Leading Members of Iraqi Parliament Call for Meeting with Anti-War Hunger Strikers

Contact: CONTACT:
Medea Benjamin 202 422 8624
Jodie Evans 310 621 5635 (Internationally accessible phone for Middle East Peace Delegation through Sunday, August 6)

August 1st, 2006

US Fasters on 30th Day of Hunger Strike travel to Jordan on Wednesday to meet with MPs about Peace Plan and Break Fast, then on to Lebanon

Delegation leaving August 2, Available For Interviews in DC, NY, LA and San Francisco

Washington, DC: Dulles Airport, 8 pm August 2 at the Air France ticket counter, contact Medea Benjamin at 202 422 8624 for further details. 

New York, NY: JFK Airport, 9 pm August 2 press conference with Cindy Sheehan and Tom Hayden at the Royal Jordanian ticket counter, contact Jodie Evans at 310 621 5635 for further details. 

San Francisco, CA: San Francisco Airport, 2 pm August 2 at the Air France/Delta ticket counter, contact Barbara Briggs-Letson at 970 819 3005 for further details.

After 28 days of fasting, anti-war hunger strikers received a breakthrough victory for their sacrifice: Leading members of the Iraqi Parliament invited fasters to join them to discuss their plans for peace in Iraq. On Wednesday, August 2, hunger strikers will travel to Amman, Jordan to meet with these Iraqi MPs and break their fast. The group includes:

  • Peace mom Cindy Sheehan,
  • Retired Colonel Ann Wright,
  • Iraq war veteran Geoffrey Millard
  • Politician/Writer Tom Hayden,
  • CODEPINK co-founders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Gael Murphy and Diane Wilson. 

The trip is being sponsored by CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the human rights group Global Exchange.

This invitation comes after fasters were rebuffed in numerous attempts to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during his visit to Washington last week, including setting up "Camp Al-Maliki" across from the Iraqi Embassy and publishing an open letter to him in one of the largest Iraqi newspapers. Faster and CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin was arrested for disrupting al-Maliki's address to Congress last Wednesday, saying loudly and repeatedly, “Iraqis want the troops to leave, bring them home now!” The parliamentarians, who expressed concern for fasters' health and dismay at the Prime Minister's dismissal of their repeated requests for a meeting, will travel to meet with the US delegation in Jordan on August 3.

The Iraqi elected officials will brief the Americans on the Reconciliation Plan they have been working on at the Reconciliation Conference held in Cairo last week. CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin said, “It is a breakthrough for the US peace movement to meet directly with Iraqi parliamentarians working on a peace plan. We hope to return to the US to build support for their plan.”

With the increased violence between Israel and Lebanon, a part of the U.S. delegation will go on to Syria and Lebanon to bear witness to the suffering of innocent victims of war in the region.

For more information, contact the numbers above, or email heartofj@gmail.com.