Saturday, October 4, 2008

Gandhi Peace Brigade/ CodePink Meets with Ahmadinejad

Dear Friends,

President Ahmadinejad spoke at the United Nations last week. The next day he met with 150 people from 50 different peace groups, an event organized by Fellowship of Reconciliation Leslie was honored to be a part of this historic event:

President Ahmadinejad told the delegation,"Iranians love Americans!" He also said his country doesn't want war. He believes the time of the atomic bomb has come to an end. "We've passed that time; we have no interest in the bomb." Over three years ago Iran's spiritual leader issued a proclamation, or fatwa, prohibiting the possession of nuclear weapons. Iran hasn't attacked another country in 260 years.

Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, Co-founders of Code Pink, were both there. A few people were selected to talk about their organization and ask Ahmadinejad a question. Medea, as the Founding Director of Global Exchange, had this to say: "President Ahmadinejad, my organization has been sending delegations to Iran for years, but the process is cumbersome, and we never know who is going to get a visa, and often not until the last minute. I, myself, would love to visit Iran, but I can't get a visa!" He responded with a promise he'd push to make it easier for Americans to get visas and hoped the U.S. would do the same for Iranians.

GOOD NEWS! H.Con. Res. 362, the proposed Naval Blockade of Iran, sponsored by Congressman Gary Ackerman, has been shelved! Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, stated he would not mark-up the bill unless the legislation was amended to remove the ambiguity of the "blockade clause." This is a huge victory for the peace movement.

Leslie is still on the east coast, but she'll be coming home soon (sigh). Here she is with CodePink protesting the bailout in front of the New York Stock Exchange and at a Die-In in Washington, DC: Leslie was in the Congressional Gallery when the House voted to deny Bush and Paulson their bailout. Unfortunately they passed it on Friday. Dennis Kucinich had this to say:

The U.S. has the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country in the world. The top 1% earn more income than the bottom 50% and own more wealth than the bottom 90%. These 400 families control our government by contributing to the campaigns of our elected officials. Dissent is permitted, but only until it makes a difference. Unprecedented attacks on our civil liberties began at the Republican National Convention and will no doubt continue. President Bush - in violation of federal law - has assigned the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team to active duty on American soil and the soldiers could be called upon for a variety of tasks, including quelling "civil unrest":

So what do we do? This is a time of profound change. People are beginning to realize our Congress serves only the rich and powerful and our administration can't be trusted. When we reach a critical mass of mutual understanding, we'll take our country back.

Leslie and I are hoping to visit Iran with CodePink this November. While we're there, we'll be establishing connections with students and teachers. We want to give young Americans an opportunity to make friends with young Iranians. If you are a parent or a teacher and you'd like to know more about this program, please send us your mailing address.

Peace and Freedom,
Jes & Leslie

Opera Lovers. Don't miss this one!
Les Misbarack

U.S. Army establishes a permanent presence in Israel
with a 120-member support team to help deploy a radar system for detecting incoming Iranian missiles:

Inside Iran's Fury by Stephen Kinzer
A brief history of Iran and its relationship with the U.S.

The Shift! You are not alone!!

The Battle Plan II: Sarah "Evita" Palin, the Muse of the Coming Police State

Anti-war Veterans Unfurl Arrest Bush/Cheney banner at National Archives

Now Is the Time to Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

Jes & Leslie ... A Journey for Peace and Freedom:

If you would like to be added to The Gandhi Peace Brigade Group List,
please let me know: Thank you. Jes


CODEPINK said...

Thanks for the update & the continued work!!

We miss ya Jes!!!

Hugs from CODEPINK HOUSE DC Peace Team

CODEPINK said...

Liz Des Gael ellen Joan Allison Medea Leslie
send BIG HUGS!!

LaFajita said...

Les without Jes is like Lucy without Desi - it's still good, but there's something missing.

Come back soon, dude!