Dear CODEPINK activist,
We have just come out of a glorious week of anti-war activities. CODEPINK activists from all over the c ountry converged on Washington DC to join over 300,000 others in a massive rally and march on Saturday, while others participated in spirited rallies in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.
In DC, w e started the day with a fabulous pre-rally in the morning, where we were joined by Cindy Sheehan, Joan Baez, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, actress Margot Kidder, Iraq veteran Camilo Mejia and thousands of supporters. We then moved together in a sea of pink to join the march, keeping up a joyous tone w ith our chants, our songs and our “sister spirit.” The march was so huge that you couldn’t find the beginning or the end -- just waves and waves of people united in our call to end the killing.
On Monday many CODEPINK women took our anti-war message to the halls of Congress, joining more than 800 others in the largest-ever pro-peace lobby day organized by United for Peace and Justice. We urged our representatives to take every action to stop this war, support legislation to bring the troops home, stop building permanent bases in Iraq, and forbid schools from sharing student information with military recruiters without parental permission.
Also on Monday, a CODEPINK contingent went to the gate of the White House to deliver boxes and boxes of ‘reasons to end the war’ gathered from our www.onemillionreasons.org site, as well as from organizations such as MoveOn, Progressive Democrats of America and True Majority. Following that, a group of religious leaders sat in prayer in front of the White House, and 375 of us -- including Cindy Sheehan and other military families, veterans and 36 CODEPINK women -- joined them. Protesting in front of the White House in today’s America is a crime, and because we refused to move, we were arrested for “demonstrating without a permit.” One by one, we were dragged off, handcuffed, put in a paddy wagon or a bus, and shepherded through a LONG bureaucratic process of booking and fingerprinting that went on until the wee hours of the morning. We left exhausted but elated by our act of civil disobedience and the camaraderie we felt with each other.
Our week of action also included organizing an anti-corruption squad that protested in front of the DC office of Halliburton, a peace flotilla that went out in paddle boats onto the DC Tidal Basin with the call “Make Levees Not War,” A large vigil at Walter Reed hospital in support of wounded soldiers and vets, a beautiful event at the Green Festival with authors from our Stop the Next War Now book, and a booth at the Peace and Justice fair on the Washington Mall. On top of that, we helped Cindy Sheehan with her packed schedule of talks, interviews and congressional meetings. Whew!!!
Please check out the amazing photos and blogs on our site to see the breadth and depth of our actions this week. We are now home catching our breath, reuniting with our families, planning for what is next and recharging our batteries for the work ahead. We want to send a huge thanks to all who joined us in Washington or their local rallies, to the staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make this such an amazing week, and to all of you whose generous support and encouragement keep us going.
With hope and thanks,
Alicia, Andrea, Dana, Farida, Gael, Grace, Jodie, Medea, Rae, and Tiffany
P.S. We have a full plate of work before us -- legislative pressure TO STOP THE WAR, statewide campaigns to bring the National Guard home, countering the aggressive military recruiters, supporting the vets and military moms who are speaking out. Please support our efforts by joining a local CODEPINK and making a tax-deductible donation. We greatly appreciate your help.