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CODEPINK Activists Arrested After Staging Sit-In Inside Bernie Sander's D.C. Office

Co-Founder Madea Benjamin: 'This Is NOT A MAGA Issue Or A Republican Issue But An Issue Of Human Survival'

CODEPINK activists protesting Ukraine aid were arrested outside Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ Washington, D.C. office on Wednesday.

Last night, the group held an “Urgency of Pursing Peace in Ukraine” event in Washington demanding a ceasefire and end to munitions aid for Ukraine. The event featured guest speakers including Green Party presidential candidate Cornel West among others.

Activists staged a sit-in inside Sanders’ Washington office protesting the Vermont senator’s support for Ukraine on Wednesday.

“Give peace a chance,” the protestors sang inside Sanders’ office. “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

One activist held a sign featuring an Oct. 25, 2022 quote from the Vermont senator reading, “We must work hard to achieve a realistic and mutually agreeable resolution — one that is acceptable to Ukraine, Russia, the United States and our European allies.”

“So let’s sit down. Let’s negotiate,” Sanders’ quote reads. “Let’s come up with a diplomatic solution.”

The quote stems from a February 2022 op-ed from Sanders published by The Guardian at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Other activists held signs with similar messaging urging peace in Ukraine.

Sanders’ Foreign Policy Advisor Matt Duss and Chief of Staff Misty Rebik met with protestors in the Vermont senator’s office and discussed his continued support for the war against Russia.

“This was a war of aggression by Vladimir Putin against Ukraine,” Duss said, adding he shared the same view as Senator Sanders.

One activist sitting on the floor of Sanders’ office held a sign reading “NEGOTIATE PEACE IN UKRAINE.”

“Many of us agree with that,” the activist said. “It’s illegal, it’s brutal, it should be condemned by everyone. Let’s stop it.”

“The fact of the matter is Putin is still pursuing military goals by military means,” Duss responded. “He’s launching attacks on Ukraine every day, including attacks on civilians, civilian infrastructure.”

“Ukrainians are on their own territory. They have a right to defend themselves under the UN charter,” Duss continued as another activist interjected, “So do the people of Gaza” — a reference to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.

The first activist said there was no end goal for the conflict.

Duss said it was “hard to say” when Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zekenskyy would be ready to negotiate a peace deal.

Timcast News field reporter Elad Eliahu asked Duss and Rebik whether Senator Sanders supported or condemned Ukrainians using American weapons in Russia. Duss said he hadn’t seen evidence to support Eliahu’s suggestion.

“Would Senator Sanders condemn them doing so though?” Eliahu pressed Duss, who said it was a “hypothetical situation.”

“The U.S. government, the administration, is handling these weapons transfers,” Duss said as Eliahu noted Ukraine had attacked Russia on the Crimean Bridge. The first activist agreed with Eliahu, adding Ukraine had received longer range missiles.

Duss said the U.S. government was putting “strict conditions” on weapons provided to Ukraine though insisted there was no evidence, to his knowledge, of Ukrainians using American weapons to attack Russian territories.

Eliahu asked Duss who he believed was responsible for the 2022 bombing of Nord Stream 2, to which the foreign policy advisor said he didn’t know.

“Does Senator Sanders think America had any involvement in the Nord Stream 2 bombing?” Eliahu asked.

“I don’t think we know who’s responsible for the Nord Stream 2 bombing,” Duss responded as activists audibly expressed dissatisfaction.

Shortly after the interaction in Sanders’ office, Capitol police arrested the CODEPINK member holding the sign with the Vermont Senator’s quote. The woman was escorted away by Capitol police followed by the arrest of other CODEPINK members.

“We are showing up to remind Bernie of the values he espoused that made his name what it is. And call on him to stand for peace, to call for diplomacy and to again lead for peace,” said CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans.

Fellow co-founder Madea Benjamin said she was “appalled” at the lack of Democrats seeking peace talks amidst the foreign conflict.

“This is NOT a MAGA issue or a Republican issue but an issue of human survival to stop World War Three and possibly a nuclear war,” she said. “We need Bernie to be with us on the side of peace.”

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