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CODEPINK Meets With Delegates

With many protesters complaining that the designated protest zone outside the Pepsi Center is too far away to be of use, some took matters into their own hands

CODEPINK, a grass-roots peace and social justice movement for women, and Military Families Speak Out were among several groups who decided to meet directly with delegates just off Denver’s 16th Street Mall to discuss what they consider to be important issues facing the presidential candidates.

Some 20 people met with about 10 delegates to discuss the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, domestic issues and a desire for a different military strategy in the United States.

“This is life and death of human beings,” said Gail Murphy of CODEPINK. “We’re the most powerful military strength in the world and we need to keep it in check.”

Representatives from Military Families Speak Out said they were protesting to urge presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) that if elected, he would pull out all troops from the Middle East as soon as he takes office.

Delegate Nick Isenberg from Glenwood Springs said he had been planning to go to the protest zone outside the Pepsi Center and was glad for the additional opportunity to discuss issues with citizens.

“The people here want peace just as much as I do,” Isenberg said. “We don’t need another macho president. What we need is Obama who is open to negotiation and new ways to think about our foreign relations.”

Most delegates, however, seemed grateful for a chance to speak peacefully with one another.

“It’s a democracy which should protect all rights even if I don’t agree with you,” delegate Carmine Iadarola of Jefferson County, Colo., said. “I want to be here talking to people because we’re one country and I’m supposed to represent the people.”

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