U.S. Army shuts down
their weapons exhibit, closing it to public access while Code Pink women
march and sing for peace on the Mall outside Congress. Watch the video!
BY ETHAN GENAUER
~ May 8, 2010
In advance of an announced protest by Code Pink women for peace, the
U.S. Army shut down their annual weapons exhibit, closing it to public
access while the women marched around the weapons and sang for peace,
all in view of Congress.
This Mother's Day weekend, the U.S. Armed Forces is hosting its annual
weapons exhibit on the Washington Mall, encouraging parents to bring
their children to play with the weapons.
CODEPINK women, bringing the energy from their peace festival with
comedian Roseanne Barr at John Marshall Place Park, marched at 3:45 pm
on Saturday, May 8 to the military fair, calling for a celebration of
life and peace, not weapons and warfare.
A group of about 40 women peace activists, and several dozen more
children and male allies, arrived at the military weapons exhibit to
find it already shut down and fenced off from public access, in
anticipation of their protest.
This was greeted as a small victory, and the women proceeded to protest
for almost one hour -- in the face of heavy police surveillance and
intimidation -- around the perimeter of the displays of tanks and other
military vehicles framing Congress.
The women handed out “Arms are for hugging” stickers around the Military
Arms Exhibit. They carried their 150-foot banner created out of 6,000
knitted squares, knitted by women around the world, that takes an
excerpt from the original 1870 Mothers Day Proclamation, "We will not
raise our children to kill another mother's child."
The women also sang peace songs, in the process resisting numerous
police warnings that they were not allowed to sing without a permit, in
order to counter the official celebration of war and violence with a
message of hope and joy.
“It saddens us that every year the military holds a war machine exhibit
on Mother's Day. This is a slap in the face to all peace-loving mothers
around the world who work to shield their children from the tragic
effects of war,” says CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin.
“It violates the original intent of Mother's Day, which was a call for
peace, a call to disarm and build a world without violence.”