FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2023
MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Garriga | [email protected]
Activists Arrested at SF APEC Gala Protesting U.S. Support for Gaza Bombing
Elite Gala Attendees Forced to Step Over Shroud-Covered Bodies Symbolizing 11,000 Gazan Murders
SAN FRANCISCO - Following yesterday's disruptive protests at the SF APEC Summit, where activists blockaded roads leading to the free trade forum, a separate demonstration occurred at the APEC Evening Gala at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Activists blocking the APEC summit had several demands for the leaders attending. Those demands included a ceasefire in Gaza, an end to labor violations, and reparations for climate change. The separate demonstration that evening was aimed directly at President Biden and his elite donors attending his fancy fundraiser.
Dozens, led by The CODEPINK Bay Area Chapter, rallied at the fundraising gala's security entrance, demanding an immediate ceasefire to Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza. Some participants symbolically laid on the ground covered in white shrouds, representing the civilian casualties in Gaza. As APEC delegates arrived, attendees were forced to step over the symbolic "dead bodies." Protesters chanted against President Biden's support for Israel's actions, with two individuals,Toby Blomé and Roshi Sirjani, eventually being arrested. The U.S. recently approved $14 billion in military aid to Israel amid the ongoing crisis in Gaza.
Toby Blomé, one of the arrested activists, stated, "This is a 21st Century holocaust of the Palestinian people in Gaza," calling for unconventional nonviolent measures to halt the crisis.
"When our government is directly complicit in extreme war crimes and violations of international laws we have a responsibility to stop it. The Congressional offices and the White House are being flooded daily by hundreds of calls and letters, in addition to office sit-ins and visits, yet, still, our voices continue to be unheard. It is time to take unconventional nonviolent measures to stop the carnage,” she continued.
As the dire humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza, citizens across the country and globally are organizing massive protests in U.S. federal buildings, on streets and highways, at the homes and offices of U.S. congresspeople and elsewhere. More than half of the homes in Gaza have been destroyed and over 11,000 Palestinians have been killed. Many consider Israel’s policies to be an undeniable act of genocide and over half the U.S. population wants a ceasefire.
CODEPINK activists were previously arrested at Nancy Pelosi’s home blockading her driveway. The blockade in her driveway came at the end of a three day sunrise to sunset “Fast for Ceasefire” that Bay Area CODEPINK organized. The so-called feminist icon refused to meet or talk with those "fasting for the children of Gaza” and even refused to accept a written letter calling for an immediate ceasefire. Protests, rallies, and demonstrations are expected to persist until a Gaza ceasefire is achieved.
For more information about the arrests and/or actions, please contact Toby Blomé at [email protected].
CODEPINK is a grassroots peace and social justice movement that emerged in 2002 in response to the Iraq War. Committed to promoting diplomacy and disarmament, CODEPINK engages in creative, nonviolent actions to address issues of militarism, injustice, and inequality. With a focus on women-led initiatives, the organization strives to build a world free from violence and oppression, advocating for a just and sustainable peace. CODEPINK's vibrant activism spans a range of global and local campaigns, amplifying voices for positive change and challenging policies that perpetuate conflict.