Sunday, February 10, 2008


Yesterday, CODEPINK's Miami Dream Team, Medea, Ann, Nancy, Tighe, Liz and I won a victory for free speech and assembly on the streets of Little Havana. We had returned to Florida as a follow-up to our January 12th action during which time we initiated CODEPINK's Terrorist Watch Campaign to expose the hypocrisy of our current government's "War on Terror".

Those of you who follow our blog may already be aware that we were physically attacked at this same location less than one month ago while attempting to reach out to the Cuban exile community. After becoming aware of the FBI's plan to alert communities through their MOST WANTED digital billboard campaign of terrorists and criminals needed to be brought to justice, CODEPINK launched our own MOST WANTED campaign. The fact is that our government claims to be hunting down the terrorists while harboring known terrorists in our own country.

Luis Posada Carriles, an "unrepentant criminal and admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks" as the U.S. Justice Department calls him, lives and socializes on the streets of Miami. Carriles, responsible for the 1976 downing of a Cuban passenger plane with 73 people on board - the first act of aviation terrorism in the Western hemisphere, lives freely in Miami, eating lechon asado at the Versailles Restaurant, socializes at the Big Five Club, and exhibits his paintings at the Miami Art Museum.

Armed simply with postcards and a banner asking the FBI to put him on their most-wanted list, we were attacked by a violent mob of Posada supporters as our vehicle moved along Calle

The next day, after a pleasant dinner of moros y cristianos, milanesa and mojitos, the national drink of Cuba, we were pelted with eggs and water bottles as we left the Versailles restaurant.

Many mistakes happened on our first visit on the part of law enforcement agencies because even though we spoke to the FBI and local police ahead of time, when the moment came to hold our press conference the authorities admitted that they had not come prepared and could not guarantee our protection upon seeing the immediate and visceral reaction by the mob.

After complaints were filed and press informed we decided that we could not allow our freedoms be usurped and so would return to Miami, this time with plenty of police protection and city cooperation, to exercise our freedom of speech and assembly that was so blatantly denied us in January.

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After "pinking" our truck and making detailed adjustments to our outfits, we departed from our tropical home-away from home enroute towards Calle Ocho. We approached Versailles a bit anxious but sang songs from the 60's era to brighten our mood.

Due to the tireless efforts of our pinker Tighe who came days early to work with Police Commander Milady Irizarry and Community Relations Supervisor Ada Rojas, we were able to have our day of democracy on the streets of Little Havana and both sides enjoyed their freedoms as exemplified here by the sound system and professionally made signs employed by the right-wing Cuban exiles.
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Medea gave several radio, print news and TV interviews to Telemundo, Univision, Miami Herald and others.

Everybody's darling Lizzie poses with a cuban cigar as Posada Carriles. Note the Police officer in the street. There were at least 25 cops keeping order, 5 or so at each adjacent intersection and some working the crowds along with a bicycle cop and around 10 goodwill ambassadors provided by the community relations department.

As Posada's fans shouted expletives like "putas comunistas!", made lewd gestures from across the street and cranky, crotchety Mambistas cruised by giving us the middle finger salute with hands so arthritic that we felt sorry for them, we sang "All we are saying is give peace a chance."

Happily we realized that only 150 or so of Posada's followers showed up to the counter protest to which they had applied for a permit of up to 800 persons. The members of Alpha 66 and other Cuban exile groups consider him a hero for his anti-Castro actions and yet although their numbers are dwindling, continue to impose their views in Miami through fear and intimidation, the relics of a sordid history of U.S. policy in Latin America.

But no cause is so noble that it justifies killing civilians. It is time for some moral consistency in this war on terror. Whether Osama bin Laden or Luis Posada Carriles, we must bring all terrorists to justice.

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Watch for further updates in our Terrorist Watch Campaign and keep abreast of new congressional developments as Congressman William Delahunt pursues the case for imprisoning Posada..

For more details on Posada Carriles:


JimPreston said...

You do so rock!!

LaFajita said...


in completely unrelated news, your Representative, John Shadegg, has decided not to run again. He's decided to spend more time with his FEC investigation.