MIDDLE EAST PEACE TRIP


UPDATE: CODEPINK cofounders, Medea Benjamin, Gael Murphy and Diane Wilson continued from Jordan to Beirut where they worked with Lebanese activists and humanitarian aid groups to help those stranded without aid in South Lebanon.  Saturday they will join a caravan to bring the aid. Click to read their blogs here.

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 traveled to Amman, Jordan to meet with these Iraqi MPs and break their fast.

The delegation included: Peace mom Cindy Sheehan, Retired Colonel Ann Wright, Iraq war veteran Geoffrey Millard, Politician/Writer Tom Hayden, and CODEPINK co-founders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Gael Murphy and Diane Wilson. Click here for the full list of delegates and their bios.

The invitation from the Iraqi MPs came 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. 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.

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