STUNNING VISUAL ANTI-WAR EXHIBIT OPENS IN DC ON FRIDAY

Contact: CONTACT:
Dana Balicki 202 422 8624
Liz Kimmerly 310 460 9082

January 26th, 2007

CODEPINK: Women for Peace will create a powerful visual representation of the deaths caused by the Iraq war the day before thousands take to the streets in DC for an end to the Iraq war.

WHEN: Friday, January 26, 2007, 12 Noon

WHERE: On the Mall at 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC 

VISUALS: Thousands of shoes of all sizes representing the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians killed in the war. Each pair of shoes is tagged with the name of an Iraqi killed since we invaded Iraq.  The shoes will be displayed in a 4 x 8 foot plexi-glass case.

WHAT: As thousands of people begin arriving in Washington, DC for Saturday's mass mobilization against the Iraq war, the women's peace group CODEPINK with Iraqi Voices for Peace will set up a display of thousands of shoes, representing civilians killed in Iraq. The exhibit, called “Walk In Their Shoes” will be available for viewing starting Friday, January 26th at 12 Noon on the Mall at 3rd Street, NW. CODEPINK co-founders, Representatives of Iraqi Voices for Peace, Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health and Veterans for Peace will be speaking.

The "Walk in Their Shoes" installation acknowledges the desperate plight of the Iraqis, especially those who have lost their lives in this devastating war and occupation. A recent Johns Hopkins report (Nov 2006) revealed that over 655,000 Iraqis have died since the US invasion and polls show that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want the US military to leave. An estimated 2.5 million Iraqis are internally displaced or have fled to other countries. The shoes help people to visualize the unspeakable pain and suffering this war has inflicted on the Iraqi people. They also serve to remind elected officials and voters of the consequences of voting to go to war, voting to fund war, voting to "stay the course". Holocaust survivors throughout the world have displayed shoes to represent the hundreds of thousands of people killed in concentration camps during World War II. The Iraq war has so far cost the lives of 3,063 US soldiers and caused the injuries of more than 47,000 others (http://www.icasualties.org/oif/). The installation will continue to grow during the weekend as people from around the country bring a pair of shoes to join in respect of the Iraqi people.  The display will be on exhibit January 26-28 on the National Mall then moved to a permanent display in the Washington area.

“Everyone marching in DC this weekend will be reminding President Bush and the new Congress of the message voters sent in the mid-term elections: we want an end to the war in Iraq. This exhibit is a visual representation of one of the many tragic outcomes of this war – the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. How many more Iraqis and US soldiers are going to die before our government supports a political solution to end this war?” said Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK, the national women's peace group that created the exhibit.

The Walk in Their Shoes exhibit is being created by CODEPINK and Iraqi Voices for Peace to coincide with the Saturday, January 27th “Mandate for Peace” march that is expected to bring tens of thousands of people to Washington, DC to demand that politicians end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home. The march is being organized by United for Peace and Justice (www.unitedforpeace.org), a national antiwar coalition with more than 1,400 member groups.

CODEPINK is a national women's peace group that “interrupted” prime time speeches at the Republican National Convention and the 2004 presidential inauguration. Started in the lead-up to the Iraq war, CODEPINK has inspired thousands of women throughout the United States and the world to make the color pink synonymous with political rabble rousing.

In addition to creating the Walk in Their Shoes exhibit, CODEPINK will be leading a women's peace rally at 10 AM on Saturday, January 27th. The rally will feature Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Rhea Perlman, Eve Ensler, Mimi Kennedy, Q'orianka Kilcher and others. After the rally, CODEPINK will lead those in attendance into the United for Peace and Justice march.

Pink Slip at the Walk In Their Shoes Press Conference. Photo by Rae Abileah