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Code Pink Arrests Mark 4,000 Deaths In Iraq War

By Judith Scherr
Tuesday March 25, 2008

Screaming and wailing to mark the 4,000th America soldier who had died in Iraq, four Code Pink women blocked the doorway at the downtown Marine Recruiting Center Monday, then walked inside where police handcuffed and arrested them. 

“There are 4,000 lost lives and many communities affected,” said Code Pink organizer Zanne Joi, speaking through a bullhorn as she sat in the MRC doorway before the arrest. 

“How many more will die?” asked Medea Benjamin, seated with Joi. The group of about 15 supporters gathered around them chanting, “No more killing,” and joined Berkeley singer-songwriter Betsy Rose in “We Shall Not Be Moved.” Others stood on the curb holding anti-war signs and banners. 

Earlier, when Joi affixed a banner “Berkeley says no to war” to the MRC window, Marine Corps Captain Richard Lund came out and ripped it off. This was repeated several times, with Joi affixing the banner each time and Lund ripping it off. 

“Captain Lund, this is just a window—4,000 people are dead,” Joi said. Lund responded that he wanted clean windows. 

Benjamin, Joi, Pam Bennett and Toby Blome of Code Pink were arrested inside the station and charged with trespassing, according to Lt. Andrew Greenwood, police spokesperson. At the Planet’s 5 p.m. deadline, police had not released them, but, according to Greenwood, they were expected to be released on their own recognizance by 7 p.m. Greenwood said they were waiting for fingerprint confirmations from Alameda County.  

Lund declined to speak to the Daily Planet.