In light of the recent shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) urges Americans to show their opposition to the policies of the Bush administration by donating pairs of shoes to their local homeless shelters and other organizations serving the needy. The gesture is also intended as a show of support for Iraqi reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi who remains in detention, accused by the Iraqi government of a "barbaric act."
Al-Zaidi threw his shoes at George W. Bush during his recent surprise visit to Iraq. Al-Zaidi has been hailed as a hero in the Arab world as thousands marched today to demand his release. A spokesman for the prime minister said that al-Zaidi may be sent for trial on charges of insulting the Iraqi state.
In a news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad yesterday, Mr. al-Zaidi shouted "this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog," then flung one shoe at Bush—the worst insult in the Arab world—forcing him to duck. A second shoe flew over Bush's head and hit the wall behind him.
"With that single brave act, Mr. al-Zaidi has inspired the Guild to transform one country's negative symbol into a gesture of goodwill," says Heidi Boghosian, NLG Executive Director.
NLG President Marjorie Cohn says, "The support for al-Zaidi shown by many Iraqis demonstrates the depth of opposition to Bush's war and occupation of Iraq. We call on all Americans to join in this campaign as we urge the Iraqi government to afford al-Zaidi his full due process rights."
The shoe drive will run until January 19, 2009, President Bush's last full day in office. The NLG asks you to visit this site to show your support for this drive.
Click here to find a Goodwill location. To find locations of churches or other facilities that provide clothing free-of-charge to the needy, please call the NLG National Office at 212-679-5100.