WHEN AND WHERE:
Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005
12 Noon - KBR offices, 1150 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC, then march to the White House, Lafayette Park Side
2 PM Congress - meet at West Steps of the Capitol
VISUALS: CODEPINKís anti-coruption brigade, dressed in pink camouflage; women blowing self-defense whistles asking the government to defend us from Halliburtonís profiteering; sample contracts that will be torn up by the protesters
Washington, DC - CODEPINK, the dynamic national womenís peace group that interrupted the Republican National Convention and President Bushís 2004 inauguration, will kick off this weekendís anti-war events with a protest calling for an end to contracts for Halliburton - from Iraq to the Gulf Coast. Anti-war activists have called Halliburton the poster child of war profiteering since the firm has received $10 billion in Iraq contracts. They are outraged that Halliburton has already received a multimillion contract for rebuilding after hurricane Katrina, although the company is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Justice Department, Treasury Department, and FBI.
"Once again, Halliburton, the company with the closest ties to the Bush administration, is cashing in on disaster. Last time it received multi-billion dollar no-bid contracts in war-torn Iraq, contracts that should have gone to Iraqi businesses. This time they are profiting from the disaster in New Orleans. We want the government to rebuild New Orleans, but not by awarding contracts to their corporate cronies," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK. The group is calling on the White House and Congress to suspend all existing contracts and bar Halliburton from future ones.
This weekend tens of thousands of people will stream into Washington, DC to call for Congress and President Bush to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home now. They will participate in an anti-war march and rally on Saturday, Sept. 24 that begins at the Ellipse at 11 AM. CODEPINK has organized a womenís contingent for the march, which will gather at 10:30 AM at Freedom Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. For a list of CODEPINKís other activities in Washington, DC this weekend, click here.
CODEPINKís mantra for this weekend is "money for levees, not for wars." Like the majority of Americans, CODEPINK members believe that our tax dollars should be spent on hurricane relief and reconstruction, not on the war in Iraq. According to Monday's CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll these sentiments are shared by a majority of Americans. 54 % said they would cut spending for the war in Iraq to pay for hurricane relief, and 59 % said launching the war was a mistake. That figure is the highest recorded in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. Only 39% said the invasion of Iraq was the right thing to have done.
"We canít afford to continue spending over a billion dollars a week on the war in Iraq, especially in the wake of Katrina. Our tax dollars should be channeled away from war and destruction and into rebuilding the Gulf Coast, rebuilding Iraq, and investing in our nationís healthcare, schools and infrastructure," Benjamin said.