News Release

9/11 Victims’ Families Host Conference Against Terrorism


Marking the fifth anniversary of 9/11, more than 30 victims of political violence from around the world will gather with 9/11 families for a conference highlighting solutions to terrorism that break the cycle of violence. The gathering is being initiated by September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn their grief into action for peace.

The conference, “Civilian Casualties, Civilian Solutions,” will include 30 terror victims from more than 18 counties, including Israel/Palestine, Russia, Ireland, Rwanda, and Colombia, who have created organizations that promote peaceful conflict resolution in their countries and communities. (A full list of participants can be found at Peaceful Tomorrows [PDF].)

The goal of the conference is to create an international network that will promote initiatives that support nonviolent solutions to terrorism and war.

“Five years after September 11th, we’ve seen the limitations of our military actions, which have often provoked more violence, more civilian casualties, and more anti-American sentiment than before,” said Peaceful Tomorrows co-founder David Potorti, whose brother James was killed in the 9/11 attacks. “This conference will be an extraordinary opportunity to listen to those who have been most affected by terrorism, violence, and war, and to learn how they have successfully promoted conflict resolution in their own countries and communities.”

Participants in the conference include:

· Jesus Abril Escusa of Spain, whose son died in the Madrid train bombings;
· Naba Hamid of Iraq, whose nephew was killed in the Iraq war;
· Febby Isran of Indonesia, who survived the 2003 Jakarta Marriott Hotel bombing;
· Olga Takaeva of Russia, who was present during the Beslan school hostage crisis;
· Jo Berry of the U.K., whose father died in an Irish Republican Army bombing;
· Father Michel Lapsley of South Africa, whose hands were blown off by a letter bomb sent by agents of the South African apartheid regime;
· Cherifa Kheddar of Algeria, whose family members were killed by Islamic terrorists; and
· Bud Welch of Oklahoma City, whose daughter was killed in the Murrah Federal Building bombing.

Participants will take part in a series of public events in New York City from September 8 to 14. Information and locations for all public events can be found at Peaceful Tomorrows.

A press conference featuring all participants is scheduled for St. Paul’s Chapel in lower Manhattan on Friday, September 8 at 3 p.m. Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize as the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, will make opening remarks.

Other information can be found at the Peaceful Tomorrows website.

To arrange interviews with Peaceful Tomorrows members and other conference participants, contact Gita Chandra.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167