New Yorkers protest Saudi Prince’s trip to NYC; calling on Mayor and US Senators to speak out against Saudi/US war on Yemen
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New York, NY – New Yorkers assembled on the steps of City Hall on March 20, 2018; to ask Mayor de Blasio to speak out against the upcoming Saudi prince’s visit to NYC because of his key role in creating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The demonstrators called also on US Senators Schumer, Gillibrand and Menendez to publicly commit to voting for the Sanders-Lee Yemen Resolution likely to be debated later Tuesday or Wednesday. The resolution would remove US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Protests are being planned in additional US cities where the Saudi Crown Prince is expected.
Today the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is meeting President Trump. Meanwhile, the Senate may vote today on ending US support for the Saudi war on Yemen. The prince will travel to NYC next week. This morning activists protested at NY City Hall and the White House.
“For three years now, I have witnessed the total destruction of my ancestors’ homeland and the pain and suffering of family, friends, and millions of innocent Yemenis as my beloved America continues to fuel and support Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen.” – Rabyaah Althaibani, NYC protest co-organizer.
The war in Yemen is creating what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis: thousands of civilian deaths, untold hunger, and the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history with over one million suspected cases by the end of 2017. This crisis has been deeply exacerbated by the Saudi-led military intervention and blockade, which has received critical support from both the Obama and Trump administrations in the form of arms sales, targeting assistance, intelligence sharing, and mid-air refueling of Saudi bombers. US bombs have been used in Yemen against markets, hospitals, funeral halls, and residential neighborhoods. This support has never been authorized by Congress.
“Time is running out for the people of Yemen. We thank Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker for supporting the bill to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. We demand that Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez follow their lead. Congress should listen to the American people: Stop bombing children.” – Isaac Evans-Frantz, Organizer, Action Corps NYC, Protest Co-Organizer.
Despite Saudi Arabia’s reported measures to provide humanitarian relief, humanitarian and commercial access remains highly restricted. Protest organizers demand the United States end all support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.
“For more than three years I have seen the world forgetting the war on Yemen. I have seen the people who didn’t get killed by rockets and Saudi bombs killed by slow death. Sixty-five percent of the Yemeni people have been working without a salary for two years. They need immediate help. The people are dying from hunger and disease from no electricity, no water, and no gas. Even the environment is polluted by the use of internationally prohibited weapons. I have a hope that the USA is going to stop the war and save Yemeni people’s lives.” – Somia Alrowmeim, NYC Protest Co-Organizer and MC.
Since March 2015, the U.S. has supported the Saudi coalition in Yemen. U.S. bombs have been used in Yemen against markets, hospitals, funeral halls and residential neighborhoods. The Saudi-led coalition’s blockade of commercial goods and humanitarian aid into Yemen has caused much of this suffering. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) have introduced a bill to remove unauthorized US forces from the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The bill is expected to be debated Tuesday or Wednesday.
“The population of Yemen is sick and starving, and being bombed the Saudi-led coalition with U.S. support. Our elected officials — Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Mayor Bill de Blasio — must end support for this unconscionable war impacting Yemeni families, in New York and in Yemen.” – Kate Alexander, Policy and Outreach Director, Peace Action NYS, Protest Co-Host.
“Mohammed Bin Salman employs an army of lobbyists and PR firms to sell himself as a reformer when he is really a war criminal and a power-hungry bully whose ego rivals that of Donald Trump,” says Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK cofounder and author of a book on Saudi Arabia. “It is absurd that the US is in bed with this ‘prince’ who mercilessly bombs Yemen, shakes down Saudi businessmen, captured the Lebanese prime minister, concocted a rift with Qatar and even kidnapped his own mother. The Saudi monarchy also jails and beheads dissidents, discriminates against the Shia minority, and forces women to live under a repressive male guardianship system. It is not a regime the United States should be arming and abetting.”
“Mohammed bin Salman’s propaganda tour of the United States should not be allowed to obscure the devastating impact of his U.S.-backed bombing campaign and blockade of Yemen, which has killed thousands and put millions more at risk. The best way to mark his visit is for the Senate to pass the Sanders/Lee/Murphy bill that would end U.S. support for Saudi air strikes that Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) has said ‘look like war crimes.'” — William D. Hartung, Center for International Policy, NY Protest Speaker
The event was organized by Yemeni-American community activists and Action Corps NYC and is co-hosted by various organizations, including New York and New Jersey chapters of Veterans For Peace, Peace Committee of 15th St. Quakers, Peace Action New York State, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, MPower Change, and War Resisters League.
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