WASHINGTON - January 30 - During the World Social Forums in Caracas and Bamako that closed on January 29, CODEPINK’s campaign to stop the war in Iraq received enthusiastic support from women’s organizations and prominent personalities who agreed to sign the call and bring the signatures to their embassies on March 8, International Women’s Day.
Among the new endorsers is Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who became the 30,000th person to sign on at www.womensaynotowar.org. “There is no stronger force than strong women demanding peace,” said President Chavez, as he met with CODEPINK cofounders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, and “Peace Mom” Cindy Sheehan. “I’m delighted to sign on, and will encourage women throughout Venezuela to sign.”
Cindy Sheehan, Jodie Evans, Hugo Chavez, Medea Benjamin
World Social Forum, Caracas (Photo: CODEPINK)
“We were overwhelmed by the tremendous support we received at the Forum in Caracas,” said Medea Benjamin. “Colombian women of the Ruta Pacifica, who have struggling for a negotiated solution to their devastating civil war, said they would join us on March 8. Parliamentarian Nidia Diaz from El Salvador, the only country in Latin America with troops in Iraq, said she’d organize a big anti-war forum for us in El Salvador. And further north, the Canadian Autoworkers and Postalworkers pledged to circulate the Call among their union members.”
At the World Social Forum in Bamako, Mali, the main organizer and former Minister of Culture Madame Aminata Traore signed on, as did Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Executive Director of the African Women's Development Fund. “African women know all too well that women and children are the primary victims of war,” said CODEPINK’s Gael Murphy in Bamako. “That’s why they are anxious to show their solidarity with Iraqi and US women.”
The Women Say No to War Campaign hopes to get 100,000 signatures on their Urgent Call for Peace. On March 8, they will take the signatures to US embassies around the world, hold antiwar events throughout the US, and invite Iraqi women to Washington DC to talk to US elected officials and the public. To interview the cofounders about their experiences at the World Social Forums or about the Women Say No to War Campaign (see www.womensaynotowar.org), contact call Meredith Dearborn at 415-575-5543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.