CODEPINK Homepage » Campaigns » Mar 15 & Jan 27: Mass Mobilization in DC

Quick report back from Janet Weil in D.C.

Posted by on January 29th, 2007

Dear Code Pinkers,

My heart is very full as I briefly reflect, in this Kinko's a few blocks from the White House, on the HUGE and spirited march around the Capitol on Jan 27, the intense and brilliant trainings and speakers yesterday (MFSO, Code Pink, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, UFPJ, Phyllis Bennis and on and on...), and today's lobbying in the Rayburn (House of Reps) and Hart (Senate) Buildings. Last May and June, there were a few of us Pinkers here and there, in the Rayburn cafeteria making plans, walking up and down the HIll, standing in front of the White House, a tiny bit of pink amid the gray of the warmaking machine. Today there was PINK everywhere on the Hill, bringing a strong clear message to defund the war, bring the troops home and NO WAR on Iran, to our members of Congress.

Boxer's staffer, Sean Moore, was markedly more concerned and warm this time around, compared to his condescension to us last May. Of course, we Pinkers were in a very large CA contingent including Vets for Peace, Progressive Democrats for America, Gold Star Families and other military family members, and just "regular" citizens. About 100 of us stood for about an hour, explaining to Sean that we thank and appreciate Boxer for what she has done (see the Boxer/Feingold bill) but that she MUST go even farther. Sean assured us in various ways that Boxer is opposed to the war and will vote against the special appropriations.

The two staffers from Feinstein's office listened to heart-wrenching testimony from parents of a 19-yr-old soldier killed in Iraq, a therapist whose clients back from Iraq suffer from severe PTSD, a Vietnam War vet, and others. One of them looked like a bobblehead, he was nodding so much. But then when they were asked how Feinstein would vote on special appropriations, they merely said that she was "looking into that and the FY 08 budget." Toby very eloquently responded that it was not enough to just "look into it" and that we expected her to vote for NO MORE MONEY FOR WAR, or we will not support her.

We stood in that atrium for over 2 hours, presenting our arguments against the war and for rebuilding both Iraq and our own country, following hours of lobbying and strategizing in the morning in the Rayburn Office Building. Please know that all of us Code Pinkers are working very hard, weaving together a new style of political actions (banner dropping, shoes display and singing, for example) with more traditional lobbying and networking. There's no gap or division now between our different techniques here in DC. We do what we can in the moment to get out our message, to reach hearts and the media, and to have an impact.

We are doing all we can, and all your support means so much to us. Please put together gatherings so that I and others can report back (with GREAT photos!) when we return.

I am very tired, and I long for California. But as I said in a gathering of activists from all over the US in the historic Willard Hotel last night, I am proud to represent Bay Area Code Pink!

Please keep posting to this list, and forward this report to anyone you wish!

Holding the California sunshine in my heart in stony cold DC,

Janet Weil
"I remember those before me and I know I'm not alone.
I will organize for justice. I will raise my voice in song."
-- "Bound for Freedom" Pat Humphries

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