Five Hunger Strikers and Peace Activists Arrested At Federal Building
Pelosi Refused to Speak with Peace Community
5 CODEPINK hunger strikers and peace activists were arrested for a
symbolic shut down at the Federal Building. The women, Toby Blome,
Jody Paulson, Pamela Stephens, Nancy Mancias, Pamela Bennett were
arrested after blocking all entrances to the building for two hours.
They were arrested under code of federal regulations 102-74.385. One
CODEPINK activist, Rae Abileah, was injured after a federal police
agent, who was unwilling to disclose her identity, pushed a door into
The women, who have been fasting for 11 days to meet with Speaker
Pelosi about the war, recently received word from Pelosi's SF Director
Dan Bernal that the Speaker would not meet with peace groups in her
district anytime during the August recess. Shut out and silenced by the
Speaker, CODEPINK women held a symbolical shut down of the Federal
Building on Thursday afternoon.
Women with CODEPINK: Women for Peace have been fasting and camping
outside Speaker Pelosi and Senator Feinstein's offices for 11 days
asking for meeting about the war. In response to the tents pitched
outside her Pacific Heights mansion, Senator Feinstein held a meeting
at the encampment with the fasters on Tuesday, August 21, after which
the group agreed to end their camp at her home. Speaker Pelosi,
however, has refused to meet and called the hunger strikers “nuts.” The
fasting activists presented a letter to the Speaker asking for a
meeting. The letter was signed by 30 prominent peace and justice
groups in the Bay Area, including Iraq Veterans Against the War, the
San Francisco Labor Council, Jewish Voices for Peace, American Muslim
Voice and MoveOn.
“Pelosi's SF director, Dan Bernal, said the speaker refuses to meet
with any of us, but won't give us a reason why,” said hunger striker
Nancy Mancias. “We will block the entrance to the Federal Building to
symbolize our lack of representation by our elected representative.”
With the August recess and Congressional representatives all over the
country meeting with their constituents, CODEPINK and a coalition of
San Francisco peace groups have sent multiple requests for a meeting.
All their attempts have been rebuffed.
“The speaker has plenty of time for fundraisers and luncheons with
donors. She even made a surprise appearance at a Democrats and Donuts
coffee klatch gathering in Ahwatukee, Arizona, and the organizers
gushed about how much time Pelosi gave them,” says CODEPINK founder
Medea Benjamin. “It's outrageous that she has time for everyone but her
constituents who want to talk about the most pressing issue facing this
Visit www.pelosiwatch.org <http://www.pelosiwatch.org> and www.codepinkalert.org <http://www.codepinkalert.org> for more info on CODEPINK.