The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder, 018 9561919 (in Cairo)

Tighe Barry, CODEPINK delegation manager, 011-2019-4812932 (in Cairo)
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media coordinator, 508-769-2138 (in U.S.)

Parents of Rachel Corrie, Novelist Alice Walker Join Historic 60-Person Aid Delegation in Gaza This Week

CAIRO, Egypt

The parents of Rachel Corrie,
the 23-year-old American killed by an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer
in Gaza six years ago, will arrive here Thursday to join Pulitzer-Prize
winning novelist Alice Walker and 58 other Americans, Canadians and Europeans on a historic aid delegation to Gaza this week.

WHEN: March 5 (delegates arrive) to March 12, 2009
WHERE: Cairo, Egypt; crossing into Gaza at Rafah border

Press conference: 3 p.m. March 5, lobby of Arabesque Hotel, 6th floor. 11 Ramsis St., Abdel Mounim Riad Square, Cairo, Egypt

Craig and Cindy Corrie will appear at a press conference at 3 p.m.
Thursday at the Arabesque Hotel in downtown Cairo to announce the
purpose and itinerary of the delegation, the first of its size and kind
to attempt
to enter Gaza since July 2007. Delegates -- which include members of
the Jewish and
Muslim communities, as well as doctors, businesspeople, lawyers and
college students -- will meet with Palestinian aid groups,
Gazan women, and United Nations officials. They will also bear witness
to the aftermath of the three-week Israeli assault earlier this year
deliver 2,000 gift baskets to Gazan women, purchased through an
outpouring of donations through the CODEPINK website to honor Gazan women on International Women's Day, March 8.

"I have been to Gaza several times since my daughter's death," said
Cindy Corrie, of Washington State. "But now it is so important for
me to go back, after the people of Gaza have suffered such outrageous
devastation - beyond understanding, beyond imagination. I feel a
personal need to show the people that I am in solidarity with them, and
that I will continue to be in solidarity until the women and children
and families have the same opportunities that my family has."

Traveling at the invitation of the Gaza Gender Initiative of the UN Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA), the delegation will camp out at the Rafah border if Egyptian
authorities prevent them from entering Gaza, said delegation organizer Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder. Most
humanitarian groups and aid have been denied entry. Delegates will also
pressure the U.S. government to demand Israel lift the blockade and
halt settlement expansion into Palestinian land.

had an overwhelming positive response to this delegation and its
mission," Benjamin said. "Women worldwide feel tremendous compassion
toward the women of Gaza and
are ready for a U.S. policy based on respect for the human rights of
all people in the region."

For more information, please call Jean Stevens, national media
coordinator, at 508-769-2138 or Medea Benjamin, delegation organizer
and CODEPINK co-founder, at
018 9561919 (in Cairo).

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

(818) 275-7232