News Release

Breaking: Protests at Armed Services Committee

Michael Patterson, 21, Iraq veteran from Anchorage, AL. He was sent to Iraq as an interrogator at age 18. He was removed from the Armed Services Committee hearing today while shouting "I saw what we do to people."

Contacts: Leah Bolger, Vice President of Veterans for Peace, leahbolger at comcast.net
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink, medea.benjamin at gmail.com

Protesters are currently demonstrating at a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee, standing up one by one and denouncing the continuing wars. Live video stream.

They released the following statement this morning: “In 2120 Rayburn House Office Building at 9:57 a.m. the House Armed Services Committee staff will allow seven members of the public to enter the hearing. They are being told they cannot hold up signs even in line in the hallway, they cannot hold up signs even before the gavel opens the hearing, and they cannot communicate anything during the hearing.

“‘We are here,’ said Leah Bolger, the Vice President of Veterans for Peace, ‘representing the vast majority of the American people who want the wars to end now and want our tax dollars to be spent on human needs instead of on the war machine.’

“Note that thus far 34 Congress Members have signed a letter urging the Super Committee to cut military spending, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee has set a deadline of noon today for adding more signatures.

“Note that 70 congress members have already written to the Super Committee calling for ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, thereby ‘saving more than $1.8 trillion from current law spending levels over ten years.’ That’s $1.8 trillion in savings beyond already-planned troop ‘drawdowns.’ And it’s $700 billion more in savings than President Obama has proposed to find through a plan that cuts our social safety net. The bipartisan letter concludes: ‘Before we ask American families to pitch in more, let’s bring our troops home — and, in the process, our tax dollars home.'”