Anti-war protesters threw 164 single-dollar bills covered in blood onto the House floor Thursday night as lawmakers vote to approve continued funding for the Iraq War.
A member of CODEPINK dressed in regular clothes – as opposed to the group’s typical pink garb – stood up in the balcony and threw $164 covered with red fingerprints onto the floor when Members begin to vote on the bill. Each dollar symbolizes a billion more dollars being spent in the war supplemental.
Five other CODEPINK members stood in the audience dressed in more ostentatious outfits in support of the move, but did not partake in the money toss.
I think [Democratic leaders] are embarrassed of what they’re doing and we’re one of the few people who know it, said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK.
Earlier Thursday, CODEPINKers visited House leadership offices and read aloud a statement to staff about the need to end the war in Iraq. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) were among those paid a visit.
The statement blasts Democratic leaders for having conspired with the White House to keep the war in Iraq going well into the next administration.
Continuing funding for Iraq is “a complete betrayal of the American people who voted for a new Congress in 2006, the statement reads.
The American people do not want $165 billion more of our tax dollars going for war. You can’t find money for decent education, or health care for our children, yet you continue to pump hundreds of billions of our money into a war that the American people do not support. This is not democratic. This is not moral. Shame on you for betraying the American people and defiling our democracy, it adds.
CODEPINK members also left each office a paper with the image of a bloody handprint on it and taped another bloody print on their doors. Throughout the day, activists handed out bloody handprints to lawmakers who had previously voted for war funding as they came into the Capitol to vote.