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June 24, 2017


NYC Union Square Yemen demonstration0
photo by Bud Korotzer


Vigil for Yemen, 11 am to 1 pm in Union Square Park, Manhattan
Saturday June 24, by the equestrian statue of Washington

Why are we helping one of the richest countries in the world slaughter and degrade one of the poorest?

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed that the conflict and catastrophe in Yemen has received a significant up-tick in attention recently, and this is not simply because of the growing cholera epidemic. There is now a hopeful cause to be engaged.

Members of the NY Catholic Worker will be out protesting the ongoing US/Saudi bombing of Yemen in Union Sq. Pk. each Saturday, from 11AM until 1PM. We meet at the top of the steps at the south-end of the park, near the statue of George Washington on horseback. Please come out and join us as the humanitarian crisis worsens and voices of hope are being raised.

In March of this year, Human Rights Watch issued a report detailing 81 documented cases of unlawful attacks on the part of the US/Saudi/UAE bombing campaign in Yemen. In 24 of these attacks US supplied weapons were used. HRW has warned repeatedly that the duration and persistence of attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure would entail that weapon suppliers have knowledge of, and are thus complicit in, war crimes.

On the basis of these and other reports, in June, a bi-partisan group of US Senators, among them Rand Paul (Rep. KY) and Chris Murphy (Dem. Conn.) - put forward a resolution in the Senate to curtail arms shipments to Saudi Arabia. The resolution was very narrowly defeated, 53 to 47, and was thus a sort of victory, suggesting that concern for human rights and the rule of law were not yet dead.

Shortly thereafter we were told that the Saudi's have agreed to purchase a $750 million, multi-year, training program to help prevent unlawful attacks - a sardonically cynical response - followed the bombing of market in Saada, killing 25 civilians just a few day ago.

Currently, some 17 million - of Yemen's 28 million - people are food insecure Half a million children below the age of 5 already suffer severe acute malnutrition, which means that, if they survive they are still likely to suffer life long developmental difficulties. Meantime, 7 million Yemenis are on the brink of starvation  and more than 3 million are internally displaced. All of this is very much a consequence of the Saudi/US bombing, which for more than 2 years now has targeted civilian infrastructure: Hospitals, schools, factories, markets, funerals, sea ports, electrical power stations and water treatment facilities. More than half of the hospitals in the country on not functioning. Thus, while the armed conflict has directly taken the lives of some 12,000 people, last year alone more than 60.000 children died from a combination of malnutrition and otherwise easily preventable ailments and diseases like respiratory infections, measles, and cholera.

Most recently, malnutrition and compromised immune systems have been joined by their deadly counterpart, plague. In the past month there has been a vast rise in cholera infections. Three weeks ago 53,000 cases were reported, with over 500 deaths. A week later, over 100,000 cases were estimated and 800 deaths. Last week over 900 deaths are confirmed and suspected cholera cases stood at 125,000. Currently, according to the World Health Organization there are and estimated 179,548 cases and 1,205 deaths.

Please help us raise a public outcry.

Hope to see you all!
Carmen Trotta