Is shoe-throwing a crime?

Posted by CODEPINK Staff

I just published a piece on AlterNet, Common Dreams and OpEdNews, based on my interview with Hero Anwar Brzw, a Kurdish Iraqi woman studying peacemaking at Eastern Mennonite University. I spoke with her to learn her thoughts on whether Iraqi journalist Muthadar al-Zaidi committed a crime in throwing his shoes at Bush in December at a Baghdad press conference. He was sentence last Friday to three years in prison for the act. Here's an excerpt from the interview, you can read the rest on AlterNet here.

MB: So you consider this action non-violent, but was it appropriate, especially for a journalist who is supposed to be objective?

HAB: I have worked for an Iraqi NGO on peace-building. I, too, have felt the effects of the occupation -- the violence that the invasion unleashed, the daily humiliations of being second-class citizens in our own country. Iraqi journalists have felt this as well. They have seen firsthand the terrible destruction caused by U.S. soldiers. Many Iraqi journalists have died in the violence and many have been imprisoned and terribly abused by U.S. soldiers.

So it is normal that we would want to express our anger. Some Iraqis express their anger through violent means, but that puts them on the same level as the occupiers. In general, journalists and NGO workers don't believe in violence. But we also don't have to be passive or conform to the oppressors.

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