WASHINGTON, November 22, 2016 – Ciara Taylor, founding member and former Director of Political Consciousness for the Dream Defenders, has joined the leadership of the People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War. The Tribunal, which is being organized by CODEPINK, Washington Peace Center, US Labor Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and many other, will meet December 1st and 2nd to deliver testimony exposing the lies and the consequences of the Iraq War.
Taylor will guide the Tribunal to focus on both the specific and sometimes hidden costs of more than a decade of war on marginalized communities in the U.S., and the impact of U.S. imperialism on occupied and oppressed people in the Middle East and around the globe. She will close the Tribunal with the presentation of testimony that ties the Iraq War to racism, poverty and militarism.
“The Dow’s plummet and the rapid appreciation of stocks in technology and military weaponry corporations like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Tech, and General Dynamics immediately following the election of Donald Trump foreshadows the imminent militarization and war that is to come.” said Taylor. “In the remaining months of Obama’s presidency, we have an opportunity to demand that his legacy be used to fulfill his promise of repealing the Authorization of the Military Use of Force and to establish a Commission for Truth and Accountability to lead this nation on a path to peace.”
Those testifying at the Tribunal will deliver evidence and give statements via video, live-streaming and in-person. Day one will focus on the lies that drove the rush to war, while day two will focus on the costs of the war.
“This country’s decision to invest in the destabilization of communities around the world in places like Iraq is directly connected to the decision not to invest in the stabilization and support of oppressed communities within the US. This must be named,” states Rachel Gilmer, co-creator of the Vision for Black Lives Policy Platform and testifier for the People’s Tribunal.
Alongside Gilmer, those scheduled to testify include former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader and Attorney Inder Comar, who will deliver the documents that make up the ongoing class action suit against six members of the George W. Bush administration alleging that the Iraq War constituted a war of aggression.
“After 14 years of costly war based on lies, it’s time for truth and accountability,” said Jodie Evans, CODEPINK co-founder. “We started the People’s Tribunal as a platform to tell the truth as loudly as the architects of this war told their lies. We know that once the case has been made, the need for President Obama to establish a commission on Truth and Accountability will be irrefutable.”