FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 27, 2006 CONTACT:
Meredith Dearborn 650 208 2788 Gael Murphy 202 412 6700
PRESS CONFERENCE: 5pm, July 3, 2006 – Penn. Avenue between 15th and 17th
The “Troops Home Fast” begins after a final meal in front of White House
On July 3, 2006, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Global Exchange and Gold Star Families for Peace will announce a historic hunger strike against the war in Iraq. At 5pm, they will sit down in front of the White House to eat their last meal and hold a press conference before beginning the fast at the same location in the morning of July 4 at 10am.
“We’ve marched, held vigils, lobbied Congress, camped out at Bush’s ranch. We’ve even gone to jail. Now it’s time to do more,” says peace mom Cindy Sheehan. “While others are celebrating July 4th with barbeques, we’ll be showing our patriotism by putting our bodies on the line to bring our troops home.”
Hundreds of celebrities, veterans, mothers, and concerned citizens across the country will participate in a rolling fast. Strikers include musicians Willie Nelson and Michael Franti, actors Danny Glover, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, Gold Star parents Cindy Sheehan and Fernando Suarez, legendary faster and comedian Dick Gregory, environmental activist Diane Wilson, Iraq war veteran Geoffrey Millard and Gulf War vet Michael McPherson, labor leader Dolores Huerta and CODEPINK cofounders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans and Gael Murphy.
The organizers call on a long history of fasts for political purposes, claiming their place among the Suffragettes, Mahatmas Gandhi and Cesar Chavez. In honor of this rich history, the fasters will gather at the Gandhi memorial statue a Massachusetts and 21st NW on July 3 at 3pm, then march to Pennsylvania Avenue for the meal and press conference at 5pm. In other parts of the country, people will engage in rolling fasts, passing the fast from person to person every 24 hours.
Diane Wilson, who has engaged in several hunger strikes in her history as an environmental activist, says she will not set an end date to her fast. “My goal is to bring the troops home. I don’t know how long I can fast, but I’m making this open-ended,” she says. “I plan to take this as far as I’ve ever taken anything in my 58 years. I fear our future is at stake, and I’m ready to make a major sacrifice.”
The fast will last until September 21, International Peace Day, when activists around the country will initiate a week of nonviolent actions against the war as part of the Declaration of Peace.
For more information, including a full list of fasters, please see www.troopshomefast.org.