Anti-war House members teamed up with activist group Code Pink today to denounce the Bush Administration and call for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.
“We are proud to join them in expressing our shame and disgust at the Bush Administration’s dishonest, immoral policy,” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D.-Calif.).
The congresswoman also said that it is the presence of U.S. forces that is causing the violence and insurrection in Iraq.
Woolsey was joined by other outspoken lawmakers such as Representatives Barbara Lee (D.-Calif.), Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.), Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio) and Cynthia McKinney (D.-Ga.) who said, “Those of us who opposed this war from the beginning were right.”
Acting as an emcee of sorts for the press conference was long-time left-wing activist Medea Benjamin, representing Code Pink. The group, whose news release describes it as a “women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement,” was there to plug its ongoing hunger strike. Benjamin said nearly 4,000 people have joined the fast in some form.
Woolsey said she joined the hunger strike (for the day) yesterday, because she “wanted to highlight this grave injustice of the Iraq occupation.” She and other speakers likened their own fasts to those of Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr.
“Hunger striking has a long and distinguished history as a method of non-violent protest,” Woolsey said.
Lee told reporters that she also intends to join in the fast, to show that she and the other protesters “care so much about peace.”
Code Pink and Benjamin have gained notoriety for weekly protests outside the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and for gathering $600,000 in cash and supplies which they personally delivered to families in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.
At the time Benjamin said, “I don’t know of any other case in history in which the parents of fallen soldiers collected medicine and relief aid for the families of the ‘other side.’”
No stranger to radical causes, Benjamin is also co-founder of Global Exchange, an anti-capitalist human rights organization, and United for Peace and Justice, an anti-war group involved in counter military recruitment campaigns and denounced by some as front for Marxist and Communist causes.