Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC)
Vigils Throughout the U.S. Will Mourn Aid Worker Marla Ruzicka and Commemorate Civilian Victims of War Today, Tuesday, May 3
In 20 Cities and Towns - From Pasadena, CA; to Salt Lake City, Utah; to Helena, Montana; to Grand Prairie, Texas; to Panama City, FL, Communities Inspired by Ruzicka’s Life Will Hold Vigils Today
Pasadena Resident, and Marla's Sister Organizes a ''Casual and Upbeat Memorial to Honor Marla and Faiz''
WASHINGTON, DC--At least 20 communities throughout the United States will hold vigils today, Tuesday, May 3 to honor the life and work of Marla Ruzicka and her Iraqi colleague Faiz Ali Salim, who were killed by a car bomb in Iraq on April 16, 2005. The vigils will also commemorate the thousands of civilians who have been killed and injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Marla’s story is one of compassion, and courage, and I think what she would want more than anything is for us to continue her mission and shine a spotlight on victims of war,” said April Pedersen, the US campaign manager of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), the organization Ruzicka founded in April 2003.
WHAT: A casual and upbeat memorial, organized by Jill Leighton, Marla's sister, to honor Marla and Faiz.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 3 ay 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
WHERE: Band Shell at Memorial Park (Walnut and Raymond)
DIRECTIONS: Located 2 blocks north of Old Town (Colorado Blvd)on Raymond and Walnut. Parking is availble across the street in a parking structure on Raymond.
Ruzicka created CIVIC to count casualties, provide assistance, and pressure the US government to take responsibility for the innocent civilians harmed by US forces. Estimates of civilian casualties during the Iraq war range from 24,000, according to the Iraq Body Count project, to 100,000, according to study published in the medical journal The Lancet.
In Afghanistan, Ruzicka herself documented 812 civilian casualties (it was only done in 4 provinces); other estimates are as high as 3,000, according to a study by New Hampshire University professor Mark Herold.
"Marla was a tireless advocate for innocent victims of war, and now we have to be tireless advocates for the cause that was closest to her heart. Let's create beautiful vigils throughout the country, raise money on her behalf, and make sure CIVIC’s work is continued," said Pederson of CIVIC.
May 3 vigils will be held in the following cities and towns: Washington, DC; Asheville, NC; Byron, CA; Laytonville, CA; Fairfax, VA; West Bend, WI; Panama City, FL; Northampton, MA; Louisville, CO; Columbus, OH; Pasadena, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Santa Rosa, CA; San Francisco, CA Grand Prairie, TX; Helena, MT; Great Barrington, MA; Kensington/Berkeley, CA, Salt Lake City, UT; and Marla's hometown of Lakeport, CA.
Also on May 3 in San Francisco, CA a large memorial is planned,
and in Washington, DC a memorial in for Ruzicka is planned for May 14.
In Los Angeles,CA also was a vigil and memorial for Marla and Faiz on April 29.
For details about each vigil and local contact
information, go to www.civicworldwide.org