Meredith Dearborn, 650 208 2788
Gael Murphy 202 412 6700

Cindy Sheehan, Diane Wilson, Dick Gregory, Iraq veterans and Iraqi citizens gather in front of the White House on July 4th, their first day without food

After eating their final meal in front of the White House yesterday, participants in the “Troops Home Fast”—a historic hunger fast organized by CODEPINK: Women for Peace and Gold Star Families for Peace—will spend their first day without food on the Fourth of July. They will gather at the White House at 10am and plan to hold a spiritual ceremony, send a message of peace to the Independence Day parade, and remain outside the White House with their message to bring the troops home from Iraq now.

Among the Washington fasters are Cindy Sheehan, legendary comedian/civil rights activist Dick Gregory, environmental Diane Wilson, former army colonel Ann Wright, Iraq war veterans, Iraqis and Pentagon whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. They are joined by almost 3,000 others from around the United States and 18 other countries. Celebrities and other well-known public figures have committed to join the fast, including Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn and Danny Glover, musicians Graham Nash and Willie Nelson, writer Alice Walker, and more.

“While others are enjoying their barbecues and fireworks today, we will be going hungry for the most noble cause of all: peace,” said Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan, who began an open-ended fast today. “We are the true American patriots today. Our founding fathers cautioned future generations against engaging in wars of aggression for empire and economic gain, lest we lose our national soul. And the war in Iraq is exactly the kind of war our nation's leaders once cautioned against.”

The hunger strike will continue throughout the summer. “This fast has obviously touched a chord with the public,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “We thought there might be 3 or 4 of us fasting, and it is more like 3,000. Every day hundreds of new people are signing up for the fast. Some communities are doing rolling fasts, each person taking a day. This is sparking a new level of commitment to get out of Iraq.”

For more information, please see or meet the fasters in front of the White House at 10-11am or 5-7pm.