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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                CONTACT:
January 14, 2009                                            Sarah Lazare: 217-816-2918

PRESS RELEASE

Farewell Bush! Inauguration Event: Throw a Shoe at Bush, Send a No War Message to Obama!

Bay Area residents throw shoes at Bush in solidarity with war victims, and send message to Obama, “I pledge to take action to end the wars; what will you do, Mr. President?”

WHEN and WHERE:
1) Saturday, January 17: 12 noon to 3pm at Justin Herman Plaza
2) Sunday, January 18: 12 noon to 1:30pm at Embarcadero BART
3) Tuesday, January 20: 7am to 12 noon, near the public Obama inauguration simulcast event at SF Civic Center Plaza

WHAT: In the last days of the Bush administration, Bay Area residents will send a farewell message to the President by staging a giant carnival booth and inviting passers-by to throw shoes at a life-sized puppet of Mr. Bush. The environment will be festive and will include a variety of carnival acts, but with a serious message as well: We stand in solidarity with shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi as he sent them sailing “…for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”

After launching their footwear, shoe-throwers will be invited to sign a giant postcard to the newly inaugurated President Obama, pledging, “I will take action to end the wars; what will you do, Mr. President?” The postcard lists five specific demands signees expect President Obama to take to end war. They include:

1) ALL TROOPS HOME FROM IRAQ NOW
• Including “non-combat” troops and private contractors (i.e. Blackwater), and close all US military bases in Iraq.

2) HELP REBUILD IRAQ
• Reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and an end to the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that its people can control their own lives, resources, and future.

3) NO ESCALATIONS, NO NEW WARS
• No escalation of war in Afghanistan; troops should be withdrawn.
• Stop attacks inside Pakistan. Don’t attack Iran.
• Cut military aid to governments that violate human rights or international law, such as Israel in what Amnesty International calls an “unlawful attack on Gaza.”
• Close Guantanamo and all secret prisons

4) FROM GLOBAL MILITARY INTERVENTION TO REAL SECURITY AT HOME
• Close all 800 foreign US military bases.
• Reduce military budget and troops; stop wasting hundreds of billions of dollars needed for healthcare, housing, education, and green energy/jobs.

5) SUPPORT VETERANS
• Amnesty for all GI resisters who refuse illegal war.
• Full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicepeople.

Anti-war activists point to Obama’s early condemnation of the war in Iraq as one reason for his strong popular support and electoral success.

“We take Obama seriously when he said he didn’t want to just end the war, but the mindset that got us into war in the first place,” said Adam Seibert, staff person at Courage to Resist and former Marine. “But we recognize that we have to organize to make ending the wars a political reality. Throwing shoes is a symbolic action, but it’s a meaningful way to express solidarity with brutalized victims of Iraq, and highlight the individual actions we can all take to end the war.”

WHO: Co-sponsors include Courage to Resist and Direct Action to Stop the War.

For more information visit http://www.couragetoresist.org and http://www.actagainstwar.net
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