When President Bill Clinton makes a fund-raising visit to Cincinnati later this month, the International Policy Committee of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center plans to greet him with a protest of continued occupation of Yugoslavia.
The protest aims to let the president know that his conduct in the war has made him unwelcome in Cincinnati by the center and its supporters, according to a news release from the center.
The center has protested the war in Yugoslavia since it began in March of this year.
"We protest because America has committed a falsely justified, illegal and unconstitutional war against Yugoslavia that has made a mockery of its supposed humanitarian goals and degraded our country in the eyes of the world," Sister Alice Gerdeman, spokeswoman for the Justice and Peace Center, said in the news release.
Protesters will meet at 4:45 p.m. July 23 at French Park in Amberly Village, Section and Ridge roads. At about that time, President Clinton is expected to be attending a Democratic Party fund raiser at the home of Cincinnati lawyer Stan Chesley.
The Cincinnati-based musical group The Troubadours, an authentic Balkan-East European band, will perform at the event along with balladeer Raccoon and Melissa English from the band Stop the Car.
Gerdeman, in the news release, recalled the statement "Cruise Missile Diplomacy" as one of the more picturesque analogies that captures the upcoming mood of the protest. Using weapons of destruction to force a nation to act the way its Western counterparts would prefer sets a bad precedent, she said.
The center believes that force and threats of force are not sound policies that lead to the long-term resolution of economic and political problems, according to its position statement on the bombing of Yugoslavia.
The thousands of NATO sorties and escalating damage costs angers the group because it feels it violates the International War Crimes Codes and Treaties.
The group opposes perpetual states of occupation, specifically in the case of Cassava, Bosnia, and claims that NATO provided the public with misleading information, declared war without congressional consent and used the war as an excuse for spending taxpayer dollars on armaments instead of health care or social services.
Smaller and less powerful countries suffer at the hand of President Clinton, according to the news release, "with all the coarsening and indifference to the suffering of others that stands to bring to our nation's psyche."
For more information on the July 23 protest, call the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center at 579-8547.