CODEPINK EJECTED FROM RNC DURING BUSH SPEECH – THIRD NIGHT IN A ROW INSIDE THE CONVENTION
FATHER WHOSE SON WAS KILLED IN IRAQ AND OTHER ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS ALSO DRAGGED OUT
New York, NY – As George W. Bush gave his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, Jodie Evans of CODEPINK: Women for Peace revealed a pink slip underneath her dress which read, “Fire Bush! Women Say Bring the Troops Home Now!” She was dragged out of the RNC. Earlier in the evening, Jorge Medina, whose son was killed in the Iraq war, was ejected from the convention for wearing a t-shirt with his son's photo on it and the words, “Bush Lied, My Son Died.” Two other anti-war activists were also dragged out of the convention. One of their banners read, “Bush Lied, People Died.” Another read, “Strong but Wrong.”
This is the third night in a row that CODEPINK activists have brought anti-war messages inside the RNC during prime-time speeches. Last night, Gael Murphy and Tiffany Burns of CODEPINK unfurled a banner during Dick Cheney's speech that read “Cheney and Halliburton, Making a Killing in Iraq.” On Tuesday night, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK unfurled a pink banner that said “Be Pro-Life: Stop the Killing in Iraq” during Laura Bush's speech.
“The tragic consequences of the Iraq war and the Bush administration's policy of ‘pre-emptive' war are so horrible that we have to keep coming inside of this convention over and over again to try to tell the American people that this is the man who needs to be held accountable for the lies that were told and the deaths that have resulted,” said Jodie Evans, one of the women who was arrested tonight.
Jorge Medina, a New York resident whose son Irving was killed in Baghdad in November 2003, was not the first military family member to be ejected from inside the RNC. He was following in the footsteps of Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son Jesus was also killed in Iraq. Fernando was removed from the RNC on Tuesday night for holding up a photo of his son (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0902-04.htm). They are among many military family members who are calling for an end to the occupation of Iraq and marched together with veterans at the huge August 29 march against the Bush agenda.
Evans is a 50-year-old peace activist from Los Angeles who co-founded CODEPINK and has traveled to Iraq several times during the last year, including with a delegation of women in February 2004. She wonders how CODEPINK managed to get inside the RNC three nights in a row: “Their entire emphasis during the convention has been on stirring up people's fears by reminding them of the Sept. 11 attacks and claiming that they're doing a good job securing the country. But how can they secure this country if they can't even secure their own convention during the President's acceptance speech?”
The other anti-war activists inside the convention were June Brashares, 40-years-old of San Francisco, California and another unidentified woman.