September 19, 2007
DAVID POLLARD, Provisio Herald
Woman are wearing pink
for more than just fashion reasons. The color
also represents political activism, and Maywood
resident Robin Schirmer has plenty of pink clothes
in her closet.
Schirmer is a member of Code
Pink, a national organization made up mostly
of women who are against the war in Iraq. All
of the members wear pink clothing during demonstrations
and when they are getting the word about the organization
and their cause.
is) a take-off on the color-coded alerts involved
in the war," she said. "Nationally,
Code Pink started
in fall of 2002 when the U.S. was going to invade
When she and others put on their pink clothes,
which at times can be quite outlandish, as their
uniform when they protest the war.
"We're sometimes wearing pink
crowns and pink capes
and holding signs," she said.
She's been in anti-war demonstrations in the
Chicago area and is a coordinator with the Chicago
area group for Code Pink.
Code Pink got started
in the Chicago area in May 2005.
Schirmer says she "fell into" joining
the group due to her disgust with the war.
"My complete anger and frustration is over
the invasion and the totally unnecessary deaths
of U.S. soldiers," she said. "We do
support the troops enough for them to come home
safely and to be taken care of when they come
Although the pastel colors may seem soft and
unassuming, those involved in Code
Pink are quite aggressive when it comes
to their cause. Schirmer traveled last week to
Washington, D.C., to participate in anti-war rally
along with some of her members and other anti-war
Members of her group have their own headquarters
in Washington, D.C. The headquarters also serves
as a dorm for visiting members and it's not hard
It's a pink house.
"At least 20 people will be staying in that
house," she said.
"We are meeting at the White House and marching
to the Capitol," she said about the day of
the rally. "For the rest of the days, I'll
be wherever the Congress is. I'll be at their
lunch room. I'll be in their hallways. I'll be
at their hearings and I'll be in pink. Wherever
Congress is, that's where Code
Pink will be and we don't give them too
many places to hide."
"Our biggest push is to stop Congress from
funding the occupation," she said. "In
order to do that, we need to be where the Congress
is. We'll literally badger Congress and their
staff. We're not too shy."
Besides hunting down members of Congress and
participating in anti-war demonstrations, the
54-year-old is a former attorney, married and
mother of a 14-year-old and a 20-year-old.
"I currently work in Oak Park part-time
for an executive search consulting firm,"
Her husband of 32 years, John Bouman, said it
has become pretty routine to see his wife wearing
"I ask her what's the action today,"
he said. "It's like a day at the office.
Once I retrieved her from jail, but that was a
fairly unjust thing that happened that was dismissed
Bouman, 58, said he supports his wife, but has
his own passion for positive change in the world.
He's president of Sargent Shriver National Center
on Poverty Law, which fights to eliminate poverty
in the United States.
"I'm excited for her and I support that,"
she said about her wife's involvement in Code
Pink. "It's important to her and that's
the way that she expresses her opinion and sense
of activism. She supports my work and the things
that are important to me. I don't personally participate
in most of the Code Pink
activities because I express myself in other ways."
Schirmer said her involvement in Code
Pink is her way of trying to create a better
future for her children.
"I do this for them because, frankly, I
never understood how my parents were alive during
the Holocaust," she said. "I do this
so my kids don't wonder what their mommy did during
the war. They'll appreciate it one day."