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How CODEPINK changed my life

I was the sort of idealistic history major who actually thought my government ought to fulfill the promises it had made to be of, by and for the people. As my family was growing up I was often too busy earning a living and being a mom to pay close attention to the news. In any case, in the pre-Internet days, it was a whole lot harder to find information outside of packaged spin by mainstream media. I was a one-off activist, responding here and there to injustice with ideas that usually, because I am  a writer, centered around communication.

As CODEPINK began to colorfully and vocally object to the Bush administration’s war on Iraq, I began to notice them. At least someone is representing me in Washington, I would think when I saw photos of Desiree with “blood” on her hands confronting Condi Rice, or Medea being ejected from congressional hearings while shouting out the truth.

I had been increasingly active with my local peace and justice allies when one day I decided to explore the CODEPINK website. Clicking on the state of Maine I found that there was no local coordinator listed — and that just didn’t seem right! That very day I applied to move up to that leadership role in my area.

The mentoring and inspiration from the wonderful women of CP has been non-stop ever since. I was fortunate to visit the Pink House and spend a week in action just as the first Obama cabinet began testifying in Congress. My first day there a group of us went to the TARP hearing where Tim Geithner answered to Elizabeth Warren, and the photos of us hovering pinkly behind an irritated treasury secretary are my all time favorites.

It would take a small book to list the ways that CP has mentored, supported, and amplified my voice for justice. The incredible network of local leaders has supplied me with a band of sisters and brothers that have enriched my life and fired me up with creative ideas for vibrant activism. Even more exciting is the number of people who have said their activism is energized by my local group’s creative and fun ideas for getting the truth out and inspiring others.

CODEPINK has turned out to be one of the great blessings of my life!

-Lisa Savage, CODEPINK Maine

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So Happy to Be PINK

I believe the year was 2004.  United for Peace and Justice had planned a large anti war rally on Sunday, August 29th.  The night before the rally, Codepink sponsored Women Against War an evening of music and inspiration.  There was music and spoken word to celebrate women’s passion, creativity and strength in saying no to war and yes to peace and justice.  Eve Ensler, Amy Goodman, Cynthis McKinney, Aya De Leon, Noe Veneble, and We Got Issues were on hand at the historic Riverside Church for a fantastic evening of entertainment, bonding, and celebrating women against war.  Only being in the peace movement for over a year, I was so impressed with the commitment, passion, and dedication women from codepink were about going to war with Iraq.  I was very proud to be pink and very grateful I had found a colorful womens group to help me express my anger and opposition to war with.  Congradulations to Codepink for 10 years of speaking truth to power. 

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Giving CODEPINK a Voice

In the summer of 2005, I noticed that CODEPINK’s Los Angeles group was going to be staging a play about election reform and they needed local actors, including young ones. I had been a fan of CODEPINK from the start, and had been wanting to get more involved; this seemed like a great opportunity. I asked my daughter Hannah—an emerging activist at the time, as well as a budding actor—if she’d like to go to the audition, and she was excited by the prospect.

We drove down to a funky little bungalow in Venice, which turned out to be full of women of all ages, many in pink t-shirts.  After demonstrating her passionate portrayal of the “child of the future” for the director, Hannah was offered a part on the spot. 

As we sat in the airy front room, a gorgeous woman with flaming red hair, and a pink scarf draped gracefully around her neck, burst through the door and introduced herself as Jodie Evans. While the play people talked their play talk, I followed Jodie into the cozy kitchen. 

“I admire your work so much,” I told her. “If there is anything I can do to help in any way, please let me know.” I told her that I was a writer, that I was always looking for ways to use my voice for good.

"Thanks." She smiled and retreated to her office. About half an hour later, just before Hannah and I were about to leave, Jodie burst back into the room, teary and alive with excitement. She had just gotten off the phone with a woman named Cindy Sheehan, she told us. Cindy had just sat down in a ditch in Crawford, Texas and said she refused to leave until President Bush told her what noble cause her son had died for in Iraq. Shivers ran up and down my arms.

Jodie turned to me. “Can you write a press release about this?” she asked.

I started writing for CODEPINK that day—op-eds and chants and whatever else needed to be put into words. For awhile, I was writing the weekly action alerts that go out to our 200,000 members, asking them to sign petitions or visit their representative or write letters to the editor or find creative ways to work for peace in their own communities. I know these alerts reached more people than my fiction ever will; not only that, they inspired action, encouraged change. My life has gotten a bit crazy in the past few years, and I haven’t had as much time to devote to CODEPINK as I would like, but my heart is still hot pink. I feel very grateful to be able to lend my voice to CODEPINK when I can, and even more grateful that CODEPINK gives voice to women around the world. 

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One of my most recent CODEPINK highlights (and I go back to spring 2003 with the organization so I have many to remember) is being in Washington Square Park in NYC on #S15, or September 15, the first of 3 exciting days of conversations, GAs, an antiwar breakout discussion group led by a 17-yr-old, direct actions and more! I met up with one of my heroes, retired Colonel Ann Wright, and we shared a laugh in the sunshine. I was wearing my current favorite CP t-shirt, with Gloria Steinem’s quote: “The truth will set you free - but first it will piss you off!” I’m proud of many things CP has done over the last decade. One of them is strengthening women’s voices and presence in the Occupy movement. Another is highlighting the words of many wise women, including Ann Wright and Gloria Steinem.-Janet Weil


One of my most recent CODEPINK highlights (and I go back to spring 2003 with the organization so I have many to remember) is being in Washington Square Park in NYC on #S15, or September 15, the first of 3 exciting days of conversations, GAs, an antiwar breakout discussion group led by a 17-yr-old, direct actions and more! I met up with one of my heroes, retired Colonel Ann Wright, and we shared a laugh in the sunshine. I was wearing my current favorite CP t-shirt, with Gloria Steinem’s quote: “The truth will set you free - but first it will piss you off!” I’m proud of many things CP has done over the last decade. One of them is strengthening women’s voices and presence in the Occupy movement. Another is highlighting the words of many wise women, including Ann Wright and Gloria Steinem.

-Janet Weil

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With Pride and Love:

I have taken many journeys with CodePink, beginning with celebrating International Women’s Day in Washington D.C. in 2004, parading around the White House during the Bush years with clothes lines festooned with pink slips chanting “liar, liar pants on fire”, Mothers’ Day 2006 (?) 24-hour camp out at Lafayette Park in front of the White House (which included hula hooping with Medea under a full moon, while wearing pajamas!), scaling the wall of the U.S. Capitol Bldg. into the waiting arms of D.C. Capitol Police to be arrested for trying to send a message to Congress to end the wars, marching in the streets at ‘04 Republican party convention and erecting a peace platform at ‘08 Dem. party convention in Denver, an incredible road trip to Creech AFB in the Nevada desert to stop drones in 2011, live TV and radio news interviews (!), years of weekly peace vigils in San Francisco and now going into our 6th year of monthly peace marches on the Golden Gate Bridge.  Every step of every journey has been life-changing.  I am filled with pride for what we have done as CodePink and I will be forever thankful for the friendships I have made with my amazing CodePink sisters. 

Renay Davis, San Francisco, CA 

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Yes We “Can Can” End War

Inaugeration 2008.  One of my all time favorite Pink Adventures as we marched from Dupont Circle to the White House to toss our shoes at Bush for the last time.  It’s freezing cold, layers of clothes, incredible sisterhood as we said goodby to the Bush Years, knowing we would have to work hard to “help” Obama keep his promises.  And once again we need to take to the streets no matter who is elected if we want to end war. The Two part system continues to fail us.

-Josie

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My first day in action with Medea and Lizzy visiting Tim Geithner as he testified before TARP oversight panel. Doesn’t he look glad to see us????

-Lisa Savage

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My deepest thanks to Medea Benjamin for her foresight and for her continuing prophetic mission.

Standing with Code Pink in front of the White House against the Iraq War was truly memorable, but this years Occupy AIPAC meant soooo much to me!  Standing with signs as President Obama came out after speaking to AIPAC, holding signs and catching congressional members to talk with as they came out from AIPAC, and trying to talk with AIPAC members on the corner as they headed to and from lunch, AND the programs offered on the issue of Israel—-all so memorable and meaningful!!—especially since I was in the first Palestinian refugee camps in 1954 and honor my Jewish heritage on my father’s side.  THANK YOU, CODE PINK, for caring so deeply!

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Code Pink - Minuteman lll Missiles: Deadly, Dangerous and Time to Decommission

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDNXu5aHt0Q

A compelling Code Pink video. Please call the White House at 202-456-1111 and insist the Minuteman lll missiles are retired and dismantled. 

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Camping Out at bush’s(not) Our Whitehouse

How well i remember camping out in front of Bush’s Whitehouse with my sister CODEPINKers. - Being part of the Native-American pow-wow & knowing that we opposed the loss of Iraqui & American lives & vast expenditures of $$$ for bush’s nonexisting weapons of mass destruction (Iraqui) but very much existing US weapons of mass destruction.

Toady the pentagon & President Obama continue the colonialist legacy - the expenditures of lives & $$$ in Afghanistan & defaming La Revolution & leadership of Fidel Castro in cuba or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

The Rebublicrats are sending drones, our children & grandchildren off to war to kill people of color.

I refuse!

Shalom, Salaam, Peace,

Marlena Santoyo