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To Afghanistan with Love on Valentines Day: Public Witness to Prevent Famine
Mon February 14 @ 12:00 pm EST
Public Witness to Prevent Famine — Return their Assets Now
On Valentines Day we send our love and solidarity to the people of Afghanistan by demanding that the Biden Administration unfreeze their country’s assets. These $9.4 billion are needed so the people of Afghanistan can have access to their own money to re-start their economy and feed themselves.
When the United States military pulled out of Afghanistan, the Biden administration strangled the country’s economy by freezing the reserves of the Afghan Central Bank held in the U.S, and imposing sanctions on those doing business with Afghanistan. Jobs and income disappeared, people could not afford to buy food and mass starvation is now occurring.
A December 20 letter to President Biden signed by 48 members of Congress states: “…we stand with American allies and humanitarian experts in urging the United States to avoid harsh economic measures that will directly harm Afghan families and children….The U.S. confiscation of $9.4 billion in Afghanistan’s currency reserves held in the United States is contributing to soaring inflation and the shuttering of commercial banks and vital private businesses, plunging the country…deeper into economic and humanitarian crisis.”
Since then President Biden has increased humanitarian aid through private groups and relaxed some of the sanctions he imposed on the country. But what is really needed is to jump start its banking system to avert economic and social collapse. Strangling Afghanistan is not the way to pressure the new government to govern in a more humane way. To deny Afghanistan its own money in this time of desperate need is criminal.
Please join us at noon on Valentines Day in a silent vigil in Downtown Crossing (Red Line & Orange Line MBTA Stations) to express our deep concern for the people of Afghanistan and to urge the public to contact their members of Congress to urge leadership in the effort to release Afghanistan’s assets to those to whom they belong. If you can you might consider fasting for the day to express your solidarity.
February 14 is a national day of action to end the economic strangulation of Afghanistan. Our action in Boston will be one of a number of such actions around the country. Contact us if you would like help organizing an activity in your own community.
In fact, you can call your members of Congress right now to let them know what out you think: 202-224-3121
Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action