WASHINGTON - August 1 - After 28 days of fasting, anti-war hunger strikers received a breakthrough victory for their sacrifice: Leading members of the Iraqi Parliament invited fasters to join them to discuss their plans for peace in Iraq. On Wednesday, August 2, hunger strikers will travel to Amman, Jordan to meet with these Iraqi MPs and break their fast. The group includes:
Peace mom Cindy Sheehan,
Retired Colonel Ann Wright,
Iraq war veteran Geoffrey Millard,
Politician/Writer Tom Hayden,
CODEPINK co-founders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Gael Murphy and Diane Wilson.
The trip is being sponsored by CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the human rights group Global Exchange.
This invitation comes after fasters were rebuffed in numerous attempts to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during his visit to Washington last week, including setting up "Camp Al-Maliki" across from the Iraqi Embassy and publishing an open letter to him in one of the largest Iraqi newspapers. Faster and CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin was arrested for disrupting al-Maliki’s address to Congress last Wednesday, saying loudly and repeatedly, “Iraqis want the troops to leave, bring them home now!” The parliamentarians, who expressed concern for fasters’ health and dismay at the Prime Minister’s dismissal of their repeated requests for a meeting, will travel to meet with the US delegation in Jordan on August 3.
The Iraqi elected officials will brief the Americans on the Reconciliation Plan they have been working on at the Reconciliation Conference held in Cairo last week. CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin said, “It is a breakthrough for the US peace movement to meet directly with Iraqi parliamentarians working on a peace plan. We hope to return to the US to build support for their plan.”
With the increased violence between Israel and Lebanon, a part of the U.S. delegation will go on to Syria and Lebanon to bear witness to the suffering of innocent victims of war in the region.
For more information on the delegation to Jordan, please see www.troopshomefast.org.
The delegates can be interviewed from their points departure in the US (Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco) on Wednesday, August 2, and while on the ground in Jordan. For more information, contact the numbers above, or email email@example.com.