This past weekend, CODEPINK transformed the park in front of the White House. The lawn became a magical space filled with families reclaiming the historical origin of Mother's Day as a time to work for peace. Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon, Patch Adams, Dick Gregory and Iraqi and Iranian women added their voices and talents to our 24-hour peace vigil.
We literally put our bodies on the line to create a beautiful aerial image spelling "Mom Says NO WAR." We held teach-ins on Iraq, Iran, immigrant rights, Katrina and more. We cried with moms who lost their children; we prayed with Native American healers; we read letters to Laura Bush; we sang and danced and created a powerful and compassionate community. At the close of the 24 hours, we tied roses with names of the dead onto the White House fence, and as we chanted "No More War, No More War", the rain that was predicted for both days suddenly burst forth as if cleansing our nation's soul. You can see photos at our virtual vigil here. A dedicated group of CODEPINK women took inspiration from the weekend and decided to stay in DC for a month, taking action at Congress every day to demand an end to war. Click here to read more about their action plans.
The words of one of the attendees, Ruth Gordon, speak to the transformative power of this weekend:
|"I spent Mother's Day weekend with CODEPINK in front of the White House and it changed my life! I had been in a downward spiral of loneliness, separating myself from others in order to avoid pain. I met wonderful men and women that weekend and experienced a connection based on mutual respect, love and compassion. I had forgotten what it felt like to feel joy and purpose. I had forgotten that life lies outside of work, TV, and sleep and instead lies in purposeful direction and focus. I will never forget Spice's ecstatic dancing, Patch's hug, Cindy's impassioned speech, the chants, the songs, the beautiful faces, the children, the beaming pregnant woman with the belly peace sign... Once home, I wrote a letter to the editor (printed!), bought more peace paraphernalia, took my walk singing peace songs instead of listening to FM, and spoke with friends about my experience.
I WILL NOT STOP!!!! The next part of my life has begun..."
While the entire weekend was filled with magical moments, one stood out. Comedian and civil rights leader Dick Gregory -- legendary for fasting against the Vietnam War -- was in Cleveland en route to California when he saw the CODEPINK vigil on CNN, and immediately changed planes to join us in DC. There he met environmentalist/author and CODEPINK cofounder Diane Wilson, who earlier had called all of us to up our commitment and join her in a hunger strike. The two of them joined together and called us to a long-term fast to bring the troops home. Cindy Sheehan, CODEPINK members, military families and Iraqi vets have already agreed to join.
On July 4, we will launch an historic hunger strike called TROOPS HOME FAST. While many Americans will be expressing their patriotism via barbeques and fireworks, we'll be fasting in memory of the dead and wounded, and calling for our nation to be the democracy it was created to be, not an empire. We're inviting people around the world to show their support for this open-ended fast by committing to fast for one day -- July 4 -- plus as many more days as you can handle. Please sign here to join us and encourage your friends to do the same. Together, we can bring our troops home.
With love from your tired but elated CODEPINK gals,
Allison, Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Rae and Tiffany
P.S. Check out all the other ways you can join with CODEPINK this summer.