By CODEPINK Intern Isra Nadeem
Every week CODEPINK goes directly to the halls of Congress to call for a ceasefire in Gaza! While following this week's action-packed agenda, we ended up speaking with about 20 US senators!
Teachers Against Genocide & CODEPINK hosted a children's field trip to Congress calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Watch Medea confronting senators in the halls of Congress!
This week started off with us thanking Senator Chris Van Hollen for being the sixth US senator to call for a ceasefire. In an interview with MSNBC, Van Hollen reiterated, "We need a ceasefire and return of the hostages, and President Biden needs to put forth a big, bold plan for a two-state solution that guarantees Israel's security – so there are no more October 7ths – and allows for self-determination, security & dignity for the Palestinian people." We decided to go to the Senate on Monday and thank him for calling for a ceasefire. CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin held up thank you signs and expressed gratitude and reiterated, "We won't stop using our voices and taking action to end this genocide!" As of right now, there have been more than 27,000 lives lost with 10,000+ being children. As the Israeli government's bombardment of the people in Gaza continues, we won't let up bringing your demands to Congress!
On January 22nd, Ann Wright, a board member of CODEPINK, disrupted Joe Biden's speech for Reproductive Rights at George Mason University and reminded the attendees of the ongoing genocide. As she argued for a ceasefire and "Letting Gaza Live," she was escorted out. For his presidential campaign, Biden has been advocating for the restoration of Roe in an attempt to build rapport with women all over the country. We at CODEPINK recognized that if women's rights were his concern, then his political and financial support for genocide in Palestine would have to end. Women's rights are universal, and right now, within Gaza, two mothers die every hour. 50,000 pregnant women have no access to healthcare, and over 700,000 women have no access to menstrual products. Women have been using rags in replacement for pads. In the eyes of Joe Biden, women's rights are a political tool used to gain votes and public support, but hypocritical behavior will not be ignored, and we will continue to expose the contradictions! We will not leave Palestinian women behind.
On Wednesday, we joined Teachers Against Genocide to host a field trip to congress so that children could bring their concerns to their leaders. The children held signs saying “Bookbags not Body Bags” and “Money for Books Not Bombs”. Lilia, a 12 year old girl who attended the trip to Congress, asked the Senators, “Would you kill me for being in the way?” The Children went door to door of the congressional offices and reminded those government officials of the genocide and the importance of a ceasefire. Instead of killing kids in Gaza, invest in the future of all children!
Thursday, January 25th, we went back to the Senate Hart building. We first made our presence known in the congressional hearings. Led by our co-founder Medea Benjamin, we raised our hands with red paint to represent the blood on the hands of the US. Each hearing had some prominent senators who, uncomfortable with the ugly truth of the ongoing genocide, attempted to ignore the reminder. The visit included a sit-in inside Mitch McConnell's office. An aide told us the senator was busy but that didn't stop the team! After we refused to leave, we had a chance to meet with his chief of staff and we were able to deliver our reminder to Senator McConnell that voting for the upcoming military aid to Israel would only mean funding the ongoing genocide!
Finally, on Friday the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop it’s genocide in Gaza. South Africa bringing this case to court - and defending the Palestinian people - has allowed the world to question the actions of Israel. While ordering Israel to halt all genocidal activities, it also ordered Israel to let aid into Gaza. Today, CODEPINK took to the Senate to let the people of Congress know that the ICJ does not support the genocide, and neither should they. Watch us live from Congress after the ICJ decision!
As of today, only six Senators and sixty-seven House Representatives have called for a ceasefire.
Join us in Congress any day!