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Peace Demonstrators in US & UK Take Message to the Pumps: No War for Oil!

by C. Alario Wednesday, Feb. 05, 2003 at 8:09 PM

National Release: Peace Demonstrators in US & UK Take Message to the Pumps: NO WAR FOR OIL Day of Action at Over 100 Gas Stations Calls for Peace, Security, and Environmental Protection via Reduction of Dependence on Oil

From Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Tucson, Arizona and from London, England to Logansport, Indiana, more than 100 demonstrations at gas stations in the United States and United Kingdom sent a powerful message of “NO WAR FOR OIL” today. Demonstrators condemned military action and called on the Bush and Blair Administrations to reduce their nations’ dependence on oil as a key step toward sane national security and energy policies.

Thousands of citizens in both the US & UK, many who had never before participated in anti-war activities, educated their neighbors at the point where the conflict is “fueled” every day. Hundreds of gas stations in both the U.S. and the U.K. saw street theater, leafleting, pageantry, and displays of alternatively fueled vehicles.

"The Bush Administration has had numerous meetings with U.S. oil executives about the post-war control of Iraq's oil wells,” explained Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and founder of Citizen Works. “The American people have a right to know what is being discussed about the oil industry's designs on this gigantic pool of petroleum and what, if any, assurances they are being given by what is supposed to be our government."

Although the Bush administration has called the idea that oil is a factor in the reasons for war “nonsense”, there are multiple reasons to conclude that they protest that idea too much. Those reasons include: that Iraq has the second largest reserves of oil in the world; that the Bush administration is “of, by and for” the oil industry; that key Iraqi opposition figures are promising US companies access in the event of a regime change; that securing the oil fields is reported to be among the Pentagon’s top strategic priorities; and that oil company representatives are reportedly meeting with members of the Administration to discuss arrangements in a post-Saddam Iraq.

“By any objective standard, there is a substantial body of evidence that oil is a key factor in the rush to war in Iraq – the Administration’s denials of the obvious are shrill and incredible,” said Steve Kretzmann of the Institute for Policy Studies.

“We can’t bomb and drill our way to peace and security,” said Jen Carr of Peace Action. “The only way to reduce our dependence on the Persian Gulf and build a lasting peace is by eliminating our nation’s addiction on oil and dramatically increasing our commitment to renewable energy now.”

Damu Smith, Executive Director of Black Voices for Peace, concluded that “The Bush administration's mad, rapid march towards war will adversely and more acutely affect people of color and the poor. We must stop this war for oil which will kill and maim thousands and seriously wound the social fabric and economy of the nation.”

For more information on individual demonstrations and additional background on oil & war visit www.TargetOil.com

The Feb 4th Day of Action is endorsed by the following organizations:

Action for Social and Ecological Justice, Amazon Watch, Black Voices for Peace, Capital District Greens, Charlotte Fellowship of Reconciliation, Citizen Works, Code Pink, Corp Watch, Democracy Rising, Earth First!, Global Exchange, Global Response, Green Party of Manhattan, Greenpeace USA, Middle East Research and Information Project, MOSOP UK, Pacific Environment, Peace Action, People Against Oppression and War, Power Shift, Project Underground, Rainforest Action Network, San Bernadino County Democratic Central Committee, Sierra Student Coalition, Social Justice Center of Marin, Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), Students for a Free Tibet, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, The Ecotopian Society, The Ruckus Society and United for Peace and Justice

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