For Immediate Release
Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, 415-235-6517
Gael Murphy, CODEPINK co-founder, 202-412-6700
On Day of Obama's Union Speech, CODEPINK Tells Obama His War Funding Check Has Bounced
Urges him to reduce deficit by defunding war
WASHINGTON - Today, before President Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on the economy and announces his plan to halve the deficit in four years, CODEPINK will display a giant check made out for the billions budgeted for war marked as "insufficient funds" outside the Capitol Building. They will suggest easier ways to cut the deficit - including ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and making other cuts in the bloated Pentagon budget.
"Our military is overstretched, our wallets are empty and there are no military solutions to these conflicts," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. "We can save money and save lives by focusing on negotiated solutions and bringing our troops home from both Iraq and Afghanistan."
At his economic meeting Monday, Obama said, "if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road." However, last week, Obama announced his plan to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Sending troops into the Afghanistan quagmire will only move us deeper into an economic - and political - morass.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Feb. 24 - TODAY
WHERE: East side of Capitol Building (where East Capitol St NE runs into the Capitol Building), Washington
The CODEPINK women, with their usual colorful outfits, will present the giant check - and their message and songs - to a cardboard cutout of President Obama. They will suggest he withdraw troops, call to close unwanted bases in foreign countries, cancel contracts for obsolete weapons and aircraft, and halt development of nuclear weapons. Research shows that investing the same money in non-military areas, including health care, produces more and better paying jobs.
"If Obama's long-term goal is to cut the federal deficit and balance the budget, while investing in diplomacy and foreign aid, he must address the $12 billion a month we are throwing in the black hole of war and uncontrolled military spending," said Gael Murphy, CODEPINK co-founder and United for Peace and Justice Legislative Working Group co-chair. "We call on Obama to give us the policy changes that will lead to the peace and prosperity the American people are yearning for and that he promised to make."
For more information, please contact Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, at 415-235-6517 or Gael Murphy, CODEPINK co-founder, at 202-412-6700.
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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.