Vigil for #Yemen in #UnionSquarePark #NYC July 8th 2017.

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 by 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. The proportions are now epidemic. Last week the WHO estimated 179,548 cases and 1,205 deaths. Currently there are 275,987 suspected cases in 21 – of the country’s 23 governorates – and 1,634 deaths! Please help us raise a public outcry.

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