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BACK DOOR Anti-War Newsletter

Human Shields - Waratah's Reports from Iraq:

Reports from australian Waratah (Rosemarie Gillespie) who is trying to prevent the war against Iraq by being a human shield and by providing an independent news source.

May 2nd 2003: Waratah has returned to Australia and she is safe!

Other locations for Waratah's Reports:
Try searching & or other Australian Active & Indymedia sites

Truth Justice Peace Human Shields: or

Up-Dated: May 3, 2003

2 May 03: A joyful piece of news - Waratah is back in Australia and safe!

Sources of Independent Reports and Resources from Baghdad: Link added 12 April 03

9 April 03: From ABC Website  Info added 12 April 03
”The five Australian human shields still in Baghdad may be forced to remain in the city until the end of the war. Speaking from neighbouring Jordan, former human shield Donna Mulhearn says she received word two days ago that all of the Australians are alive and well. But she says they may have missed their chance to leave Baghdad. ”The Iraqi officials had put a curfew on from 6:00pm to 6:00am but now of course the invaders are in control of the outside areas of Baghdad and the roads,” she said. ”So they’re saying that no foreigners are able to leave, so I think if there were any foreigners who wanted to leave, they would find it extremely difficult at this time.” The five remaining Australian human shields are Adelaide woman Ruth Russell, Queenslander Osama Al Shaban, Patricia Moynihan from Melbourne, Rosemarie Gillespie from New South Wales and Western Australian Michelle Poule. A sixth Australian peace activist, 73-year-old Perth Reverend Neville Watson, also remains in Baghdad but is not part of the human shield group.”

4 April 03 BD: Tribute to Waratah at a large Parliament House rally  Tribute updated 12 April 03
"Here are pics that Trish Fletcher took of Suzie Carcary holding a placard at a large Parliament House rally in Canberra on Sunday March 23rd, 2003. They read about what Waratah is doing in Iraq on the BACK DOOR anti-war site and they made this poster as a tribute to her courage." BD

1 April 03 HS: Misreporting in the Media regarding Human Shields in Iraq  News added 4 April 03
"In many publications around the world you will find reports that Human Shield volunteers have been deployed by Iraqi officials "to military sites instead of the schools and hospitals they had wanted to protect." Take these reports as a prime example of this wonderful information system we call the Corporate Media: a system of journalists who don't have the time or the inclination to check facts, who are pressured into writing sensationalist stories and who just want to get their pay packet at the end of the week." Truth Justice Peace Human Shields

26 Mar 03 BD: Waratah's New Song  Song added 27 Mar 03
To the tune of "Teddy bears Picnic":
"If you come down to Iraq today, you're in for a big surprise. It won't take long to realize, you've been told a heap of lies. No matter how many bombs are dropped, The Iraqis will not open their shop, So Yanks go home, Or go it alone, Out there in the desert!" Waratah

26 Mar 03 ITCI: Brief on Rosemarie Gillespie  Brief added 27 Mar 03
"GrandMother Waratah, one of the Australian Five Human Peace Shields in Iraq is a dear friend of mine and I am very concerned about her safety as well as the safety of all Human Peace Shields in Iraq. ... GrandMother Waratah survived crossing the blockade of Bounganville, risking her life to take medicine to the people, in order to become the main instigator of the Bounganvillean Solidarity Campaign in Australia & Internationally and kept us informed behind the fire lines. ... Now she is risking her life again for All of Us." Maria Pilar (Indigenous Cultural Teachings International)

24 Mar 03 Watts: Baghdad: More Angry  Phone call added 27 Mar 03
"All the Oz (Australian) human shields are OK. We're committed .. to staying here. I went to a hospital today, there were many pregnant women, who have lost their babies, the blast -- apparently makes them lose the baby. I have become more angry every day. ... Send them [Australians, troops] home ! They have no business being here." Donna Mulhearn, Human Shield from Maitland in the Hunter Valley
"I'm working on a report concerning the visit of the Belgian Doctor (name ? later) visited the hospital(s) after the bombing 2 days ago, there were 101 casualties in this one hospital (name ? on report). Women, hit in their homes, in the gardens, children very badly injured, burned, in Intensive Care. After last night it will be worse. It was by chance we, here, were not hit last night" Waratah (Rosemary Gillespie), Human Shield &  62 year old grandmother of Aboriginal and European descent

23 Mar 03 M: Two American Pilots Captured  Phone call added 27 Mar 03
"Keep the pressure up, on Howard. Withdraw the Australian troops, this is none of our business." Donna Mulhearn, Human Shield from Newcastle
"The Americans are running into stiff resistance. They have not (repeat: Not) have not taken Basra. I heard a plane was shot down … [M: Missile?] No, plane, fighter jet, two pilots captured ... (no pilots on Tomahawk missiles) Fairly reliable information ... Only mass civil disobedience (in Australia, USA) will stop these bastards killing more ... LAST NIGHT IT COULD HAVE BEEN US (now 14 Internationals, 3 Australians, at this Water Purification Plant)" Waratah, Human Shield from NSW (and previously ACT)

23 Mar 03 HS: Baghdad Bombed, Day and Night  Media Release added 24 Mar 03
"We have now entered the thrid day of bombing. Each day the bombing becomes more intense. Last night a missile just missed us. Now is the time for us to do all that we can to stop the war before more lives are lost. Nothing less than civil disobedience in Australia, America and Britain will stop the war now. May you be guided by truth, strengthened by love and grow in courage to bring peace to this troubled world." Rosemarie Gillespie (Waratah), human shield & independent news source

22 Mar 03 AS: Bombing of Baghdad, Calling All Comrades  Report added 24 Mar 03
"Last night the United States bombarded Iraq with 1000 missiles. ... One of them landed near the April 7 Water Treatment Plant where I am living. ... Just a small difference in the trajectory would have had the missile heading straight for us. There are thirteen Human Shields living at the site ... If the US tries again, misses again and hits us instead, we will be just become an unrecognizable mass of bits of concrete, human flesh and broken furniture. Not only would the missile kill all of us, it would also destroy the water treatment plant, which processes water for three million people. ... The United States, by firing the missile that landed so close to us last night, close to a Red Cross installation, has committed an act of criminal recklessness. These missiles are themselves clearly weapons of mass destruction" Waratah, human shield & independent news source

21 Mar 03 AS: Baghdad Kurdistan Orwell  Phone call added 27 Mar 03
"The invasion of Iraq is clearly against International Law. Obviously the Security Council was against it, would not for the American/Brit resolution, however much armstwisting the US tried. ... others: Australian soldiers who refuse to participate redeem the good name of our country, in great danger. " Waratah, lawyer specialising in international law

20 Mar 03 SI: Baghdad: No Bush - No Way!  Reports added 20 Mar 03
"The Shi'ites do not want a government which will just be a puppet of the United States either. All the Iraqis I have spoken to want the sanctions lifted, because they have caused great suffering, and none of us savours the prospect of being bombed to bits. Bombing is no way to win friends and influence people!" Waratah (Rosemarie)
"[the Americans] have no idea of the coming war. They seem to think they can bomb for a few days, and then walk in. No way. There would be a very vicious fight here, in Baghdad. With horrendous losses. People feel it is their country which is being invaded. ... And it won't be over in two days. Not in two weeks, not in two months There will be years of fighting." Wayne Coles-Janess

20 Mar 03 SI: The Latest ... Uncensored (From Wayne C-J & Rosemarie)Phone call added 20 Mar 03
"Question Max Watts: Can you, the Human Shields, leave - if you want to ? (as the Australian Government has been pressing you to) Answer Waratah: We can. But we won't. Q: Some of the Warniks, trying to put these efforts down, say you are "hostages" to Saddam, have to go where told. A: Utter nonsense. As usual. We chose where we want to go, our sites."

20 Mar 03 AC: GrandMother Waratah, one of Australian Five Peace Shields  News added 20 Mar 03
"I am an Indigenous Chilean survivor of American Foreign Policy/Pinochet induced dictatorship/Global Terrorism. ... GrandMother Waratah ... She has been a relentless fighter in the pursuit for Global Peace, equality, justice, truth, well being, dignity, freedom and self determination. Now she is risking her life again for All of Us." Maria Pilar, Indigenous Cultural Teachings International

18 Mar 03 HS: We Will Stick It Out, We Shall Not Be Moved  Media release added 19 Mar 03
"The five Australian Human Shields based in Baghdad are not intimidated by Bush’s threats to bomb Iraq. All five are determined to remain in solidarity with the Iraqi civilians who will suffer greatly from the planned invasion of Iraq." Ruth Russell, Donna Mulhearn, Osama Al-Shaban, Patricia Moynihan & Rosemarie Gillespie (Waratah)

16 Mar 03 BD: Preparations for the Bombing Raids  Report added 19 Mar 03
"Preparations for the dreaded bombing raids are now being made in earnest. Every where windows and glass doors are being taped up. Crates of bottled water are being delivered in haste. ... Most people here seem to be dealing with threat of bombing with a degree of stoic calm ... As Asmaa said: “We're not afraid for ourselves, only for our children”." Waratah, human shield & independent news source

14 Mar 03 BD: Daybreak (March 11)  Report updated 29 Mar 03
"The crippling effects of the sanctions, ... From children dying of leukaemia because of lack of medicines, to the shuttered shops on the main thoroughfares, to the little shoeshine boys and children begging in the street, the sanctions have left deep scars. Over 500,000 children have died from preventable diseases or the effects of malnutrition since the sanctions were imposed. One commentator aptly described the sanctions as "genocide masquerading as foreign policy"." Waratah, human shield & independent news source

11 Mar 03 BD: Women In Iraq  Report added 23 Mar 03
"... women in Iraq have a considerable degree of movement, are not required to cover their hair  ... Tertiary education is free in Iraq ... “People are free to have any religion thay like here”, Zaid told me. “There is no racism here ... " There is no discrimination on grounds of religious belief ... Christians are free to attend mosques and are made to feel welcome there." Waratah, human shield & independent news source

8 Mar 03 BD: From Bougainvillie To Baghdad  Report added 29 Mar 03
"From the beginning, Bougainvilleans resisted both mining exploration and mine construction. This was brutally put down by police employed by the Australian Administration in 1968 and 1969. At the same time Australian public servants and military personnel were being offered shares in Bougainville Copper Limited and told that these shares were a very good investment." Waratah (Rosemarie Gillespie), instigator of the Bounganvillean Solidarity Campaign in Australia

5 Mar 03 BD: Warheads in the Whitehouse  Poem added 29 Mar 03
"Still the warheads of the White House are not listening
As if we were dealing with china dolls, Or puppets on a string,
Minds fixed on bombing, from Basrah to Baghdad
Leaving a legacy of blood and tears
The bombing has started
It’s time to get up off our knees
To stop this new holocaust before it’s too late!
It is better to die on your feet
Than submit to the rule of the gun,
Those who invade, conquer and destroy ...

How long will it be
Before those who turn their guns on Iraq
Will turn on you?" Waratah, Quaker peace activist

4 Mar 03 BD: Iraq, after the bombing of Basra last night  Report added 29 Mar 03
"US planes started bombing Basra in earnest last night. ... The purpose of the bombing was to clear the way for American, British and Australian ground forces, in preparation for the ground war, the invasion of Iraq, which could begin any time after March 7th. The bombing, which killed six civilians and injured many others, was a clear violation of international law. In fact it was a war crime." Waratah (Rosemarie Gillespie), lawyer specialising in international law

3 Mar 03 BD: Waratah reporting from Iraq  Report added 29 Mar 03
"The United States appears to have started its psychological warfare campaign, and fired its opening shots. ... When I arrived at Basra in Southern Iraq, I was told that American warplanes had bombed the outskirts of Basra the previous night. The bombing had started at about 2.20 in the morning, about 10 to 20 bombs.  They went off with loud explosions, startling the townspeople. ... It appears that both a power station and a communications centre was hit." Waratah

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