J20, 2005LET'S INAUGURATE THE SECOND TERM
OF THE PEACE AND JUSTICE MOVEMENT
On January 20th, 2005, during Bush's presidential inauguration, tens of thousands of people took to the streets, across the country and the globe, with a collective message of peace and resistance to the Bush administration's detrimental foreign and domestic policies. In Washington DC, CODEPINK activists, coming from Arizona,
As Bush gave his inaugural address in front of the U.S. Capitol, eight CODEPINK activists, including CODEPINK founders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, and Diane Wilson, stood up on their chairs in the VIP section and shouted bring the troops home!The women also raised banners reading No War, Out of Iraq Now, and Bush Mandate: Troops Home Now. While these brave women made a splash on the inside, thousands took part in actions in the street. CODEPINK protested outside inaugural balls, reminding Bush supporters that while they sip champagne, soldiers are dying in an illegal, abhorrent and expensive war that they themselves launched. We helped organize an inspirational women's rally and march, complete with a New Orleans style jazz band. And we even managed to hang our signature “pink slip” banner out the window of a downtown DC building a block from the White House, with a message of “Bring the Troops Home” for parade goers and protesters alike.
CODEPINK wasn't the only group that was active and visible in DC. DAWN (DC Anti-War Network) organized a massive, coffin lined, anti-war march. The ANSWER Coalition fought and won for their right to hold bleachers along the parade route, which were filled with 10,000 anti-war protestors. The parade was also lined with demonstrators who participated in “Turn Your Back on Bush” as his motorcade drove by. Over the week-end National Organization for Women organized a large pro-choice rally at the Supreme Court, in honor of the anniversary of Roe V. Wade, and Progressive Democrats of America held a three day summit which CODEPINK participated in.
We left DC feeling energized and full of great ideas from CODEPINK meetings, the PDA conference, and all the wonderful interactions we had with activists from across the country. Many groups began talking about a possible joint campaign to get governors to call back their states' National Guard troops. More on that and other ideas coming soon!
Remember, George Bush's inauguration wasn't the only one that happened on January 20. That day also saw the inauguration of the second term of the peace and justice movement. We made sure that Bush supporters weren't able to forget that the war and killing in Iraq didn't stop because of the U.S. presidential inauguration, and neither did the activism of the peace movement! As part of the launch of CODEPINK's second term, we took a “citizen's oath” that we plan to uphold in the coming years. We'll leave you with that, urging you to do the same and pass it on to friends and family.
*Courtesy of Robert Jensen, activist and professor at UT Austin, and meant for citizens and residents of anywhere in the world!
Thousands of protesters descend on Washington