Peace Movement Responds to "Iraq Troop Withdrawal": the Iraq Debacle Is Not Over

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Dana Balicki, 202 422 8624, dana@codepink.org

Medea Benjamin, 415 235 6517, medea@globalexchange.org

Peace Movement Responds to "Iraq Troop Withdrawal": the Iraq Debacle Is Not Over

Week of Actions Planned Nation-wide

WASHINGTON - 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.com; 925-212-7477]

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. [contacttighebarry@juno.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.org; 415-235-6517]

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@uslaboragainstwar.org]

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:lsavage3@gmail.com]

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 tbullock@uaw.net]

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.org]

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@hargray.com]

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 [contactfran.hanlon@gmail.com]

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 dana@codepink.org.

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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

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