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Proclamation In Opposition to Military Action Against Iraq:

WHEREAS, the ultimate security of the United States is dependent on creating the conditions of life for all nations, working together cooperatively, that will eliminate poverty, injustice, inequality, environmental degradation, and other factors that breed war and terrorism; and

WHEREAS, any further military action would only inflict greater injury upon innocent people, mostly civilians, already suffering from unrelenting bombing and sanctions imposed over the last eleven years, and would certainly destroy that country's already severely damaged infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the twelve years of non-military sanctions against Iraq have resulted in the death of more than 500,000 children under the age of five due to inadequate water, food and medicine, according to UNICEF and other international relief organizations; and

WHEREAS, a unilateral preemptive war would be a radical change in the principles of international law and custom that the United States has always followed; and

WHEREAS, the Grand Rapids City Council cannot speak for all residents, but has been asked by many residents to speak out on this momentous issue facing our nation;

WHEREAS, a United States war against Iraq could have significant impact on the Citizens of Grand Rapids, in terms of the potential loss of life and disability among our members of the armed forces, as well as an economic impact as our local tax dollars are diverted to the costs of war, not returned to our State and our community to be spent on needed social, health and education services; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Grand Rapids City Council joins with the communities of Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Washington; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Takoma Park, Maryland; Arcata, California; Santa Barbara, California; Santa Cruz, California; Ithaca, New York; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Danby, New York; Sebastopol, California; New Haven, Connecticut; Oakland, California; Carrboro, North Carolina; Haines Township, Pennsylvania; Madison, Wisconsin; Burlington, Vermont; Detroit, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, and Traverse City Michigan, and with our U.S. Congressional Delegation, Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, in opposing a war with the country of Iraq, particularly prior to taking all available measures to cooperate with the United Nations in removing all weapons of mass destruction; and

RESOLVED, that the Grand Rapids City Council urges the government of the United States of America to work with and through the United Nations to obtain compliance by Iraq with United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning the disarmament by Iraq of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to fully support the work of the international weapons inspectors to Iraq for that purpose; and

RESOLVED, that the City Council opposes unilateral preemptive war against Iraq; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this be sent to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of State of the United States, the Michigan Congressional Delegation, the Governor of Michigan, the U.S. Council of Mayors, and the local members of the Michigan House and Senate.