|Press Release Contact: Nancy Mancias 202-422-8624
Thursday, July 13 Diane Wilson 361-676-0663
Anti-war Hunger Strikers Join
to Show Cost of War at Home
Ben & Jerry's Donate New Ice-Cream “American
calling for poor to get greater slice of the national budget
WHEN: Friday, July 14, 5 pm
WHERE: Community for Creative Nonviolence Homeless
Shelter, 425 2nd St. NW, Washington DC
WHO: Abdul Nurrididin, Director of the Community for Creative
Nonviolence, Arafa Speaks, Homeless Advocate, CODEPINK
fasters Diane Wilson and Medea Benjamin, Iraqi businessman
Local homeless advocates and people in their second week of
a fast to bring the troops home from Iraq (see www.troopshomefast.org)
will gather for an ice cream giveaway and a press conference
in front of the Community for Creative Nonviolence, a homeless
shelter founded by Mitch Snyder, another long-term faster
and homeless advocate. Ben & Jerry's has donated
their new ice cream—American Pie—to show how the
billions of dollars we have spent on the war in Iraq has had
a debilitating effect on the poor here at home.
Every year over 2.3 million to 3.5 million people in the United
States experience go homeless, many of them veterans from
the Vietnam war and increasingly veterans from the Iraq war.
The homeless rate in DC has doubled in the last 5 years, with
over 16,000 people becoming homeless and 6,000 actually living
in streets, alleys, and vehicles. Eighty percent of the city's
homeless are African Americans and 70 percent of the homeless
in the DC region suffer from mental illness. Yet the city
of DC has shut down 2 homeless shelters and scheduled another
for closure while at the same time funneling 1.5 billion dollars
for the Iraq war effort. That $1.5 billion could have paid
for building 10,000 affordable housing units or provided 375
million meals for the homeless.
"It's criminal that they're spending all this money killing
people in Iraq and here at home people are dying on our streets
because they don't have jobs or housing,” says homeless
activist Arafa Speaks.
Diane Wilson, who has been on a water-only fast for 10 days
as part of the Troops Home Fast organized by CODEPINK,
"We'd make a lot more friends in the world feeding people
ice cream and bringing joy to the faces of the poor than bombing
villages and abusing prisoners."
The ice-cream giveaway is part of a new on-going project “I
Scream for the Homeless” organized by Iraqi-American
businessman/restauranter Andy Shallal.