CODEPINK to Build Settlements in Congress TodayMarch 23rd, 2010
Activists call for end to siege on Gaza and illegal settlements
Washington D.C.: Shortly after announcing Israel's commitment to defense in his address to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Gala, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was disrupted by a demonstrator. Rae Abileah, 27, from Half Moon Bay, CA, jumped onto AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr's private table alongside the stage and unfurled a pink banner that said “Netanyahu: Build Peace Not Settlements!” Abileah shouted, “Lift the siege of Gaza! No illegal settlements!” as she was forcefully removed from the building. A second disruption came moments later from Joan Stallard, from Washington, DC, who shouted, “Stop the settlements!”
Today, Tuesday, March 23, at noon CODEPINK is planning to build a settlement (including homes and beds) inside Senator Schumer's and Senator Lieberman's offices (Hart Senate Building, offices 313 and 706). CODEPINK's protests of the policies of AIPAC during their national conference this week have included daily morning protests, staging of a checkpoint for attendees, an afternoon press conference announcing the launch of a city-wide boycott of products illegally made in the settlements, and the release this morning of a spoof press release from AIPAC announcing that the organization was calling for a settlement freeze.
American Jewish peace activists are outraged at the influence that AIPAC has on U.S. policy. “AIPAC supports policies of aggression that damage Israel's reputation, harm innocent Palestinians, and contribute to making America less safe in the world,” said Jewish-American activist Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK.”
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. More info at: www.codepinkalert.org