War protest fuels election fervor
South Lake Tahoe activist Sam Joi wore both the numbers of American casualties as well as Iraqi dead. Hundreds of shoes representing the often forgotten casualties of the war, civilians, were lined up at El Dorado Beach park with tags attached with the names of Iraqi men, women and children who have been killed during the war.
Give Peace A Vote organized the display of shoes with Code Pink in an effort to get voters to cast ballots against candidates who do not plan to work for an immediate end to the conflict in Iraq.
The national women’s peace group Code Pink was confronted by South Lake Tahoe police who told the protesters that they didn’t have the right to assemble without a permit and that they needed to leave.
“We’re Code Pink, we don’t get intimidated,” Joi said, “other people might have been intimidated. We told them we were waiting for the press.”
Joi wanted to know why the police were trying to end the peaceful protest prematurely, asking “since when do the police limit our rights instead of protecting them?”
A few protesters held signs such as “Women say no to war” and a banner that read “Are they the enemy? Stop the violence” for the honking cars as they passed by the disembodied shoes.
“Doolittle hates us, he says we’re hooligans. We have such an opportunity to get rid of these politicians, and not just Doolittle, who are keeping us in this war. It’s billions of dollars later and a congress that still refuses to investigate,” Joi said. “The American people are speaking and they’re speaking loudly. Bring our troops home for the holidays. The Iraqi dead, they’re just collateral damage to them. But one death is too many, one human life is too many.” Joi cited a new study by Johns Hopkins University that reported at least 655,000 Iraqis have died since 2003.
A press release for the protest noted that Holocaust survivors also display shoes to remember the dead.