For Immediate Release: October 11th, 2011

Four Protesters Arrested at Senate Finance Committee Meeting for Supporting U.S. Jobs and Human Rights


October 11, 2011


Medea Benjamin 415-235-6517

Alli McCracken 860-575-5692

            Today at 5 p.m. in the Senate Finance hearing, four activists were arrested on the orders of Democratic Chairman Max Baucus for voicing their opposition to free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.  These bills represent trade deals that will benefit multinational corporations but kill U.S. jobs.

           Among those arrested were author/journalist David Swanson, and two members of the peace group CODEPINK. In addition to protesting U.S. job losses, they spoke out against the killing of trade unionists in Colombia. “How can we have a trade agreement with a country like Colombia where workers are killed for organizing?” asked Karen Boyer, a teacher from Oregon. Carol Gaye, from New Jersey, said she was compelled to speak out when she heard the hypocrisy of the senators who are supposed to represent the American people but are ready to send more U.S. jobs overseas. Carol was holding up a sign that said “Stop killing U.S. jobs.” Both women, and the other two arrestees, are part of the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington DC, which is in solidarity with the Wall Street occupation.

“We're proud of the four activists who stood up for workers rights,” said CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin, who was also at the hearing. “With the crisis of unemployment in this country, we are outraged by senators who support a big business bill that would kill more American jobs.”

For more information on the DC occupation of Freedom Plaza, see