Dear writers and translators of WALTIC,
We are very happy to have you here in Stockholm.
With your words you can make us laugh, you can make us cry, you can make us understand our own conditions and those of others and realize that we are not alone.
The right words at the right moment can help to change the course of history. It is an essential and necessary task for humanity to erase illiteracy. It is part of the struggle for a better world.
You have expressed solidarity with persecuted writers and journalists. In Iraq writers and journalists who speak up for their countrymen and report about the occupation, academics, scientists and doctors, those who teach the coming generations in schools and universities, those who help the sick and wounded and those who construct and rebuild the water cleansing-and electricity systems necessary for the welfare of the people are being murdered or forced to leave Iraq.
The occupation of Iraq by the US-led alliance is destroying Iraq, destroying and plundering the cultural heritage of humanity. Cities and infrastructure, including hospitals, are being bombed in violation of international law. More than one million are dead and almost 5 million have become refugees in and outside Iraq.
The value of words has many meanings and should have so. We need fiction, humor, imagination and reality. We need to defend our own humanity by defending that of others who suffer the consequences of aggression, occupation, war and plunder.
We urge you to defend the rights of the Iraqi people. You can sign the appeal to save Iraqi scholars and intellectuals.
This appeal has been initiated by The BRussells Tribunal.
The pen is mightier than the sword when it unites people for their common goals.
You have words in your power and can use them as many of you do to defend the rights of oppressed peoples. The Iraqi people need your support as writers and translators and your courage to speak up and break the silence that still prevails.
USA out of Iraq!
Mike Powers/The Iraq Solidarity Association in Stockholm (IrakSolidaritet)