11 activists arrested during sit-in at Senator Bernie Sanders’ office



by Danaka Katovich, CODEPINK National Co-Director

On October 4, CODEPINK walked the halls of Congress with over 60 people who came from all over the world to call for negotiations, not escalation in Ukraine following an anti-war rally on the evening of October 3 with Dr. Cornel West as the keynote speaker. The purpose of the last two days has been to point out the hypocrisy of progressives who fund endless wars, even progressive champion: Bernie Sanders.

Our action in the morning began with a sit-in in Senator Bernie Sanders’ office that resulted in the arrest of 11 of us — including a peace movement elder named Joan, who is 89-years-old.

Throughout the day, we had lively debates with Hill staffers that all sounded the same. “Do you really think negotiations will work?” some of the staffers asked condescendingly, conveniently forgetting that it’s their policy of sending weapons that hasn’t worked for the last year and a half.

I sat across the table from an older peace activist after he got out of jail — a Vermonter and constituent of Bernie Sanders — as he told me about how he had done a sit-in at Bernie’s office when he voted for funding the Iraq war back in 2003. It became clear to me that foreign policy “experts” on the hill can’t condescend to us: the wars that are popular today won’t be in a few years, once you’ve drained all the resources and talking points that keep lining the pockets of politicians and executives at Lockheed Martin.

Ukraine is losing negotiating power every day. More Ukrainians are dying, and $140 billion later, members of Congress insist that $24 billion more will end the war for good. They sent cluster bombs and depleted uranium that will prolong the harmful effects of the war for decades after it’s over. Cluster bombs killed or injured tens of thousands of people in Laos after the war in Vietnam ended, and the people that voted for these weapons insist that they are the ones who care about the lives of civilians. They do not or they are seemingly misguided. Fueling this war endlessly will only kill more people — that’s how wars of attrition go.