For Immediate Release: December 5th, 2006

As John Bolton Resigns, Four Peace Women on Trial for Delivering Anti-War Petition to US Mission to the UN


Medea Benjamin 415-235-6517
Dana Balicki 707-280-9074

December 5, 2006 -- Cindy Sheehan and CODEPINK's Medea Benjamin Say Charges Should be Dropped and Ambassador John Bolton Should Apologize

When: December 4-December 8
Where: New York City Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, Room 535

On December 4, the same day that UN Ambassador John Bolton announced his resignation, the trial began of 4 women arrested at the US Mission to the UN. On March 6, 2006, in celebration of International Women's Day, the women's peace group CODEPINK had collected 72,000 signatures on a petition entitled Women Say No to War and about 50 women attempted to deliver the petition to the office of John Bolton. Instead, the group was stopped by the New York City police and four of the leaders were arrested and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing government administration. The trial began on Monday, December 4 in the New York City Criminal Court and will continue until Friday, December 8. The four women charged are “peace mom” Cindy Sheehan, CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin, Episcopal priest Patti Ackerman and Missy Beattie of Gold Star Families for Peace.

“We were a peaceful group of women who simply wanted to give our petition to a representative of the US Mission headed by John Bolton,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. “But in classic Bolton-style diplomacy, instead of taking our petition and thanking us for our efforts, the UN Mission called the police to arrest us. It's outrageous.”

Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, was hurt by the police as they dragged her across the concrete pavement. “It's terrible that women working for peace and representing the sentiments of the majority of people in this country—and the world—should be treated like dangerous criminals. Instead of being on trial, we should get an apology from Mr. Bolton before he leaves office.”

Attorney Robert Gottlieb, one of the lawyers for the defendants, can be reached at 212-566-7766.