Protesters Leave Britain for Desert Peace Camps With PM-Gulf Rdp, Bjt
LONDON (AP) _ Seven people headed today for Iraq where they planned to set up peace camps on both sides of the Kuwaiti-Saudi border in an effort to prevent fighting from breaking out.
″We are well aware of the consequences of our actions, but this is a point of principle in the traditions of Gandhi,″ said Pat Arrowsmith, a 60-year-old peace campaigner who left with the group for Amman, Jordan.
″The military forces will have to cross our camps and may even kill us if they want to fight,″ she said.
Miss Arrowsmith said Iraqi authorities had told the group it would be welcome in Baghdad.
The campaigners hope to set up camp sites on both sides of the border of Iraqi-occupied Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, where U.S. forces and troops from 25 other nations have assembled since Iraq’s Aug. 2 invasion of the emirate.
The 300,000 strong force - which includes 230,000 American soldiers - faces 460,000 Iraqis deployed in Kuwait and southern Iraq.
″It is our intention to select sites in key points which will prevent the movement of war material and forces,″ said Miss Arrowsmith.
She said that other peace protesters, including former pop singer Cat Stevens - now known as Yusuf Islam - would join them once the camps were established.
″We don’t know how many people will eventually be present, but it could be hundreds. It is a very strong peace movement,″ she said.
The activists were identified as Arrowsmith of Britain, Jean Dreze of Belgium, Bela Bhatia of India, Bassam Fattal of Ghana, Richard Crump of Britain, John Steel of Britain and a fourth Briton of Lebanese origin identified only as Sa’adAllah.