On Thursday night, as John McCain made his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, two CODEPINK women-Liz Hourican and Nancy Mancias-interrupted his speech by calling for an end to the occupation of Iraq. The previous evening, CODEPINK co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans were dragged from the Republican National Convention after disrupting Sarah Palin's speech.
Both CODEPINK teams were shocked by the magnitude of sheer, raw, hatred channeled in their direction. Even before they stood up to say "Palin is Not a Woman's Choice", they felt great animosity emanating from the hall; they felt it in the delegates' chanting of "Drill, Baby Drill" from the floor, and in the vicious rhetoric of the speeches on stage. And of course all of us in St. Paul felt the threat of brutality on the streets as we faced row upon row of police in full riot gear and watched police raid non-violent peace gatherings. Four CODEPINKers were arrested at the RNC, as were hundreds of other protestors, many of whom are still in custody (or whose belongings have not been returned upon release.)
You can provide solidarity and support for those arrested by contacting the Mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, by phone (612-673-2100) or email (c/o firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Mayor of St. Paul, Chris Coleman (651-266-8510) to demand the release of detained protestors and their belongings, and the dismissal of all charges against peaceful protesters. Your calls and emails will help keep the voice of protest alive.
The Republican Party may tout itself as "Pro-Life", but it clearly promotes violence against both people and nature. How can you call yourself Pro-Life when you destroy our natural resources and send our children off to die in an unjust, illegal war? How can you speak about being Pro-Life when a US-led air strike killed dozens of innocent children in Afghanistan this week?
Our Pro-Life parade in St. Paul was a beautiful demonstration of how we can only truly call ourselves pro-life when we work to protect our planet, promote peace, and make sure everyone has access to good health care, education, and other basic human needs (including reproductive choice!)
All over the RNC, we worked to reclaim the phrase "pro-life" and bring our message of peace--Medea Benjamin even disrupted a Phyllis Schlafly "Life of the Party" talk with a sign reading "Be Pro-Life--Stop War!" To see CODEPINK in action at the RNC, be sure to visit our Flickr page and read our blogs at our brand new Pink Tank.
With love for life on this gorgeous planet,
Alicia, Anne, Dana, Deidra, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Medea, Nancy, Rae and Tighe
p.s. Sarah Palin may deride grassroots action, but we know that change can only come when the people of the country band together to demand it. Let's use the occasion of this election to grow our activist community--join us to knock on One Million Doors this September 20th. We have less than three weeks-we need your energy now!