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(DV) Zeese: Marine Mom Arrested at Speaker Pelosi's Washington, DC Office





Marine Mom Arrested at Speaker Pelosi's
Washington, DC Office

by Kevin Zeese
April 17, 2007

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Marine Mom Tina Richards was arrested at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on Monday, April 16, 2007.  She was seeking to deliver a letter on behalf of a “Women’s Delegation for Peace” (see letter below with bios of the delegation members). 

The event was organized by Code Pink to welcome Congress back and urge an end to the war. Also participating were members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Vets for Peace, Voters For Peace, Iraqi Voices for Peace, Democracy Rising, Washington Peace Center, Grassroots America and other organizations and individuals. 

The arrest occurred in the hallway outside of the Speaker’s office as the delegation was protesting the media being forced to leave the Speaker’s office.  Advocates reacted by reading the First Amendment of the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law abridging the Freedom of the Press,” and were shouting that phrase as well as urging an end to the war.

As she was being arrested, Tina Richards said: “The Democrats should not buy Bush’s war. They should fulfill the mandate the voters gave them in November 2006 to end the war and not extend it.  Bring our troops home now.”

Her fellow anti-war advocates urged the police not to arrest the Marine mom, whose son, Cloy has served two tours of duty in Iraq and has been found by the VA to be 80% disabled.  They described the arrest as “un-American” and urged the police to not arrest someone who was merely speaking out against the war within her rights under the Constitution.  

April 16, 2007 
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                  
Speaker of the House                                            
U.S. House of Representatives                               
Washington, DC 20515 

Respond to Tina Richards at: 
573-247-8059 (cell) 

Re: Meeting with those most affected by the war and working hardest to end it

Dear Speaker Pelosi: 
We are writing to request a meeting with you about ending the Iraq war.  Our delegation of women for peace consists of those most affected by the war and working hardest to end it.  Specifically we represent active duty soldiers, Iraq veterans, veterans of prior wars, military families, Iraqi families and peace movement leaders.  
In December, 2006 you stated, “my highest priority, immediately, is to stop the war in Iraq.”  More recently you pledged, “as a mother I will exhaust every remedy for peace.”  As the first woman Speaker of the House who we admire for breaking the ‘marble ceiling’ and also as a mother, we want to help you achieve your highest priority.  Signing this letter is each member of our delegation who seek to meet with you and exchange views.   
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.  As the war escalates, our troops die and innocent Iraqis are slaughtered, the urgency of this meeting cannot be overstated. 

Staff Sergeant Tassi McKee, Appeal for Redress 
Kelly Dougherty, Iraq Veterans Against the War 
Stacey Hafley, Military Families Speak Out 
Ret. Col. Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace 
Tina Richards, Grassroots America, Military Families Speak Out 
Sara Wright, Military Families Speak Out 
Aseel Al Banna, Iraqi Voices for Peace 
Sue Udry, United for Peace and Justice Coalition 
Medea Benjamin, Progressive Democrats of America, Code Pink 
Linda Schade, VotersForPeace

Members of the Women’s Peace Delegation

Staff Sergeant Tassi McKee is with Appeal for Redress,,  a group of active duty, reserve, and guard service members who are  appealing to their Congressional Representative and U.S. Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation.  She is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force where she is an intelligence analyst.

Kelly Dougherty is the executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War, She spent Dougherty spent 10 months in Iraq with the 220th Military Police Company.

Stacey Hafley of Military Families Speak Out,, president of the Midwest chapter of MFSO and on the board of the organization. She is the wife of an Iraq veteran and Ret. Col. Joseph Hafley.

Ret. Col. Ann Wright is the president of Veterans For Peace,, joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served as Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassies in Sierra Leone , Micronesia and briefly in Afghanistan . She received the State Department's Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2500 persons from the civil war in Sierra Leone , the largest evacuation since the evacuation of Saigon in 1974. She resigned from the State Department due to her opposition for the Iraq War.  Before entering the Foreign Service, she served in the Army and has a combined regular Army/Army Reserve service time of 29 years. She served primarily in special operations units and attained the rank of colonel.

Tina Richards is the CEO of Grassroots America,  She is the mother of Marine Cpl. Cloy Richards who served two tours in Iraq and is now 80% disabled. She managed the congressional campaign of Democrat, Veronica Hambacker, in Missouri.

Sara Wright is a member of Military Families Speak Out,  She lives in Oregon and is the mother of Spc. Swift, who when facing a redeployment to Iraq while serving under the command of the same individuals that allowed her to be raped and sexual harassed, suffered a breakdown due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and went absent without leave rather than subject herself to the horrors she experienced during her first tour of duty.  Suzanne currently serves in the military after being court-martialed.

Aseel Al Banna is co-founder of Iraqi Voices for Peace.  She was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq were she studied architecture and urban studies at the school of architectural engineering at the University of Technology. Aseel is an Iraqi-American architect and peace activist based in Washington, DC.

Sue Udry serves as the Legislative Action Coordinator United for Peace and Justice, UFPJ is a coalition of more than 1300 local and national groups throughout the United States who have joined together to protest the Iraq War.

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of Code Pink,, and the international human rights organization, Global Exchange.  She also serves on the advisory board of Progressive Democrats of America.

Linda Schade is Executive Director of VotersForPeace,, an organization of voters organizing to educate the public about the importance of using your vote for peace. She was a co-founder of the election integrity organizations TrueVoteMD and VoteTrustUSA.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Democracy Rising and co-founder of Voters For Peace.

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