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FOR convenes meeting of peace activists and President Ahmadinejad

BREAKING ANNOUNCEMENT: FOR convenes groundbreaking dialogue between President Ahmadinejad and American peace activists

Media Advisory - Wednesday, 9/24/08 5:00pm

What: The Fellowship of Reconciliation will convene a meeting between U.S. peace activists and the President of Iran.

Who: Over 150 leaders of the U.S. peace movement (see selected list below) and Iranian leaders, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, and U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee.

When: Wednesday, September 24th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Where: Mid-town Manhattan, in a location convenient to the United Nations.

Why: The Fellowship of Reconciliation sees connection between people as a constructive way to address the conflict between our governments. While we have disagreements with President Ahmadinejad, we believe there is value in engaging him in dialogue so that we all have the opportunity to better understand each other’s perspectives. Public conversation between civil society and policy-makers is a goal we also seek here at home in the United States. We hope that meetings like this may serve as an opening for diplomatic resolution of our problems, so that we can avoid military solutions. We are united in our desire to prevent a possible war with Iran.

Selected list of participants:

  • Leaders of all three national peace and anti-war coalitions: United for Peace and Justice (Leslie Cagan, national coordinator; Judith Le Blanc, national organizing coordinator; George Paz Martin, national co-chair); Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (Brian Becker, Sarah Sloan, Monica Somocurcio); and Troops Out Now Coalition/Stop War On Iran Campaign (Larry Holmes, director; Sarah Flounders, campaign director; Dustin Langley; Joyce Chediac Wilcox).
  • Leaders of religious organizations: Rev. William Sinkford, president, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations; Marie Dennis, president, Pax Christi International; Rabbi Michael Feinberg, executive director, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition; Joe Volk, executive secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation; The Rev. Rick Ufford-Chase, executive director, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
  • Leaders of advocacy & activist organizations: Rostam Pourzal, president, U.S. Coalition Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran; Medea Benjamin, cofounder, Global Exchange and CodePink; Jodie Evans, cofounder, CodePink; Nick Jehlen, founder, Enough Fear
  • Leaders of policy organizations & NGOs: Robert Naiman, national coordinator, Just Foreign Policy; Jonathan Granoff, president, Global Security Institute; Vicente Garcia, program director, Americans for Informed Democracy; Ambassador William Miller, Search for Common Ground.
  • Plus leaders in Iranian-American organizations (American-Iranian Council, American-Iranian Friendship Committee, American Iranian Friendship Council); peacemaking groups (Peace Action, Nonviolence International, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Women Against War); professional networks (Physicians for Social Responsibility, Union of Concerned Scientists); former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; and many more.

More information about the meeting’s proceedings and outcomes will be released on Thursday, 9/25/08.

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