THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON DC, JULY 4, 2006
Diane Wilson and other activists of Code Pink began an indefinite hunger strike today to end the war in Iraq. Calling the action “Troops Home Fast”, a group of about 200 people staged a rally for peace in the morning, then settled into their protest camp in front of the White House where they will bring the message of the hunger strike to President Bush and the hordes of tourists who visit daily.
Two protesters, Geoffrey Mallard, a 25 year old disabled veteran from Iraq, and Chloe Jon-Paul, a 71 year old woman were arrested by more than a dozen police officers on motorcycles and horseback when they tried to join the Independence Day parade with their message of peace. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink and one of the long term hunger strikers said it was “ironic that an Iraq veteran who had certainly earned the right to march was not allowed.”
Later in the afternoon, the core group of about 60 hunger strikers gathered under some shade trees to share ideas and inspiration for the fast. Cindy Sheehan and two other mothers of young men killed in Iraq, as well as mothers of soldiers still on active duty were among the fasters.
So far more than 3,000 people have signed up on the website to fast and support the hunger strike. I brought a message of support and solidarity from the people of Bhopal to the group and told them how we had protested the Iraq war in Bhopal before it even started.
Visit the website www.troopshomefast.org to follow the news and sign up for the fast.