The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Tighe Barry, 361-218-2353
Jodie Evans, 310-621-5635

CODEPINK Cofounder Arrested at Home of Blackwater Founder Urging Him Not to Flee to Extradition-Free UAE


cofounder Medea Benjamin and other DC area activists were detained at
the home of Blackwater Founder Erik Prince. The group dropped by to
deliver a letter urging Prince not to flee the US to extradition-free
UAE. His move, though couched by his PR team as a much needed break from
the US would in fact eliminate the possibilities that he could be held
accountable for the crimes perpetrated by Blackwater while under his
control. Benjamin was invited into the Prince home, she then proceeded
to explain to Prince's wife why she was delivering the letter; Mrs.
Prince then pushed Benjamin out the door and told her to "leave the
house immediately". Police soon arrived, entered the house to speak with
the Prince family. While statements were being taken by other
eyewitnesses, Benjamin was quickly hand-cuffed and arrested.

In light of the combat troop withdrawal from Iraq this week and the
ongoing build up of private security forces by the State Department in
Iraq, CODEPINK wanted to deliver the message to Prince that his fleeing
to a country that does not have extradition treaty with the US was
highly suspect given the violent and illegal history of his former

"The combat troops are being withdrawn from Iraq, yet 75,000 contractors
remain and Clinton wants to bring in another 6-7,000 more
arms-for-hire. The Iraqi people kicked Blackwater out of their country
and they are still making a killing off of US taxpayers. The fact that
Prince is allowed to cut ties and skip town is criminal," says Jodie
Evans, CODEPINK Cofounder.

Blackwater and Prince have been the subject of ongoing
investigations and litigations surrounding illegal and violent tactics
used against the Iraqi people. On Jan 30, 2009, The U.S. State
Department told Blackwater Worldwide that it will not renew its contract
in Iraq, though Secretary of State Clinton has awarded the company
(know known as Xe) several lucrative contracts in Afghanistan.

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