WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – By July 15, as they neared the end of the second week of their “Bring the Troops Home Fast” hunger strike against the war in Iraq, the members of CODEPINK: Women for Peace were still determined to hold on.

“You have to be as serious about peace as they are about war,” Diane Wilson, a CODEPINK co-founder from Sea Drift, Texas, told The Final Call. “And I guarantee you–they’re committing our children; they’re committing the lives of those Iraqi people over there. So I said what we need is to do a hunger strike, right in front of this White House, until they start bringing the troops home.”

Since beginning the fast on July 4, the peace activists have met with Senators and House members; have fed ice cream to homeless Washingtonians; and more than 4,000 supporters have joined the fast for at least one day. They include actors Danny Glover, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, writer Alice Walker, and labor leader Dolores Huerta.


“My goal is to bring the troops home,” said Ms. Wilson. “I don’t know how long I can fast, but I’m making this open ended. I fear our future is at stake, and I’m ready to make a major sacrifice,” she continued.

In mid-August the protest will relocate to Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, near President Bush’s vacation ranch, for two weeks. The protestors plan to return to Washington in early September, until the fast ends on International Peace Day, Sep. 21.

“…When all the hungry are fed, and all the children are housed,” a CODEPINK volunteer told a tourist passing by, “then, maybe, U.S. troops might be permitted to go into another country,” she said. But thousands of people are still homeless because of the lack of response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the group insists.

The CODEPINK activists are calling for others to support their hunger strike “to bring the Troops Home Fast! No weapons of mass destruction were found,” CODEPINK points out in a statement. “Iraq and Afghanistan under U.S. occupation have descended into chaos. And the U.S. reputation has been tainted by numerous charges of attacks on civilians and torture.”

There have been more than 2,500 U.S. military fatalities, and 18,500 wounded; more than 100,000 Iraqi civilian fatalities and over $315 billion has been spent on this war, an expensive price for dubious accomplishments, stated CODEPINK.