Activists from CODEPINK set up “camp” on an Independence Avenue sidewalk on Friday evening, just a few steps from the U.S. Capitol building. They had to clear out just a few hours later, but they’ll be back Saturday morning when their permit kicks in.
After that, they don’t intend to leave until the House votes on the Authorization of Military Force in Syria resolution sometime next week.
CODEPINK founder Medea Benjamin said, “We’re here for a peace insurrection. We’re going to build it over the weekend and be ready on Monday when Congress comes back from a long vacation.”
U.S. Capitol Police however were clearly uncomfortable with protestors hanging out on the corner so close to the Capitol building, playing loud music, dancing and displaying large anti-war banners.
CODEPINK is calling the camp “Peace Insurrection,” a base for people to express their opposition to proposed military intervention in Syria. President Obama is pressing Congress for authorization to launch missiles into Syria after the al-Assad regime allegedly gassed civilians in the Damascus region with chemical weapons.
“We care about people who are suffering,” says Benjamin, “but we know that more violence is not the answer.”
Both Senate and House committees have approved resolutions for military force against Syria. When Congress returns next week, debate on the resolutions will begin on Senate and House floors.
The consequences of missile strikes, says Benjamin, are “totally unknown.”
“This is a scary moment in history,” she says, “and I’m glad that so many Americans are standing up… They are doing it in the heartland of America, in townhall meetings in offices of Congresspeople, flooding phone lines, and it’s pretty exciting to see in just a week.”
- CODEPINK Activists Stage Encampment Outside of Congress, Call for No War on Syria (codepinkalert.org)
- Why We Need More Serial Hecklers Like Medea Benjamin (coolrevolution.net)
- Bombing Syria, a Short-Sighted Proposition Bound to Go Off-Course (coolrevolution.net)