About a dozen CodePink demonstrators showed up today outside WME’s Beverly Hills offices to protest Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, known as Prince Salman. WME has been working to finalize a deal whereby the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia will acquire a 5%-10% stake in Endeavor (the holding company for WME) for roughly $400M.
CodePink is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement that seeks positive social change through proactive, creative protest and nonviolent direct action. Its member have been up in arms over the treatment of women in Yemen and the massive humanitarian crisis caused by the government itself. “This is a man who does not allow freedom for women,” said CodePink co-founder Jodie Evans. “He’s a dictator, and he’s bombing Yemen. There is nothing charming about this prince.”
The prince went to WME following a meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti to talk about investment in Los Angeles. The group next will protest tomorrow at 11 AM Tuesday in front of the Rand Corporation on Main Street in Santa Monica.
One of the women who helped organize the protest is Medea Benjamin, CodePink co-founder and author of a book on Saudia Arabia who is very knowledgeable about the country. According to Benjamin: “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 thug whose ego rivals that of Donald Trump. It is absurd that the U.S. 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.”
Anita Busch contributed to this report.