Friday, April 13, 2007

Detroit Emergency Anti-War Demonstration Friday at Hart Plaza

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory

Event: Demonstration to Demand An End to Iraq War Funding
Date: Friday, April 13, 2007, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Location: Hart Plaza, Jefferson at Woodward, Downtown
Contact: Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
Phone: (313) 680-5508

MECAWI Calls For Demonstration to End All Iraq War Funding:
Money For Our Cities, Not For War; Bring the Troops Home Now!

The bombing of the Iraqi Parliament on Thursday morning inside the fortified 'Green Zone' in Baghdad illustrates clearly that the so-called 'surge' underway inside the country is an abysmal failure. This is taking place while the Congress and the President are deadlocked over how to continue an illegal occupation of Iraq, (to the tune of another $140 Billion), that has no prospect of bringing peace and stability to this middle-eastern nation.

Consequently, the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) is calling for a mass demonstration on Friday, April 13, from 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., to reiterate our call to end this occupation immediately. The American people, particularly those of us here in Detroit and Michigan, can no longer afford to spend hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to continue this national disaster. We need money for housing, energy costs, education, health care, senior services and job creation to resolve the economic crises here in our state and throughout the nation.

We are demanding that Senator Levin, the chair of the Armed Services Committee, reverse his current position and respect the popular will of the people of Michigan and work to end all war funding now. The funds allocated for the war are not supporting the troops but are being utilized to subsidize the defense and service contractors such as Halliburton-KBR, Titan and BlackWater USA. The only way to really support the trooops is to bring them home from Iraq.

In addition, we are calling upon Gov. Granholm to declare a 'state of economic emergency' in Michigan, which is within her executive powers to do so, in order to address the crises in foreclosures, evictions, layoffs, plant-closings, health care and school-closings in Michigan.

Members of the press who want to speak with representatives from MECAWI can do so by contacting the phone number and web site listed above.

14:10 MECCA TIME, 11:10 GMT

Explosion hits Iraq's parliament

Baghdad's Green Zone is supposed to be the most secure area in Iraq

A suicide bomber has struck Iraq's parliament building in the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad, Iraqi security said, killing at least two people and wounding at least 13 others.

Thursday's blast took place in a cafeteria while several ministers were eating lunch, said Mohammed Abu Bakr, who heads the media department at the parliament.

Muhammad Awadh, a member of parliament from the mainly Sunni National Dialogue Front, and Asif Hussein Muhammad, an MP from the Islamic Union of Kurdistan, was killed in the blast.

"We were having a meeting when suddenly we heard a huge blast inside the restaurant. I saw a lot MPs wounded and bleeding," Fouad al-Massoum, leader of the Kurdish parliamentary bloc, said.

Al Jazeera has learnt that three female MPs from Muqtada al-Sadr's parliamentary list were wounded in the explosion, along with three members of the United Iraq Alliance, the main Shia bloc in the parliament.

Taha al-Lihaibi, Salman al-Jumaili, Hahim al-Ta'i and two other MPs were injured from the Iraqi Accord Front, another member of parliament told al Jazeera.

The US military said that a total of up to eight people were killed in the attack.

US condemns attack

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, condemned the attack which she said was the work of "terrorists" opposed to recent US attempts to a semblance of order to Iraq's lawless capital.

George Bush, the US president, also condemned the attack.

"It reminds us, though, that there is an enemy willing to bomb innocent people and a symbol of democracy," he said.

Mahmoud Osman an Iraqi MP from the Kurdish Coalition, told Al Jazeera that the blast showed that there were problems with the US-backed security crackdown in Baghdad.

"It shows that the problem is not just a security one but a political one."

Osman said he hoped there would be a full investigation into the explosion.

The canteen where the explosion took place is on the first floor of the huge Iraqi parliament building, on the same floor as the 275-member national assembly's main debating chamber.

High security

Baghdad's heavily-defende Green Zone is the heart of US operations of in the country.

Apparently concerned that an attack might take place, security officials at the parliament were using sniffer dogs earlier on Thursday as people entered the building - a measure rarely employed.

Attacks in the Green Zone are relatively rare. Access is closely restricted to visitors carrying picture identity cards while everyone entering is required to pass through multiple checkpoints and metal detectors.

Anti-government fighters however regularly fire projectiles such as rockets and mortar rounds into the compound from outside its heavily guarded walls.

The Iraqi government will hold an extraordinary session on Friday to condemn "terrorism" In Iraq, officials said.

"The parliament will hold a session tomorrow as a challenge to terrorism," Mahmud Mashhadani, the Sunni speaker of parliament, told state television Al-Iraqiya.

Shortly before the attack, another suicide bomber driving a truck had detonated his explosives on a bridge in central Baghdad.

The explosion sent the bridge's iron spans and several nearby cars tumbling into the murky Tigris river.

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