Ramsey Clark, a member of PBI’s first Central America project committee, dies at 93

Published by Brent Patterson on

Ramsey Clark in 1990. Photo by Mark Pesetsky/AP.

Ramsey Clark, who was a member of PBI’s first Central America project committee in 1982, has passed away at 93 years of age.

As the Assistant Attorney General, Clark supervised the drafted of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Later, as the Attorney General he supported the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

After he left public office, he supported many antiwar causes.

The Guardian reports: “In the court of public opinion, he charged the US with militarism and arrogance, starting with the Vietnam war and continuing with Grenada, Libya, Panama and the Gulf war.”

“When Clark visited Iraq after Operation Desert Storm and returned to accuse the US of war crimes, Newsweek dubbed him the Jane Fonda of the Gulf war.”

That article adds: “Clark’s client list included such peace and disarmament activists as the Harrisburg seven and the Plowshares eight.”

Gloria La Riva has also recounted: “Whether it was defying U.S. bombs in North Vietnam in 1972 or counting the bodies in Panama morgues and the bombed-out neighborhood of El Chorrillo to tally the true number of casualties in the 1989 U.S. invasion, Ramsey risked his life countless times to bring back the truth of U.S. aggression.”

“He famously traveled 2,000 miles through Iraq in the midst of intense bombing during the 1991 U.S. Gulf War to bring back the only uncensored film of the war. And for 12 years until the 2003 U.S. war and occupation, Ramsey led an international campaign against the U.S. total blockade of Iraq — sanctions more deadly than a bombing war.”

She adds: “On Jan. 1, 1994, when the Zapatista rebellion rose up in Chiapas, Mexico, Ramsey, true to form, knew he had to be there to investigate and show his support.”

PBI’s earliest work in Central America included a short presence in Jalapa, Nicaragua in September 1983, with a PBI team interposing themselves between US-backed Contras and Sandinista military forces.

That early work also included the formation of PBI-Guatemala in 1983 at a time of intense state repression and the accompaniment of threatened organizations in El Salvador starting in 1987.

PBI-Canada acknowledges Ramsey Clark’s contributions to PBI and his commitment to peace and social justice.

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