For Immediate Release
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, 415-235-6517
Jean Stevens, national media coordinator, 508-769-2138
TODAY: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist
Call for his release and tribute to Iraqis who have suffered under US occupation
WASHINGTON - In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist who threw his
shoes at George W. Bush at a Baghdad press conference Sunday, peace
activists will gather TODAY outside the White House with bags of shoes
representing Iraqis and U.S. soldiers who have died since the Bush
Administration's illegal invasion of Iraq.
WHAT: Peace activists, Iraq veterans to gather with shoes in solidarity to Iraqi journalist
WHEN: 11 a.m., Weds. Dec. 17 - TODAY
WHERE: In front of White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
They aim to show support for Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, who
hurled his shoes at President Bush while he spoke at the conference on
his "surprise" visit to discuss the war. Al-Zaidi is currently being
held by Iraqi police and questioned on his actions. The peace activists
are calling on the Iraqi government to release al-Zaidi without charges
and have set up a fund to support him and his family.
"It's outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for
insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths
of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced
Iraqis," says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. "The one who should be in
jail is George Bush, and he should be charged with war crimes."
The gesture of throwing shoes is considered a major insult in Arabic culture.
"Al-Zaidi's act of civil disobedience expresses the disgust that so
many Iraqis and Americans feel towards a man who has caused so much
pain and suffering," says Anas Shallal of Iraqi Voices for Peace. "It
is indeed a fitting tribute to the end of the Bush reign of terror."
U.S. veterans who served in Iraq will also participate in the shoe action at the White House.
"Having one shoe thrown at George Bush pales in comparison to the
suffering that veterans and Iraqis go through everyday," says Geoffrey
Milliard of Iraq Veterans Against the War. "Perhaps if Bush can see
some more of these shoes before he leaves office, he will feel some of
For more information, please call Medea Benjamin at 415-235-6517.
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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.