NEWS FROM TRUE NORTH
Bruce Cockburn is Iraq Bound
Humanitarian Fact Finding Mission to Travel to Iraq
BRUCE COCKBURN is leaving for Iraq on Jan 10 and returning to Canada on Jan 22
Humanitarian Fact Finding Mission to Travel to Iraq
January 9, 2004 - Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (Detroit, MI) will lead a delegation to Iraq on Monday, January 12. The group will include renowned singer-songwriter, Bruce Cockburn (Montreal, Canada), and two Philadelphia residents: photojournalist, Linda Panetta, and physician's assistant,
Johanna Berrigan. Catholic Relief Services, and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Baghdad, will assist in coordinating activities for the group.
12 January 2004 - The mission of the trip is multifaceted and will include visits to
hospitals,schools,orphanages, and encampments for those displaced by
the war. Each of the delegates, with the exception of Cockburn,
traveled to Iraq just prior to the US invasion last March. The group
hopes to trek to many of the areas they visited in the past to better
understand how the war, and the ensuing occupation has affected the
general population. "I feel it is imperative to learn first-hand from
the Iraqi people what the international peace community can do to
best assist them," Berrigan stated.
"The calamitous situation faced by Iraqis is a human event that needs
to be understood by all of us. As a songwriter, it goes with the job
to bear witness to the human events; as a concerned citizen, I
welcome a unique opportunity to gain some of that understanding which
I hope to share with others," states Cockburn.
With thousands of Iraqis dead, and countless maimed and orphaned by
the war and occupation, the group plans to meet with community and
religious leaders to hear and observe how day-to-day living for the
Iraqi people has been affected.
"We have in the past experienced how much the Iraqi people have
suffered and endured and we know how much their faith has sustained
them. It is my hope that our solidarity with them will give them hope
and strength," stated Gumbleton.
"I certainly don't feel that most Americans have a real grasp on the
extent of destruction, poverty and destitution that has ensued in
Iraq since March; it is my intent to document this and to put a human
face on the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have been causalities of
this war and the occupation," said Panetta.
Johanna Berrigan co-founded the Catholic Worker Free Clinic in
Philadelphia that offers healthcare for the homeless and uninsured.
Seven years ago she also co-founded the House of Grace Catholic
Worker House which offers hospitality for the homeless. For the past
6 years Johanna has been committed to affecting change in Iraq and
has led several delegations to Iraq through Voices in the
Wilderness. This will be her fifth trip to Iraq.
Bruce Cockburn is an internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter. In
1979 his first major hit, "Wondering Where the Lions Are," marked the
beginning of the singer's international career. Throughout the 1980's
Mr. Cockburn produced some of his most emotionally powerful music,
songs like "The Trouble With Normal," and "Lovers In A Dangerous
Time." These songs capture Mr. Cockburn's deeply-felt commitment to
social justice, a theme that resurfaces in "Call It Democracy,"
and "Waiting For A Miracle," and others. Bruce Cockburn's career has
produced 27 albums, 20 gold and platinum records, and numerous awards
both in North America and overseas, including the Canadian Music Hall
of Fame and Italy's Tenco Award for Lifetime Achievement. Bruce
Cockburn received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, was
appointed to the Order of Canada, and has received three honorary
A partial list of organizations & campaigns that Bruce has supported include: Amnesty Int'l, Campaign for a Landmine Free World,
Corporate Watch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam, School of
the Americas Watch, The Suzuki Foundation, Unitarian Service
Committee, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Mine Action Service, and War Child.
For more info visit:
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is a longtime national and international
activist in the peace movement. He is the founding president of Pax
Christi USA, and cherishes his position as pastor of St. Leo's parish
in the inner city of Detroit, MI. As a member of the Bishop's
committee he helped draft the significant pastoral letter
called "Challenge of Peace," in 1983. Over the years his journeys of
peace have brought him to Vietnam, Iran, Nicaragua, El Salvador,
Hiroshima, Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Iraq (seven
times from 1990 to 2003), and Afghanistan. Among Bishop Gumbleton's
numerous honors and awards is Pax Christi's "Ambassador of Peace,"
and he has four honorary doctorate degrees. Bishop Gumbleton has
appeared on numerous radio and television programs, and has published
Linda Panetta is an accomplished photo-journalist whose work focuses
on cultural, environmental and human rights, with a particular
emphasis on conflict zones, including: Guatemala and Nicaragua (late
1980's to present), Mexico (mid-90's to present), Colombia (2001 -
Dec. 2003 to present), Afghanistan (2002), and Iraq (2003 / Jan
2004). Ms. Panetta is the producer and director of the award winning
documentary "An Insider Speaks Out!", which highlights the abuses of
the military training facility, the School of the Americas Watch (SOA). She
does extensive lecturing, using her slides to educate others about
the implications of US foreign policy and the realities of war.
Photos will be posted on: www.OpticalRealities.org
(photos from Iraq - 2003 are also posted on this site)
News article: Bruce Cockburn Iraq-bound
from True North
This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.