Category: Press Releases

Codepink to Protest Outside AIPAC Gala, Show Support for Palestinian Rights and Middle East Peace

For Immediate Release:

Where: Between the Historical Society Building and the Washington Convention Center
When: Monday, March 4, 7-8:30pm

CODEPINK will talk to the hundreds of Congresspeople going into the gala to show their support for AIPAC. CODEPINK and allies will say no to AIPAC, yes to equality and freedom for Palestinians, yes to peace with Iran. It is time for a new US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Codepink & DC area supporters have protested outside the AIPAC Policy Conference over the weekend. Visuals have included a village of settlements to show they are an obstacle to peace, a solemn 100+ person kneel-in outside of AIPAC to support Palestinian political prisoners and hunger strikers, the construction of a Separation Wall and more. Video and photographs available for press use upon request, email alli@codepink.org.

The Expose AIPAC coalition gathered to urge US officials to reject the Israeli administration’s push for war on Iran and insist on respect for Palestinian rights. Timed to coincide with the annual AIPAC policy conference, the Expose AIPAC summit was a weekend series of events and protests to draw attention to the role of AIPAC as a special interest lobby that maintains a stranglehold over US policies.

CODEPINK Stages Series of Demonstrations Against AIPAC: Begins by “Occupying” AIPAC’s Office on March 1st

For Immediate Release

Where: In front of the AIPAC building (251 H St., NW Washington DC)  

When: 12:00pm,  Friday, 1 March 2013

To kick off a weekend of actions to protest the Israel lobby’s annual policy conference, CODEPINK and other human rights organizations will converge at the AIPAC headquarters in Washington, DC at noon on Friday, March 1st. Activists will “occupy” the AIPAC building by setting up a “settlement village” in front of the building’s main entrance. Visuals include “settlement homes” that protesters will wear, and they will arrange themselves symbolically to represent how much of an obstacle to peace real settlements in the West Bank are. Other activists will hold banners calling for new American policies in the Middle East that are not dictated by AIPAC.

AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is holding its annual policy conference in DC next week, March 3-5, at a time when tensions are high in Israel/Palestine. Demonstrations have erupted all over the West Bank in response to the death of Arafat Jaradat, who died while in Israeli prison as a result of torture. Several other Palestinian prisoners are nearing death as they protest torture and abuse through organized hunger strikes.

Other upcoming actions throughout the weekend, March 2-5:

Full-day mobilization in front of Historical Society Building,
When: Sunday, March 3rd, 11:00am-8:00pm
Where: Corner of Massachusetts and 9th, outside the annual AIPAC Policy Conference; and in front of the Washington Convention Center

11am: Rally including debka (traditional Palestinian dancing), a flashmob, people dressed as settlements, and much more.

2pm: Press conference featuring Palestinian activists, co-founder of CODEPINK Medea Benjamin, former diplomat Colonel Ann Wright, members of the peace group Jewish Voice for Peace, and more. Rally will follow.

3pm: Choreographed action to honor the Palestinian political prisoners who are currently on hunger strike by dramatically posing outside the AIPAC conference. Protesters will assemble along the sidewalk, solemnly kneeling, facing the AIPAC conference during their break time between sessions when thousands of AIPACers will be milling around outside.

7pm: Protest as AIPAC’s conference day is ending

Protest of AIPAC’s Gala Event
Where: Between the Historical Society Building and the Washington Convention Center
When: Monday, March 4, 7-8:30pm
CODEPINK will talk to the hundreds of Congresspeople going into the gala to show their support for AIPAC. CODEPINK and allies will say no to AIPAC, yes to equality and freedom for Palestinians, yes to peace with Iran. It is time for a new US foreign policy in the Middle East.

CODEPINK Protestor Assaulted in Congress Earns Apology, Compensation

Codepink: Women for Peace

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 30, 2012

AIPAC Volunteer Lobbyist, IDF Veteran Who Assaulted Young Jewish Peace Protestor in Congressional Gallery
Apologizes and Pays Compensation
Woman who disrupted Israeli Prime Minister was hospitalized for injuries, now satisfied by settlement

Washington, D.C.-Rae Abileah, a peaceful demonstrator from CODEPINK who was physically injured on May 24, 2011, in the U.S. House of Representative Gallery, while protesting during the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, reached a settlement in a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with defendant Stanley Shulster. The settlement provided for compensatory damages, an apology, and a joint statement.

Mr. Shulster is a professed volunteer lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, volunteer in the Israeli Defense Forces, and retired attorney. Ms. Abileah will donate a portion of the received funds to legal and medical aid for peaceful Palestinian protesters in the West Bank.

Joint Statement of Rae Abileah and Stanley Shulster:

We have reached an agreement in the lawsuit brought by Rae Abileah against Stanley Shulster. Our agreement resolves Ms. Abileah’s claim that Mr. Shulster assaulted her while she protested during a speech at the U.S. Capitol by Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Mr. Shulster’s defense that he did not assault her.

Mr. Shulster apologizes for any physical or emotional harm caused by him to Ms. Abileah. He agrees that he should have let the Capitol Police handle the situation. Ms. Abileah accepts this apology.

Mr. Shulster respects the right of Ms. Abileah to hold a different view on the Israel-Palestine conflict and believes she holds this view in good faith.

Ms. Abileah respects Mr. Shulster’s right to hold a different view on the Israel-Palestine conflict and believes that he holds this view in good faith.

Each party recognizes the right, as Americans, to agree to disagree peacefully.

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Oregon Palestine solidarity & Occupy activists to protest AIPAC

For Immediate Release

Portland, Oregon. A coalition of peace, human rights, and Palestine solidarity organizations announced today that they would hold a demonstration outside the annual Oregon fund-raising dinner of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Sunday, April 29. The demonstration will protest AIPAC’s role in promoting a military attack on Iran’s nuclear energy facilities. The protest is also calling for an end to U.S. military aid to the Israeli apartheid government, which refuses to halt the construction of illegal settlements and routinely violates the human rights of Palestinians living under Occupation. Israel controls the lives of more than 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but denies them the right to vote or to exercise their right to self-determination.

Some Oregon political leaders have regularly attended AIPAC’s annual fundraiser in past years. This year the protesters are asking Oregon’s leaders to represent their constituencies’ opposition to another unjust war in the Middle East by boycotting AIPAC’s gala. Among the groups protesting are Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights (AUPHR), Jewish Voice for Peace – Portland (JVP), Occupy Portland, Peace and Justice Works – Iraq Affinity Group, and Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER).

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OWS Activists Disrupt Sen. Levin in AIPAC

For Immediate Release

Occupy Wall Street Activists Disrupt Sen. Levin in AIPAC Conference Final Plenary: Don’t Bomb Iran, Equality for Palestinians

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Washington, DC—On Tuesday, March 6, during Senator Carl Levin’s address to AIPAC, an activist with Occupy Wall Street and CODEPINK unfurled a large “Don’t Bomb Iran” banner and shouted “Don’t bomb Iran; Equal rights for Palestinians.” Responding to the theme of the 2012 AIPAC Policy Conference–Shared Values–the activist proclaimed, “Nonviolence is a shared value!” She was grabbed by security and escorted out of the building. The protesters were Katie Falkenberg and Paul Talbot from New York City, who have been dedicated Occupy Wall Street activists and are members of the Revolutionary Games Collective. They worked with CODEPINK and Occupy AIPAC to coordinate the action.

As head of the Senate Arms Services Committee, Carl Levin has been pushing for every war in the last 10 years, while his constituents in Detroit are suffering from lack of funds for social services, and high unemployment. Levin has supported crippling sanctions that only hurt the Iranian people instead of listening to the military leaders who have cautioned against war on Iran. Senator Carl Levin is fiddling with war while Detroit is burning.

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Open Letter to Congress in Full Page Ad in The Hill: AIPAC Wants War on Iran; We Don’t

For Immediate Release

Open Letter to Congress in Full Page Ad in The Hill: AIPAC Wants War on Iran; We Don’t

What: Activists distribute letter to Congress and occupy the office of Sen. Lindsay Graham, sponsor of S. Res. 380
When: 12pm, Rayburn Cafeteria; 2pm, Russell Senate Office Building, Room 290

Washington, DC—On the heels of a full page ad placed by prominent generals in the Washington Post on March 5 (https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/03/05-4), a coalition of organizations, interfaith groups, and individuals have placed a full page ad in the daily newspaper The Hill opposing war on Iran.

The ad reads in part, “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is on the warpath—this time with Iran. They say the U.S. should be willing to attack Iran or support an Israeli attack. AIPAC pushed our government into the catastrophic war in Iraq… The majority of Americans do not want another war in the Middle East and the US can’t afford a war during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.” (See full ad text here: http://j.mp/hillad)

President Obama stated to AIPAC on Sunday, “I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: a political effort aimed at isolating Iran, a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored, an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.”

An anti-war contingent with Occupy AIPAC plans to occupy the office of Senator Lindsey Graham to show opposition for S. Res. 380, a bill he sponsored which would lower the threshold for the US to go to war with Iran. They will also be visiting the offices of all the members of the House and Senate Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees.

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Press Conference at National Press Club on AIPAC and Israel’s Policy on Iran, followed by protest at White House

For Immediate Release

Press Conference: 11am, Monday, March 5, 2012, Morrow Room, National Press Club, 529 14th Street, Washington, DC 20045
Protest: 12:30pm, White House (Pennsylvania Ave)

Washington, DC—Veteran, Iranian-American and interfaith groups will challenge The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its support for an Israeli attack on Iran in a press conference, at 11am, Monday, March 5, 2012 as President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Conference and protest are timed to coincide with AIPAC’s annual conference, which has been laying the groundwork for a military confrontation with Iran.

Veterans for Peace National President Retired US Navy Commander Leah Bolger said, “Obama needs to talk sense to Netanyahu when he meets him on Monday.” Bolger emphasized that “we need the President to announce that he will not allow the United States to be drawn into war if Israel attacks Iran or provokes hostilities in some other way.”

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Jewish Activist to AIPAC: Stop Silencing Dissent!

Young Jewish activist disrupts AIPAC panel about “Israel on Campus”: Stop Silencing Dissent and Supporting Settlement Expansion

Liza Behrendt, 22 year old member of Young Jewish and Proud, the youth wing of Jewish Voice for Peace, stood up during a breakout session called “The Struggle to Secure Israel on Campus” to call attention to the silencing of Palestinians— and young Jews who support them — on U.S. campuses.  Liza stood on stage and unfurled a banner that read, “Settlements Betray Jewish Values” and “Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof,” the Jewish text from Deuteronomy meaning “Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue.”

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The panel included officials from AIPAC, Stand With Us, The David Project, and Hillel, who discussed tactics for opposing human rights groups on campus, an in particular those that promote the use of Boycott, Divestment or Sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to be accountable to international law. Panelist Wayne Firestone, CEO of Hillel, last year issued controversial guidelines barring Hillel groups from partnering with organizations that support any facet of the BDS movement or that lack a specifically Zionist stance. “I felt it was necessary to confront Wayne Firestone, whose condescending guidelines barred my Brandeis University chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace from joining Hillel last spring. Hillel’s guidelines are part of organized efforts to enforce an ideological status quo among young Jews on Israel, but they are completely out of touch with what’s happening among young people,” said Liza Behrendt.

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Protesters to rally outside of AIPAC Conference, Oppose war on Iran

For Immediate Release

11AM-2PM Washington, DC: While President Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres are speaking at the AIPAC Forum, some 400 Occupy AIPACers and local occupiers will demonstrate outside AIPAC Policy Conference urging Obama to engage in diplomacy with Iran.

Visuals: Giant letters to spell out “NO WAR ON IRAN”, puppets, mock checkpoint and Annexation Wall, flashmob, and more.

The hyperbolic rhetoric promoted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spread to American politicians in an escalating discourse over US Foreign Policy towards Iran. Hundreds of people will be countering this rhetoric with messages of peace in the Middle East.

“After 10 years of war, the American people need a foreign policy that focuses on diplomacy, not military intervention,” Medea Benjamin said. “We are rallying to demand that our current leaders not take us down the same path as past leaders did in Iraq.”

The Occupy AIPAC coalition is gathering to urge Obama to reject the Israeli administration’s push for war on Iran and insist on respect for Palestinian rights. Timed to coincide with the annual AIPAC policy conference from March 3-6, the Occupy AIPAC summit will be a long weekend of events and protests that draw attention to the role of AIPAC as a special interest lobby that maintains a stranglehold over US policies. As the Occupy Movement has focused public ire on the role of large corporations and powerful lobby groups, hundreds will gather in DC to protest AIPAC’s push for war.

Planned Protests and Events Will Urge Obama to Reject Netanyahu’s Policies about War on Iran and Palestinian Conflict during AIPAC Policy Conference

For Immediate Release:

For more information, please contact: occupyAIPAC@gmail.com

Over 130 Groups Urge Obama to Reject Netanyahu’s Policies about War on Iran and Palestinian Conflict
Protests and Events Planned Throughout Weekend Expose AIPAC Lobby as a Barrier to Peace

Washington, DC – The Occupy AIPAC coalition is gathering to urge Obama to reject the Israeli administration’s push for war on Iran and insist on respect for Palestinian rights. Timed to coincide with the annual AIPAC policy conference, the Occupy AIPAC summit will be a long weekend of events and protests that draw attention to the role of AIPAC as a special interest lobby that maintains a stranglehold over US policies. As the Occupy Movement has focused public ire on the role of large corporations and powerful lobby groups, hundreds will gather in DC to protest AIPAC’s push for war.

The Occupy AIPAC summit, organized by CODEPINK, is endorsed and supported by a variety of groups including the Interfaith Peace Builders (IFPB), the US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine chapters, Occupy groups and over 130 others.

“After 10 years of war, the American people need a foreign policy that focuses on diplomacy, but AIPAC takes us down the dangerous path of war with Iran,” CODEPINK cofounder and Occupy AIPAC organizer Medea Benjamin said. “We are gathering to demand that our leaders break with AIPAC’s disastrous path of attacking Iran, as well as supporting Israel’s human rights violations and illegal settlements in the West Bank.”

Schedule of planned actions includes a Middle East Summit on Saturday, March 3 and protests on Sunday, March 4. See details below or visit OccupyAIPAC.org.

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