Andrew Jones In Iraq

Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection.

Andrew Jones speaks from a peace camp in Iraq where an international group of protesters have formed a human shield between armies to attempt to prevent the beginning of the Iraq War.

0:00Copy video clip URL Jones begins the piece by recalling reading in the newspaper about this action upon his return from shooting a documentary about kid reggae stars in Jamaica. “My first thought was, ‘Shit, this is a great story!’ But my second thought was, ‘I can’t let those people go over there without me… This is the group of people I want to be with at this time.’ I’m a black American and Bush had astutely put the deadline [for Iraq to pull out of Kuwait] on Martin Luther King’s birthday, January 15… Bush was assaulting an idea – an idea of peace – by putting it on January 15. It could have been January 18, January 20, it could have been anything, but he chose that on purpose, and I was pissed off at him for desecrating Martin Luther King’s birthday.”

2:11Copy video clip URL Upon getting word that he was cleared to go with the group, however, Jones started to get very anxious. “On the Friday night, man, before we were supposed to come, I called Jordan, and talked to Claire. And I asked Claire a very important question – ‘Claire, are there any gas masks in this camp?’ And she said no. And my heart went klunk. I said, ‘No gas masks?’ She said, ‘Yeah, there’s no point, man, most of this stuff goes through your skin.’ And just, you know, the way she said it was like, ‘Yeah. Ok, that makes a lot of sense. Ok. No gas masks.'”

3:35Copy video clip URL Jones interviews several people from around the world as they wait in the camp. One man explains, “I think people here are not suicidal. I think that these people, especially myself, are anything but prone to committing suicide. But I think we’re willing to take some serious risks to try and make a difference in a non-violent way… And I think we’re involved in experimenting in non-violent revolution.”

6:20Copy video clip URL As word comes that the action has failed and war will begin, Jones explains, “We came here from about 14 different countries. We came here for the idea of peace. We came here to put ourselves between two armies. We came here in peace, we leave in peace, on this day, January 27, 1991. And may God have mercy on all our souls.”


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