Iraq food will be supplied for volunteers. Food costs are therefore minimal. Based on 5 Euro per day per person for a two week period the cost per 20 volunteers will be 1400 Euro. But this should be reduced further as we can expect donated food to the point that our food costs will be greatly reduced.

Desired Items
GSM Phone with International Service. Cost is 100 Euro per month, 1 Euro per minute for incoming minutes, 2 Euro per minute for outgoing minutes anywhere in the world. Lap top and Data service is also available and this will allow access to critical contacts such as international media and others. I for one will be on the streets if/when the bombing and invasion occur and I will give instant reports of what is going on. Not only will this communication ability be useful for reporting purposes but also for safeties sake it could save lives. Therefore this phone(s) is quite critical and could easily be listed as a Necessary Item instead of “Desired.” But first and foremost is to get there, so it is listed accordingly.
Late Model Laptop Computer (1200-2000 Euro). As a webmaster myself I will also be posting daily updates to our website (http://www.uksociety.org) if the ability to do so exists. We need a laptop for this and also to keep lower cost communication (email) with those in the world who are supporting our action. Also a very important item.
Three Chip Digital Camera (2500 Euro). I have a lesser quality digital camera but its abilities in low light is not desirable, aside from this I would rather use it as a backup. Things can go wrong with cameras and it is always wise to have a backup. We may have professional journalists/filmmakers with us, in fact this has been proposed by at least two such parties and may easily become more. However, it is still wise for us to have our own documentary abilities so there will be no relevant information “edited” out of the story.

Misc
As with all things in life, things go wrong, unexpected costs arise and therefore it is wise to have some funds in reserve. I believe that 1000 Euro is the minimal amount we should carry for this purpose on this action.

Totals

Travel Costs 5900-8900 Euro

GSM Phone with International Service 600-1000 Euro (two months)

Late Model Laptop Computer 1200-2000 Euro

Three Chip Digital Camera 2500 Euro

Misc 1000-2000 Euro



Total Expenses (Necessary) 6900-10900 Euro



Total Expenses (Desired) 12200-18400 Euro

Additionally, the Universal Kinship Society is a tax-exempt non-profit organization with a status classification of 509(a) (1) under the Internal Revenue Code of the United States. I am the acting president of the Universal Kinship Society so I am therefore in a legal position to accept funds and provide receipt of said funds. Under U.S. law all donations from U.S. citizens are tax-exempt therefore any donation will be deducted from your federal tax debt at the end of the tax year. As of this moment I do not know the laws of European nations with regard to tax exemptions but I would be extremely surprised if a donation to our organization is not at least partially a tax write off. Of course some of you may want to donate anonymously, if that be the case everybody will have their privacy honored.

For The Record - The Universal Kinship Society was set up to produce documentaries about ethical and ecological movements around the world from an “active participant” perspective. Accordingly, all of the donations we receive will be used for that purpose.

At this point international press including the London Times and Guardian are publishing stories and considering sending their own journalists on our mission. Independent media are being notified around the world and we have only just begun our preparations. More and more people are contacting to volunteer or support each day and I am eminently confident that this action will be more than just inspirational, I intend to see it grow to its full potential. Considering how much money is going into bureaucratically controlled efforts I would argue that this action is an admirable investment with direct returns that few such efforts could hope to provide. I and others honestly believe that this type of Direct Action in mass, has every capacity to stop all the wars we may be facing. Once again, I would refer to Gandhi, who would have thought his non-violent principles could have achieved what they did.

It is my deep hope that those of you who see the worth of this action will contribute immediately. As much as I do not care about money it is necessary for life in this world and certainly for the action we commit ourselves outlined above. Please contact us immediately if you have any questions at 31(0)6 2220 4574 (Holland) or by email at uksociety [at] hotmail.com.
Sincerely,


Ken Nichols O’Keefe
Universal Kinship Society
Universal Kinship Society information:
 Employer Identification Number 99-0344439
 DLN Number 17053295007049
 Foundation Status Classification 509(a) (1)
Donations Made Out To The Universal Kinship Society & Sent To:
MR DRS P.B.PH.M BOGAERS
ATTN; Ken Nichols O'Keefe
Schakelstede 1-3
3431 HB Nieuwegein
Netherlands
It is imperative that these funds are received by immediately or by January 18th at the very latest.

Latest News on Human Shield Mission Iraq
By Ken Nichols O’Keefe email – uksociety [at] hotmail.com phone Holland 31(0)6 2220 4574
Plan of Action as of Dec. 26
If you are ready to join our action we need to have your information that is required for Iraqi visas. Approval for our Human Shield Mission into Iraq has been obtained by Iraqi officials. Having said that I say categorically that our action is not in support or supported by the Iraqi Government. This action was initiated by people who reject war and feel strongly enough about this that they are willing to risk their own safety in defense of innocent Iraqi lives. If you are ready to commit we need to have your full name, date of birth and nationality for the visa and we need this immediately.

We request that each one of you also write a short (or longer) statement as to why you are joining this action. This is requested in the interest of negating the inevitable accusations that in doing this we are supporting Saddam Hussein, of course that is patently ridiculous but we cannot completely stop corporate media from saying it. Please take the time to do this, then we can expose corporate media for what they are if they try to falsely associate our action with Saddam Hussein. After doing this (only if you approve) we will post these statements on the Universal Kinship Society website (http://www.uksociety.org). We will also have a written form that is mandatory for each person to sign that declares whether they are involved in investigations or associated with in any way such agencies as the CIA or other “intelligence” agencies. If you are, YOUR ARE NOT WELCOME! We cannot stop such cowards from seeking to infiltrate a good cause such as ours but we can prove them to be the criminal liars and killers that they all too often are.

Thus far British, Spanish, Canadian, American and Dutch media are posting our action and we just began the organizing little more than one week ago. I am getting contact from major corporate media such as the London Times and Guardian as well as independent media and they want to talk with you (if you are committed to joining this action). If you are willing to talk with them then call me or email me immediately.

If you are not willing to commit you can still very much help us on our mission, PLEASE DO! Contact everyone you know on your email list and post your view of our mission on IndyMedia. Contact NGO’s and ask if they will post notices on their email lists and if they can help fund this action. We desperately need a bus and quite possibly busses. We need organizers, we need fundraisers, we need medical supplies and clothing (for the Iraqi people), we need all the help we can get!

As things stand right now our departure date is tentatively set for January 18, 2003 from London, but this is subject to change due to the evolving situation. We plan to travel through Europe via London, Brussels Amsterdam, Paris, Dachau Concentration Camp, Zurich, Milan, Sarajevo, Istanbul, and Halab and ultimately to Baghdad. We may very well need/choose to add or delete cities along the way again depending on the situation at the time, our main concern is to get there before any war begins but at the same time we want maximum participation and awareness. All things going as planned we will conduct brief rallies and pick up more Human Shield volunteers along the way. If you know people in these cities we desperately need organizers to set up a meeting point and rally for each city. We also need liaisons back in the West to monitor our efforts and post updates on websites and with IndyMedia. This support base is critical to the effectiveness of our mission.

Once in Baghdad we will strategically place ourselves with the most vulnerable people such as families and children, hospitals, etc. Iraqi people and government are overwhelmingly supportive of this for obvious reasons. Everyone will of course ultimately determine where he or she will be once in Iraq so those who are willing to take greater risks can do so while others will do as they feel, everyone will be respected in being there period.

As an ex-U.S. Marine who “fought” in the 1st Gulf War I feel a special need to do more than probably most, while in Iraq I intend to visit victims of depleted uranium and the economic sanctions. I will be documenting this on video to make a short documentary. Anyone with documentary experience or other related skills is invited to join in this effort. Assuming the war does happen I once again feel a special need to document the treatment of Iraqis by the invading forces. This will be extremely dangerous and I expect nobody to participate in this unless they are extremely comfortable with their mortality. If you do want to participate in this you can let me know at any time.

When each person leaves Iraq is impossible to determine. For those who want to be able to leave at any time you must have the money to do this independently. We will however have transportation at some point where our presence is no longer useful or it becomes impossible to stay. Of course it is our desire/mission is to stop this war and protect innocent life. So as long as we serve to prevent war and death we should be committed to staying. For those who have definite time limits of course that is fine.

The organization and effectiveness of this mission will depend on all of us who participate. Those of you who are serious need to call/email me now, the organizational realities are overwhelming without support and that is a job we call all contribute to right now.

I am honored to be in the company of people who will take the steps that you are. I would rather be with you and the Iraqi people at this pivotal time in history than with anyone else. I am inspired by your commitment and I am sure that I will be making many dear friends. I am extremely thankful to you all.

Thank you all once again.
Peace Love Aloha,
Ken Nichols O’Keefe


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
unsettlementsJehovah EloyimWednesday Mar 19th, 2003 11:47 AM
HUMAN SHIELD?an AmericanTuesday Mar 18th, 2003 8:52 PM
Protests against this war are crucial...Sunday Mar 16th, 2003 7:22 PM
someone using my usual handlethe real ...Sunday Mar 16th, 2003 6:11 PM
The protests have failed again....Sunday Mar 16th, 2003 2:55 PM
I feel no pity, nor sympathy nor empathy.RiceBoySunday Mar 16th, 2003 1:44 PM
don't feel like an idiotDavid ClennonTuesday Mar 4th, 2003 12:46 AM
exposedscottieMonday Mar 3rd, 2003 11:41 PM
IraqScottieMonday Mar 3rd, 2003 11:07 PM
heheWhizWartMonday Mar 3rd, 2003 10:55 PM