Saudi Arabia

Issue Details

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It's time to sever ties with Saudi Arabia. Join our call. No engagement with Saudi Arabia until they end their war on Yemen and the repression of women, journalists, and people who engage in peaceful dissident. 

Tell US Reps to Boycott the Conference!

Email Your Reps to stop the war in Yemen and prevent a war with Iran!

Sign our letter to Iglesias.

Sign our letter to Richie.

Sign our letter to Six Flags!

Sign our petition today!

Sign our petition to BTS today!

Celebrate this win!

Tell Lush to quit Saudi Arabia!

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Advice for VICE: Doing business with the murderous Saudi regime isn’t edgy!


Spread the Word about the War in Yemen

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led an international coalition (backed by the United States) to launch air strikes against the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, sparking a full-blown armed conflict. The increase in violence exacerbated the existing issues that have blighted Yemen for years: poor governance, lack of rule of law, widespread poverty, and insufficient access to basic healthcare and water, among others. Four out of five Yemenis today rely on humanitarian assistance for their survival. There is no access to essential services such as clean water and electricity, and food prices have soared creating a desperate situation for millions. Yet Saudi Arabia continues its brutal campaign against the poorest country in the Middle East.

CODEPINK calls for an end to the Saudi-led airstrike against Yemen!

  1. Watch & share videos from Yemen! CODEPINK has launched a series of videos called Voices from Yemen. Share our videos on your Facebook page to help lift up the voices of Yemenis!

  2. #RememberYemen! Download this sign that says #RememberYemen in English and Arabic, take a photo or video of yourself with it, and post it on your social media accounts and tag CODEPINK! 

  3. Watch Video: Medea Benjamin crashes the US-Saudi investment forum

 

Medea Benjamin’s Book on Saudi Arabia and Speaking Tour

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Buy the Book  |  Book Tour Schedule

The co-founder of CODEPINK has become famous for fearlessly tackling head-on subjects most of us studiously avoid. Sometimes, she does so in person—as during President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University, or during a reception for drone manufacturers and members of Congress, or in Cairo, where she was assaulted by police. Here, she’s researching the sinister nature of the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. In seven succinct chapters followed by a meditation on prospects for change, Benjamin—cited by the L.A. Times as “one of the high-profile members of the peace movement”—shines a light on one of the most perplexing elements of American foreign policy. What is the origin of this strange alliance between two countries that seemingly have very little in common? Why does it persist, and what are its consequences? Why, over a period of decades and across various presidential administrations, has the United States consistently supported a regime shown time and again to be one of the most powerful forces working against American interests? Saudi Arabia is perhaps the single most important source of funds for terrorists worldwide, promoting an extreme interpretation of Islam along with anti-Western sentiment, while brutally repressing non-violent dissidents at home.

With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced U.S. need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of U.S. relations with Iran, the time is right for a re-evaluation of our close ties with the Saudi regime. Publication September 2016 • 240 pages


Book Orders

Individuals can purchase the book on the CODEPINK website. Groups/organizations interested in purchasing five copies or more can get a 50% discount—which makes the book only $9! Just email orders@orbooks.com or call (212) 514-6485 and let them know you want the want the “CODEPINK activist” price.


Bring Medea to speak in your area! 

Medea will also be traveling around the country for the next nine months on a book tour and campaign to cut US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and support Saudi dissidents. If you are interested in bringing Medea to your community, email Brienne at brienne@codepink.org!

It’s way past time to call into question the toxic US-Saudi relationship and build a movement that demands an end to US weapons sales to this repressive regime and supports the courageous Saudi dissidents who are trying to transform their nation. With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced U.S. need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of U.S. relations with Iran, the time is right for such a movement.

Please read the book and help get it out to the public, and invite Medea to speak in your community!


Book Tour Schedule

If you have questions about any of the events or you want to bring Medea to your town contact brienne@codepink.org!

 

Coral Gables, Florida

Monday, November 6th, 7pm

Main Sanctuary of Coral Gables Congregational Church United Church of Christ

3010 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Free and open to the public

 

Book Reviews

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia: A Toxic Alliance?, The Leveller, October 10, 2016
Activist and author Medea Benjamin gives readers a vital primer to understand the history, controversies and possible future of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

It's Time to End the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Special Relationship, Alternate, August 17, 2016
Obama is clearly irritated that foreign-policy orthodoxy compels him to treat Saudi Arabia as an ally.

Book review. Kingdom of the Unjust: the US-Saudi connection by Medea Benjamin, Ian Sinclair, September 2016
Having campaigned against the ‘war on terror’ and penned a book on drone warfare in 2012, American CODEPINK activist Medea Benjamin has turned her attention to the United States’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, one of its closest allies.

Medea Benjamin’s Kingdom of the Unjust, by DAVID SWANSON, August 17, 2016
For years and years, activists demanded that the U.S. government make public 28 (turned out to be 29) pages it had censored from a report, because it was suspected they would show a Saudi Arabian role in funding and facilitating the crimes of September 11, 2001.

In-Depth Interview: Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin Talks About Her New Book on Saudi Arabia, Peter Collins, September 29, 2016

Great Minds P2: Medea Benjamin Compares Saudi Labor System to Slavery, Sep. 1, 2016 

Why Is the US Aligned With Saudi Arabia?
September 4, 2016, Truthout


Videos

 

Boycott Saudi Arabia

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Click here to join us in the call!

It’s time to sever ties with a regime that uses a bone saw to hack up the body of a journalist and dissolve the pieces in a vat of acid. According to the CIA, Saudi’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), was responsible for the grotesque murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

It’s time to sever ties with a regime that drops bombs on Yemeni school children, on Yemeni hospitals, marketplaces, residences—even on weddings and funerals. Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen is so brutal that Yemen is now suffering the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. Since 2015 some 85,000 children under the age of five have died from acute malnutrition as a result of the war; that’s one child every 10 minutes. 

It’s time to sever ties with the world’s most misogynist, gender-segregated nation. Although Saudi Arabia recently announced that they will be abolishing part of their male guardianship system, finally granting women the right to obtain passports and travel (if 21 years of age or over), report births and deaths, and obtain family identification cards without the need for male authorization, Saudi women will still need the permission of a male guardian to marry or divorce. Women are separated from men in schools, restaurants and public buildings.

It’s time to sever ties with a regime that tortures women activists. Although Saudi Arabia recently granted women the right to drive (it was the only country in the world with this prohibition), the kingdom arrested a number of the very women who led the campaign for the right to drive. These brave women are now languishing in prison, subjected to horrific beatings, electroshock and sexual harassment. 

It’s time to sever ties with a regime that chops off people’s heads in public executions for offenses ranging from atheism to homosexuality to sorcery. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world. It also uses long prison terms and physical punishment against everyone from bloggers to lawyers who dare question the regime’s absolute power. 

War. Misogyny. Beheadings. Repression of peaceful dissent. The list goes on. We say: Enough is enough

It’s time to boycott and divest from the Saudi regime. 

  • Musicians should not perform there. 
  • Companies should reject any business with the country. 
  • Institutions, such as universities and think tanks, should sever all ties. 
  • Politicians should not take money or direction from the Saudi lobby. 
  • PR firms should drop Saudi Arabia as a client. 

In October 2018, along with a broad coalition, we helped convince dozens of companies and notables, from the New York Times to Uber CEO to the head of the World Bank, to pull out of the Saudi Future Investment Initiative. We then focused on the PR firms. Three of them—BRG Group, Glover Park Group and the Harbour Group—agreed to sever ties with the kingdom. In November 2018 we launched a petition and protests asking Vice Media not to produce promotional/propaganda videos for Saudi--that campaign is ongoing. 

We have already had a number of successes:

Along with a broad coalitionwe helped convince dozens of companies and notables, from the New York Times to Uber CEO to the head of the World Bank, to pull out of the 2018 Saudi Future Investment Initiative

In July 2019 we had a great victory when singer Nicki Minaj canceled her performance in Saudi Arabia, citing concerns about the treatment of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression.

We have urged PR firms to stop representing the Saudi regime. Five of them— Glover Park Group, BGR Group, Harbour Group, CGCN Group and Gibson, Dunn & Crutche—have severed ties with the kingdom.

In March 2019, talent agent Endeavor returned a $400 million investment from Saudi Arabia in protest of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. 

We have also focused on think tanks that had received money from the Saudis for years. Some of them, such as the Brookings Institution and the Middle East Institute, have announced that they will no longer accept Saudi funding.

Our ongoing campaigns include urging entertainers not to perform, asking Vice Media to stop producing promotional/propaganda videos for the Saudis, encouraging Lush Cosmetics to close their Saudi stores, and pushing the G20 nations to reconsider their decision to hold their 2020 meeting in Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps most important has been the broad-based campaign of peace, human rights and humanitarian groups pressuring Congress to pass legislation cutting off support for the Saudi war in Yemen. This extraordinary coalition has been very successful, twice passing legislation with majorities in both the House and the Senate. Unfortunately, these were both vetoed by President Trump. But these initiatives will continue, working for a veto-proof majority in Congress, and although the legislation thus far has been vetoed, the opposition in Congress has sent a strong message to both the White House and the Saudi regime.

We are expanding our campaign, building a strong coalition of groups and celebrities.

Click here to join us in the call!

NO ENGAGEMENT WITH SAUDI ARABIA UNTIL THEY END THEIR WAR ON YEMEN AND REPRESSION OF WOMEN, JOURNALISTS, AND PEOPLE WHO ENGAGE IN PEACEFUL DISSIDENT. 

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Lush Cosmetics: Quit Saudi Arabia

Take action by following these 3 steps:

1. Sign our letter to LUSH below!

2. Join our holiday season month of protests—November 29 through December 31—to get Lush out of Saudi Arabia by planning a holiday protest at a Lush store in your city 
US store locations |  Worldwide store locations

Sign up through this form and we will work with you to organize a Lush Out of Saudi holiday protest in your city. Your protest can include such activities as holiday caroling for peace in Yemen,  flyering, and more.

3. Supplies for Lush Store protests:
Lush holiday caroling songs and slogans
Printable posters (48 x 36 which can be shrunk to smaller sizes)
Quarter page flyers to hand out to Lush customers inside the store
Letter to Lush headquarters to give to Lush store managers
For extra fun and creativity, wear a bathrobe and/or wrap a towel around your head during your protest

How to Really Stop Our "Endless Wars"

Don’t Artwash Saudi Crimes!

Saudi Arabia’s Winter at Tantora Festival is an eight-week long event held in the historic northwestern Saudi town of Al-Ula that serves to distract from Saudi’s war crimes and human rights abuses. The 2019-2020 season — December 20 through February 9 — includes Enrique Iglesias, Lionel Richie, and Rod Stewart. In addition to musical performances, the festival will include horse racing, hot-air ballooning, and other artwashing events. We are delighted to share news that Rod Stewart has already canceled his performance thanks to your pressure!

 

Letter to LUSH from Charity Pot Recipients

As part of our Boycott Saudi campaign asking Lush to close the stores they operate in Saudi Arabia, we reached out to some of the organizations that receive funding from Lush -- Lush Charity Pot recipients -- and asked them to sign onto the following letter. Along with the three organizations at the bottom of this letter, a number of other organizations replied that they will reach out to Lush privately to express their concerns and request of Lush to close their stores in Saudi Arabia. Send your own message to Lush now asking them to close their stores in Saudi Arabia

To Lush Headquarters,

As grateful recipient organizations, or associates of recipients, of your Charity Pot Donations we greatly appreciate your company’s great work to promote social justice and environmental issues, we write to you about our concern regarding your two stores in Saudi Arabia. 

Lush is unique among businesses for your courageous stands on such issues as calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, opposing Donald Trump’s ban on entry to the US of people from seven Muslim countries, and environmentally destructive oil production from Canada’s Tar Sands. We also applaud your support for Palestinian rights, going so far as to make a principled decision not to have  stores in Israel due to concerns that in order to have a “mixed” workforce in the country, some of the “[Lush]  team would have to come through checkpoints and be treated differently on their way to work.” 

We feel that having stores in Saudi Arabia is inconsistent with the values your company is based on. Saudi Arabia is problematic from a variety of perspectives, including its treatment of women, suppression of dissent, and its war on Yemen. 

Regarding women, Saudi Arabia subjects women to the oppressive male guardianship system, in which all Saudi women need permission from a male to travel, study, obtain a passport, and marry. Saudi women activists are right now languishing in prison, subjected to horrific beatings, electroshock, and sexual harassment as punishment for their activism. 

Saudi Arabia is the main party responsible for the worst humanitarian crisis on earth--in Yemen. Since 2015, the Saudi regime has been dropping bombs on Yemeni school children, hospitals, marketplaces, residences—even on weddings and funerals. Every ten minutes in Yemen, a child dies from malnutrition and disease as a result of this horrible war. 

In 2018, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered. Both the CIA and the UN have linked the murder to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and other high-ranking Saudi officials, but so far, there has been no accountability for this horrific murder.

Due to the oppressive nature of the Saudi regime, campaigns to boycott Saudi Arabia have been gaining momentum. In just two years, there have been a number of successes. PR groups that have represented the government have dropped them as clients. Prestigious think tanks, such as the Brookings Institution and the Middle East Institute, have announced that they will no longer accept Saudi funding. Singer Nicki Minaj received praise from human rights groups worldwide when, on July 2019, she canceled her performance in Saudi Arabia, citing concerns about the treatment of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression. And perhaps most importantly, all over Europe, the United States and Canada, coalitions of peace, human rights and humanitarian groups have been pushing--often successfully--for legislation to stop the sale of weapons to the Saudi regime.

As a business with well-deserved public recognition and as a socially responsible company, we hope you will reconsider your connection to Saudi Arabia. Whatever benefit those stores might have for the people you employ, it would send a much more powerful message to the Saudi government and those suffering from Saudi abuses — including women, LGBT communities, journalists, dissidents, the Shia minority, and the people of Yemen — if you refused to do business there. 

We thank you for all that you do for the world and we look forward to engaging with you further on this critical issue.  

Sincerely,

LGB&T Dorset Equality Network | Brush & Bow | Haringey Welcome

   

Send a message to Lush asking them to close their stores in Saudi Arabia!

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