New Movement To End U.S. Occupation Of Iraq Launches National Counting The Cost Event May 15

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - May 6 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- People from around the country are signing up at to wear numbers symbolizing the over 100,000 civilians and soldiers who died because of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Motivated by new information on the numbers of deaths in Iraq, and the lack of national discussion, participants from Alaska to Arizona, Boston to Baltimore, are signing up to participate in a simple but dramatic gesture. On May 15th across the country, Counting the Cost participants will wear their numbers and demonstrate - in silent vigils to large public die-ins.

Some individuals will wear their numbers to church or graduations. Some will simply explain the significance of the numbers to their neighbors. All Counting the Cost participants will stand together in their belief that the U.S. occupation of Iraq must end now.

The Counting the Cost campaign intends to use any surplus funds from registration contributions for humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians and anti-war organizing in the U.S.

The efforts of Counting the Cost were inspired by the Johns Hopkins study published last October. It concludes that over 100,000 people have died as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. (For the complete study see

"The public has been led to believe the war was nearly cost-free," said Philadelphian Josh Markel, one Counting the Cost originator. "The Hopkins study got a lot of coverage in other countries, but it has been largely ignored here in the U.S."

The event mourns U.S. soldiers, Iraqis, coalition military, aid workers, UN staff, journalists, and contractors dead during the war. "They will try to forget the faces, the memory, the boots of all of these dear souls, and the 100,000 Iraqis who lie in their own land," said Celeste Zappala, of Gold Star Families for Peace, whose son Sherwood Baker was killed in Iraq on April 26, 2004.

"The government has prohibited photographs of the caskets with the military dead. General Tommy Franks said 'we don't do body counts' of the Iraqi dead. We believe that the U.S. people should know the war's true cost and demand an end," said Mary Day Kent, Director of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, one of the sponsors for the Counting the Cost project.

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