CODEPINK Press Release
September 3, 2015
Medea Benjamin, (415) 235-6517, [email protected]
Ali Al Ahmed, [email protected], (202) 466-9500
Activists to Protest Saudi King in DC, Call on him to Stop Bombing Yemen and Respect Human Rights
Where: Meet in front of the White House, march to Ritz Carlton (1150 22nd St NW, DC)
When: White House at 10:30, march to Ritz Carlton at 11:30
Visuals: Signs, King Salman impersonator, simulated floggings
Washington, DC –– As Saudi Arabia’s King Salman comes to Washington on September 4, human rights activists will meet outside of the White House at 10:30 to rally and at 11:30 they will march to the Ritz Carlton where meetings with Saudi officials will take place. Protesters are calling on the Saudi King to immediately cease the bombing of Yemen, which has killed over 2,500 people, and to respect human rights inside Saudi Arabia, where people are routinely punished with lashings or even beheadings for non-violent offenses or simply for criticizing the monarchy. The Facebook event can be found here.
"The Saudis are destroying an entire country. Their cruel bombing of Yemen is leaving rubble upon rubble, death and suffering," says Yemeni-Americans activist Robyaah Althaibani. "Why isn't the world community standing up to stop them?"
“US taxpayers have spent trillions of dollars on military measures in the Persian Gulf over the last four decades. There is no reason to keep spending tens of billions of dollars a year to defend monarchies with horrific human rights records that routinely attack or interfere in neighboring countries," says Ali Al Ahmed, the Director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.
“Between the Saudi bombings in Yemen, its crushing of the democracy movement in Bahrain, spreading extremist wahhabist ideology and its horrific internal repression, it’s time to break the cozy relationship between our government and the Saudi regime,” says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK.
The protest comes on the heels of the launch of a new coalition of human rights organizations calling on the United States to end its alliance with the absolute monarchy. The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance denounces the Saudi kingdom for its shocking domestic human rights abuses and its disastrous Yemen war. It demands that the U.S. stop wasting the enormous amount of money that our government spends supporting Saudi Arabia and its collaborators in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The founding members of the coalition are the Institute for Gulf Affairs, CODEPINK, the Middle East Crisis Committee (Connecticut) and Peace Action (Massachusetts). The Coalition has started a website - “End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance” - found at www.SaudiUS.org. It is launching a petition calling on the President and Congress to close all American bases in the Persian Gulf and bring home the U.S. military immediately. The link to it is http://www.SaudiUS.org/act-now.html.