Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Friday, January 21, 2005

united we stand - for progressive values!

the first event (that i'm attending) to kick off the progessive democrats summit happened this evening at a progressive church in d.c. i was staffing the codepink table so again, i didn't get to hear everything folks were saying but what i did hear was so inspirational. a young man, returning from iraq & now a conscientious objector spoke with such feeling about the tragedy of war, the abuse he witnessed, the horrid impact of war on him & his fellow soldiers as well as the iraqi people. he also listed what the $40 million being spent on this coronation could provide for veterans and for soldiers, how it would quadruple the budget for health provisions, etc. for soldiers - how 'support our troops' is another busheetism.
medea was inspirational as usual, speaking of the 40 million dollar party that we crashed! and warning us of the severe upcoming attacks on social services, the poor, communities of color, wimmin that are in the works. it is time for us really express our determination, to work even harder, to do 10 times what we've done yesterday. she said we will never be safe by bombs & bullets, only by peace & love. she spoke of the phenomenal $600,000 in aid delivered to fulluja - not just the miracle of raising that much aid, but that most of the families that went were victims of this war, people who had lost their own child in iraq - these were the people reaching out to give iraqi's help. medea told us bush might not even make it four years, as our peace & justice movement is growing stronger & stronger moment by moment & many folks are disgusted with the carnage of war - so good bye bush!
i cannot do justice to the many speakers & voices that were expressed so amazingly tonite - i don't know if it was recorded but it should have been.
the program didn't end until midnite & we had a communication break=down - no way home! two attendees volunteered to lug our stuff & the 8 of us home in 6 degree weather! thanks so much!!! later, sam

codepink actions for 2005

these are SOME of the actions discussed at our meeting today: not a complete list by all means but a beginning:
1) confront & root out racism, in our organization, our communities, our country
2) duplicate berkeley & s.f.'s ballot initiative to withdraw our troops from iraq immediately
3) target military recruiters, ESPECIALLY in/at high schools
4) VIGILS - continue w/wedesday women 5-7 p.m. vigils cross the country, hand out quarter page info sheets, recruit more codepinkers, spread codepink on the corner!
5) have imaginative actions: washington wimmin had a 'pepto-Dismal' event w/suggestions on how to 'stomach' the next 4 years! check them out - evergreen college wimmin - fabulous!
6) gi cafes - support for military families & soldiers; c.o. info as well
7) boycott corporation, business, government - no taxes!
8) get governors to refuse to send national guard & to bring national guard home
9) social security - we must NOT allow bush to privatize ss
10) fundamenalist christians - target w/vigils, discussions, info sharing; inspire other christians to act 11) coffee clatches, tea parties, sewing circles: show dvd's, invite neighbors, friends, co-workers, discussion groups, action groups, codepink members
12) pink memorial ribbon - make 2x3' pannels w/each dead soldier's info - sew together making large ribbon we can wrap around the white house, use in demos, etc.

free at last... to be continued

medea & diane were released around 3:00a.m. this morning - no need for jail support! yeah! medea was on air america talking about her experience - the rest of us were meeting at cafe luna for a 'debriefing' and planning session.
first i want to give a shout-out for all the FABULOUS coffee houses around the country, homes actually - do you know in sooooooo many cities across this country there are folks who open coffee houses that are also actual community/social/political centers? allowing us to hold meetings, use computers, telephone lines, and whatever other resources travelors, organizers, activists need! it is truly wonderful.
and then there are the ordinary folks who also open their homes - here in d.c., gael & lori (who are out of the country for a few weeks) left us a key and turned their 3 story home with a full basement also, over to us, a group swelling up to 15 wimmin at times. we have computers on 2 floors, free long distance, toilet paper, soap, food in the cupboards & fridge - it's just unbelieveable! and i know of other folks who've opened their homes as well. and it has been soooo wonderful staying in a house full of funny, active, bright, intense, creative, compassionate codepink wimmin from all around the country.
everyone agreed this morning (at our debriefing & where-do-we-go-from-here meeting) that it has meant so much for us to be together at this time in our lives when such a tragic occurance as the inauguration of a liar, a coward, a despicable creature, the pinnacle of corporate greed & corruption, was sworn in as the leader of our country.
we had report backs from the actions, especially the inside action disrupting the inaugural ceremony: diane reported to us about being inside the ceremony, the moment bush began speaking you could hear a cresendo of "no war" cries and loud 'boo's' from outside the 'secured' area. she told us how as the codepink wimmin were doing our thing, unfurling banners, standing on chairs, holding up signs, shouting messages, several other people from around the area also began standing & doing the same thing? she said it was so inspiring!
tiffany, who also got in, spoke of how she was fighting w/republicans to hold onto her signs & banners - then she realized she could always just reach down & pull out another one! so that's what they did!
we are always sad to lose so many fabulous banners & signs at these actions....
medea reported about the arrest & jail time: she talked about how she initially distracted the police in their attempts to arrest them by pointing to the president who had just talked about the right to dissent! 'see' she says pointing to him, 'the leader of the country just told us we have the right to dissent!' and the police backed off momentarily! diane & medea wrapped their arms & legs around each other, chairs, posts - whatever they could hold on to. the washington police, most were definitely on the side of the protestors, finally gave up trying to pry them loose! medea asked them if they wanted diane & her to get up? which they then did.
rae reported that after the group she was with was escorted outside, they continued to stand at the arena's entrance with the banner (they managed to hold on to) spread out chanting "end the occupation" and 'no war'.
brave, courageous, unreasonable wimmin!!! yeah!!!!
one of the points i'd like to make here is that if you're feeling disheartened & discouraged, as many folks who did NOT participate in actions yesterday expressed to me, then i say, get off your butts, get out into the streets, ACT NOW - it is soooooo empowering and inspiring - i think those who are not acting are those who are depressed. action dispells fear, depression, hopelessness.
and to those who talk about singing to the choir, i say sing on! the choir needs to hear our voices and you never know who's lurking around the choir who's also listening. not to say only sing to the choir - just sing! that's the MOST important thing. don't worry about getting the song right, the tune perfect - just do it! practice makes perfect.
back to our meeting - i'm going to list the ideas of where we go from here in a seperate posting - after the report backs, we had an evaluation time when we talked about the great things & the things that need improving. then we ended so some could go home & some could head to the 'united we stand' event at a church in d.c.!