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Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"
News :: DNC
Anti-War Activist Dragged off DNC Floor in Handcuffs
28 Jul 2004
Anti-War Activist Dragged off DNC Floor in Handcuffs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT: July 28, 2004
Medea Benjamin (415) 235-6517
Gael Murphy (202) 412-6700

Anti-War Activist Dragged off DNC Floor in Handcuffs

Behind veneer of unity, Democratic leadership works to squelch anti-war
sentiment

Boston As Teresa Heinz Kerry gave her prime-time address at the Democratic
National Convention on Tuesday night, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK: Women for
Peace attempted to bring an anti-war message onto the convention floor. She
unfurled a pink banner that read “End the Occupation of Iraq” a sentiment
that is shared by the majority of Americans and vast majority of Democrats
and was promptly dragged out of the Fleet Center by the police.

”The Democratic leadership is trying to stifle people’s opinions about the
most important issue facing this nation: the war on Iraq. A huge majority of
the delegates believe the Iraq war was a mistake, and many are convinced
that the U.S. military occupation isn¹t benefiting Americans or Iraqis. But
the Democratic platform doesn’t reflect that sentiment, and it’s been so
difficult for people at the DNC to get that message out,” said Benjamin, who
is a co-founder of CODEPINK as well as the human rights organization Global
Exchange.

Inside the convention, the DNC has banned anything but “officially printed”
banners and signs from the convention floor, and several anti-war delegates
from the Kucinich campaign have been told to take off scarves that say
”delegate for peace.” Outside the convention, those who oppose the
Democratic Party position on Iraq are relegated to a “protest pen”, which is
actually a cage surrounded by fencing and barbed wire. On Saturday, CODEPINK
objected to the protest pen by having some of its activists dress as pink
statues of liberty with tape over their mouths.

“We are supposed to have free speech all over the United States, not just
inside a pen that looks like a Guantanamo Bay detention camp,” Benjamin
said.

This work is in the public domain