Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

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December 2004

Gulf War Syndrome and DU: Boost from Lloyd Report
Time for the Truth
Action! Write to Your MP
European Social Forum
Inconsistency at MoD
Thank You Camille
International Day of Action November 6th 2004
Bank Watch: How Clean is Your Bank?
CADU Gigs Makes £300

Gulf War Syndrome & the Lloyd Report

At last, the Government has to admit that the effects of exposure to depleted uranium may be a cause of Gulf War Syndrome. This is according to the findings of an inquiry led by Lord Lloyd, a former appeal court judge, who found that damage to the health of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War was indisputably caused by their deployment in the Gulf and that the government should compensate them accordingly.

On 19 November 2004, the Guardian reported that:'The Lloyd inquiry authenticates the proper use of the term Gulf War Syndrome and endorses the studies of the Research Advisory Committee in the US. Together these constitute a total rejection of the psychiatric and stress theory.

There must be an immediate replication in the UK of the US studies that showed extensive brain damage in veterans, using nuclear magnetic resonance, and a study of motor neurone disease, which is up to three times higher in US Gulf veterans than control groups.

Both reports also identify the need for research on damage from vaccines and exposure to depleted uranium aerosols. Evidence from UK war pensions tribunals identifies the vaccine-induced auto-immune damage to the pituitary gland as accounting for osteoporosis and loss of libido in veterans; and also chromosomal aberrations, consistent with exposure to DU aerosols, in a veteran with three children, who all have various developmental disorders.'

In another report on 18 November, the Guardian quoted Lord Lloyd as saying that 'veterans were entitled to recognition 'that they are ill because they served in the Gulf'…and 'the most likely explanation may be a combination of more than one cause against a background of stress…' The Gulf had been 'in any view a very toxic environment'.

The report has no legal status, and the Government has said it will consider its response. A letter to Lord Lloyd from Ivor Caplin, junior defence minister, quoted in the Guardian, states that 'I do not agree we need to restore trust between the Ministry of Defence and the vast majority of the 53,000 or so veterans deployed in the Gulf in 1990-91.'

But it is encouraging that an establishment figure such as Lord Lloyd has recognised publicly the need for an inquiry into the use of DU. The Government can no longer ignore this issue: it is not going to go away. The Guardian adds: 'Lord Morris of Manchester, a long-time campaigner for the veterans and the architect of the inquiry said Lord Lloyd's conclusions had a relentless and compelling logic … Until now, if executive government refused an independent inquiry, it was 'end of story'. The inquiry ends that veto'.

Time for the Truth

When the Doha ammunition dump in Kuwait exploded in 1991, 100 US soldiers from the US 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment were seriously injured and another 400 needed medical treatment. A 50-strong contingent of Canadian sappers came to the aid of the panic-stricken troopers and were praised for their heroism and professional conduct by the American Commander. The leader, Major Fred Kaustinen, was commended by General John DeChastelain for his outstanding personal leadership.

When the story of their bravery was covered up, people thought it was to save the US embarrassment, as their soldiers had fled in terror, but the reason was far more sinister.

In January 2001, it was discovered that the Doha dump had in fact contained DU munitions. Canada's senior military preventive health officer, Colonel Ken Scott, had only been advised by the Pentagon of the exposure to DU in February 2000. He had not warned soldiers of the possible health risks - "it would only increase their stress levels."

The newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen, managed to track down 18 of the 50 combat engineers who had been in Doha. 10 of them reported that they now suffered from some form of immune deficiency-related ailments, while others stated that their children had been born with "congenital anomalies". No attempt has been made by the military to trace the remaining 32 DU exposed veterans.

Yet the Doha explosion produced "the worst DU contamination site on record", according to Professor Albrecht Schott, who explained that the heat generated by the blast was beyond what the U.S. scientists had believed possible, upwards of 2000°C.

Not only did the DU shells detonate, creating a radioactive aerosol, but the DU armour on the U.S. tanks also ignited and burned. Professor Schott says that the resultant "high temperature chemistry" created "new" substances which are completely uncharted in modern science. "These particular Canadian soldiers weren't just exposed to DU, they were exposed to DU plus," said Schott.

Of course, the Iraqi civilian exposure to DU is of even less interest to the military, so we are grateful to Dr. Schott for undertaking to examine the effects of depleted uranium on the Iraqi population. Hit by over 30 000 DU rounds during the Gulf War, the civilians in Iraq are currently suffering from a massive outbreak of leukaemia and congenital anomalies among their children. Until now, the United States has prevented any initiatives by the World Health Organization to conduct a full scientific survey of DU related illnesses in Iraq. We understand that DU has been used in urban environments in the latest Iraqi conflict. This strikes us as criminal. Given the secrecy about Doha DU exposure, what chance is there of studies into the effects on civilians of DU used?

Action! Write to your MP

1. Ask that s/he require our government demands that the US-led Coalition declares where DU was used and how much.

2. Ask that our government call for the World Health Organisation to investigate the health effects of Depleted Uranium exposure on Iraqi civilians.

3. Arrange for your group to see the film 'The Doctors, Depleted Uranium and the Dying Children', a documentary film produced for German television by Freider Wagner and Valentin Thurn, which exposes the use and impact of radioactive weapons during the current war in Iraq.

The story is told by citizens of many nations and has contributions from Dr Siegwart-Horst Günther, a former colleague of Albert Schweitzer, and Ted Weyman from the Uranium Medical Research Center (USA). Copies of the video will soon be available from the CADU office.

European Social Forum

There was great interest in 'Depleted' Uranium weapons and CADU at the European Social Forum in London in October. Here are CADU's Rae Street and Pat Sanchez carrying the banner on the Sunday march through London. It was windy and cold but the good spirits of the thousands of other European peace activists kept everyone going.

Inconsistency at MoD

The Ministry of Defence must be aware that DU is dangerous to its own troops in Iraq, because it is issuing a warning card about DU to all UK troops deployed there. If the MoD is aware of the dangers, why is it still using DU? Why are all troops not automatically given tests? And what about Iraqi citizens, who are not being issued with cards or offered tests, and who live all the time in an environment where DU has been extensively used?

Thank You, Camille!

We are very sorry to announce that our Development Worker, Camille Warren, has now left CADU.

Camille felt that it was time for a change of direction in her work. We wish her well in whatever she takes up. Along with all her colleagues in Manchester, we will miss her and we thank her for all the work she has done to develop CADU and to help establish the International Coalition for a Ban on Uranium Weapons.

International Day of Action November 6th 2004

Once again, campaigners have been active world wide to show their opposition to the use of DU and to call for an international treaty to ban its use in weaponry. The date chosen was significant: November 6th was the UN day for Prevention of the Exploitation of the Environment during Wars and Armed Conflicts.

In Brussels activists from the Coalition 'Stop Uranium Weapons!' held a protest action in front of the Belgian Ministry of Defence during which they symbolically sealed off the Ministry of Defence, as a zone contaminated with toxic and radioactive depleted uranium. Their protest was supported by politicians from different political parties as well as by a variety of peace and environmental groups. A delegation from the Coalition delivered a petition, signed by thousands of people, calling for a ban on DU weapons systems to the Ministry of Defence. The same demand was also presented to the Belgian Foreign Office.

A spokesperson of the Belgian Coalition 'Stop Uranium Weapons!' stated,
"The UN-Sub-Commission on Human Rights has labelled 'conventional' weapons that contain depleted uranium as illegal weaponry, because of the indiscriminate nature of the weapons. Uranium weapons cannot make a distinction between civilians and soldiers. Nevertheless, these weapons have been widely used in the US led wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. Belgium has still not ruled out the use of these weapons, and supports NATO operations that use depleted uranium."

Many thousands of miles away, 16 activists from United Neighbors Weapons Inspectors, BANDU and the Nuclear Resister newsletter, in Tucson, Arizona, paid a surprise visit to the Davis-Monthan US Air Force Base, where pilots are trained to fly the A-10s, responsible for firing most of the depleted uranium now contaminating Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

The Pentagon has refused to identify where DU was used in Iraq, so the activists called for whistle blowers with a variety of placards, such as "Where's the Depleted Uranium?", "A-10 Pilots Know - Please Tell Iraq", "Help Iraq Clean Up DU", "Depleted Uranium - Used Once - Kills Forever".

Unfortunately their white lab coats did not fool the base security officer at the gate and they were prevented from seeking out the pilots who could tell the Iraqi people where to go to clean up their country. Their action received good TV coverage, including a response from the Air Force declaring that over 50 years of scientific study had shown o adverse health effects from DU! (So why does the US government treat DU as a toxic hazard and danger to public health?)

They were not the only US group on the streets that day. Indeed a new group was launched in Vermont, the 'Network Opposed to Depleted Uranium Weapons'. The group denounced DU weapons at a rally of the statewide "Bring The Troops Home Now!" movement and followed it by a march to the Vermont State House. They are committed to the struggle to ban the production, sale and use of weapons containing depleted uranium through the use of popular education, community organizing and non-violent direct action.

Manchester held a meeting just before the day of action to hear at first hand about the effects of DU on the children of Iraq from one Joanne Baker, a recently returned activist and spent the day itself handing out leaflets and petitioning the shoppers in Manchester town centre.

Littleborough Peace Group was one of many peace groups in several areas who took to the streets with petitions and leaflets.
Small is beautiful too!

Some actions have been smaller than others, but by no means less effective. At CADU we liked the action taken by Joan Sheldon and her husband, both in their eighties. They took international petitions to Epson High Street and to day-centres, - proof that we can all do something, wherever we are, however many or few there are of us, to help get rid of these immoral, illegal weapons.

Bank Watch: How Clean is Your Bank?

After success in Britain in getting the Church of England to disinvest in arms companies, Belgian activists are taking the campaign one step further. They are now turning their attention to the banks.

They have produced two reports showing how the five most prominent international bank groups in Belgium are using their clients' money to invest in the arms industry. People were shocked to learn that their cash was going into the production of some very controversial weapons, such as depleted uranium munitions and cluster bombs.
This looks like a campaign that may have considerable scope for imitation here. The only bank we know is not investing in the arms trade is the Co-operative Bank. Why not check out your own bank, asking them to declare whether they have interests in weapons manufacturers or traders? We would be very happy to put the results of your findings on our website.

You can see the results of the Belgian campaign at:


A friend of CADU, Richard David ('Nibby') and a sufferer from working in the manufacturing processes of 'depleted' uranium, is taking his case to the High Court (see issue 18).

However, legal aid is not now available and he urgently needs extra funding for the case. If you would like to help, please send a donation to his support group by the end of January.
The NDDU Support Fund account is at:
Lloyds TSB
The NDDU Support Fund
Sort Code: 30 - 90 - 37
Account Number: 0144 5715

CADU Gig Makes £300

More than 60 people came to support CADU on 12th November. First on were Icons of Poundland, whose singer had come all the way from Falmouth (12 hours on National Express) , then Valerie (singer all the way from Glasgow) and then headlining were relative locals Flamingo 50 who'd just popped over from Liverpool. All bands and our lovely eccentric DJ Stef, Lisa who gave out hundreds of flyers, Hazel on the door and Dom lending us his 'geetar' amp even though he wasn't playing, gave their time for free.

The venue gave us a huge discount and a mysterious benefactor paid the hire fee for us. Thanks to all who contributed. CADU needs every penny, as we are trying to get an international treaty to ban depleted uranium weapons, similar to the famous treaty which banned anti-personnel mines. International lobbying doesn't come cheap!
Watch this space for further gigs and benefit nights

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