April 17, 2009


This Tuesday, CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin dusted off her old press pass and was able to attend President Obama's speech on the economy at Georgetown University. While CODEPINKers held signs outside the event saying “Stop Funding Wall Street and Wars”, Medea sat and listened to the speech. After the talk was over, Medea bolted to the front of the room, and found herself shaking hands with Obama.

“We have to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq,” she urged him. “With this economic crisis, we can't afford these wars.”

He smiled and said, “Give us time. Believe me, I want to get out as well.”

Not content to leave it at that, Medea pressed on, “We also have to make deeper cuts in the military budget, like all those bases we have overseas where the local people don't even want us.”

As the officials were moving the President along, he looked back at her and said, “Yes, we're taking a look at all the places in the budget where we can make cuts.”

Nice words. But in the meantime, Obama is widening the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and committing more and more of our taxdollars to another unwinnable military folly. The only way we will force Obama and Congress to change course in Afghanistan is if we are able to turn public opinion against this war, as we did in the case of the Iraq war.

We need to start by raising awareness about Afghanistan among our friends and family. Click here to learn how you can organize or join a house party to watch films about Afghanistan and discuss how we can help bring Afghan women to the negotiating table.

We must prioritize the human needs in the region, which we feel are best represented by the women of Afghanistan. To support their right to protest oppressive laws we are starting an outreach campaign to dialogue with them. Starting next week, we'll be posting a series of interviews with Afghan women on our Pink Tank blog. In the meantime, don't forget to read this vivid New York Times article about the brave Afghan women mobilizing and marching for their rights in Kabul, Afghanistan.

And click here to join our Obama's Promises action team for special updates on how to hold Obama accountable - here you can also find links to join us on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and more!

Mother's Day! You can also help the White House heed our collective voice by joining us for Mother's Day in DC, May 9 and 10th. We will make sure Obama can hear us from Lafayette Park as we band together to say no to war through art and poetry and music and storytelling and building strong, educated, vocal community. Visit mothersdayforpeace.com to see how to join us (and how to be part of our virtual photo quilt and knitted White House cozy even if you can't make the trip.)

Thanks for rushing to the front of the room with us in the name of peace!
Allison, Audrey, Blaine, Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janna, Janet, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Lydia, Medea, Nancy, Pam, Paris, and Rae

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