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Peace Movement Responds to "Iraq Troop Withdrawal": the Iraq Debacle Is Not Over
Week of Actions Planned Nation-wide
WASHINGTON - August 19 - In light of the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq, CODEPINK and other peace groups, including Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, US Labor Against the War, are coordinating a week of actions to highlight the true cost of the war in Iraq and the problematic nature of the enduring US presence in the country. While the withdrawal is a step in the right direction-no doubt inspired by the tireless push of the peace movement-Iraqis will continue to suffer from the presence of 50,000 troops and 75,000 private contractors. Read the coalition statement and full list of endorsing organizations here."Just as the cost of the war in Iraq cannot be measured only in terms of lives lost or billions wasted, its end cannot be 'scheduled,' as is the unstated implication of combat troop withdrawal. For the Iraqis who have to deal with broken lives, broken infrastructure, a broken political system, the war is not over," says Cynthia Benjamin, mother of an OIF soldier, emergency room nurse and active member of Military Families Speak Out and CODEPINK. "It will go on and on for too many of our warriors and their families because of PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and other devastating injuries to our soldiers."
"With the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, the administration, the military and the media are trying to put a positive spin on this grim chapter of U.S. history. It would certainly give some comfort to the grieving families of the over 4,400 soldiers killed in Iraq if their sacrifices had left Iraq a better place or made America safer," Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange, states. "But the bitter truth is that the U.S. intervention has been an utter disaster for both Iraq and the United States.
Nation-wide events are planned for the week, including (see full list here):
Concord, CA: Vigil in front of the Veterans Memorial Plaza. Sunday, August 29th 2010, 5:30 pm. Veterans Memorial Plaza at the corner of North Broadway and Civic Drive in Walnut Creek [contact janet.weil13@gmail.
Los Angeles, CA: Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK parade, highlighting the realities and cost of war. Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 5-7pm. Los Angeles Federal Building/VA/cemetery on Wilshire between Sepulveda and Federal to end in Venice. [email@example.com; 310-920-8248]
Washington, DC: Discussion on the legacy of the 7-year occupation and the troop withdrawal. Sunday, August 29th 2010, 5-9pm. Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Sts. NW 5th and K NW [contact medea@globalexchange.
Washington, DC: Tell Congress to Stand Up for Iraqi Labor Rights. Monday, August 23rd 2010. House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Organized by US Labor Against the War. [contact nationalcoordinator@
Portland, ME: Veterans for Peace Convention. Public meeting Entertainment will be provided by Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm. Thursday, August 26th 2010, 7 pm. Public meeting at the UU Church (425 Congress Street in Portland) [contact Lisa Savage:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Detroit, MI: Campaign by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the United Auto Workers (UAW) and other allies: "Jobs, Justice, and Peace". Saturday, August 28th 2010, 10:30 am. UAW-Ford National Program Center, 151 W. Jefferson Ave [contact email@example.com]
Minneapolis, MN: Military Families Speak Out Bring the Troops Home Peace Picnic. Sunday, August 22nd 2010, 1 pm. Minnehaha Park, 4801 S Minnehaha Dr [call Mike Perkins (952) 238 8309]
New York City, NY: Film screening at Bluestockings. Tuesday, 31st, 7-9.30 pm. Bluestockings bookstore/café at 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington [contact katharina@codepink.
Hilton Head, SC: Standing vigil urging U.S. out of Iraq & Afghanistan. Friday, August 27th, 5 pm. Meeting point Rt. 278 & Folly Field [contact fintaylor@
Killeen, TX: Press conference by Under the Hood Outreach Cafe and CODEPINK Austin to address the real costs of the Iraq war, both human and economic. Monday, August 30th 2010,10 am. Under the Hood Outreach Center and Cafe 17 So. College St [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Please contact the listed emails and phone numbers to get more information about specific events-and see the CODEPINK Iraq Debacle Action calendar for a complete listing. **Representatives of the peace movement are available now for interviews, please contact Dana Balicki at 202 422 8624 or email@example.com.