Happy holidays to you and your local activist community and family! In this email you’ll find a review of our CODEPINK actions over the past four months. You can also read our year-in-review online. And you can download the full 2010 Roseroots Reports here.
Accountability for war criminals, Art on war and peace and Alliance-building were the 3 A’s for CODEPINK in Fall/Winter 2010. Developments in this period included the Wikileaks release of a huge number of documents on the Iraq War; the One Nation Working Together rally in DC; the midterm election campaigns; the escalating US/NATO war in Afghanistan; Bush’s book release; and the increasingly influential Boycott Divestments Sanctions (BDS) campaign for justice for Palestinians. Here’s an overview of our active autumn:
We spoke up for civil liberties and countered Islamophobia during the threats to burn copies of the Qur’an in Florida and issues surrounding the building of an Islamic center in downtown NYC. Gainesville, FL CODEPINK joined with the local Muslim community to organize a “Read a Qur'an Day” and to serve dinner to the homeless. Campus CODEPINK at the University of Florida has been educating themselves and others about Islam. Their faculty advisor is a professor of Islamic Studies, and all of them have taken an Introduction to Islam course. They are also raising $12,000 to build a girl's school in Afghanistan and approached their mayor Craig Lowe about creating a sister city with a town in Afghanistan. Gainesville PINK coordinator Jacque (at right in photo with Cindy Sheehan) continues to coordinate the Peace Ribbon, composed of over 300 panels that pay tribute to the soldiers and civilians victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The display has travelled throughout the United States, and is currently being shown in towns across Arizona, another focal point of racism.
Local groups in 16 towns and cities – from Sun City, AZ to Daytona Beach, FL -- continued to stand in weekly or monthly vigils. Two bridges, the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay, and the small Margaret Chase Smith Bridge in Skowhegan, Maine were beautiful settings for our pink messaging. To see the complete list, click here.
Around the country, CODEPINK groups and individuals geared up for the One Nation Working Together Rally in DC with conference calls, regional meetings, and making plans to catch a peace train-bus-plane. We joined in a large coalition of other peace and justice groups to form the “Peace Table” and to push for antiwar, pro-peace messaging before and during the event.
Bradley Manning: With our allies Courage to Resist, IVAW and others, CODEPINK stood in support for the young Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking a video of a US attack on Iraqi civilians, and 10,000s of military reports on incidents of warfare in Afghanistan. See here and here for specifics and photos.
This month marked CODEPINK’s 8th anniversary as one of the most high-profile peace organizations in the US. We are grateful to those who started our creative and ever-evolving organization, and all who have joined along the way!
On October 2, One Nation Working Together Rally drew dozens of codepinkers from several states. We popped open our pink umbrellas spelling out Bring Our War $$ Home (BOW$H) on the steps of the National Archives; stepped out in a peace feeder march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial; and staffed a very busy table where many women came to express their love and support. We proudly wore our new BOW$H t-shirts and walked through the huge crowd with our peace messages. Singer-actor-activist Harry Belafonte gave a rousing antiwar, pro-justice speech and Medea was interviewed on Free Speech TV, wearing the BOW$H t-shirt.
The following day, 16 activists from around the country attended a training on the new BOW$H campaign; trainers included Ann Wright, Maine organizers Lisa Savage and Mark Roman, Rae Abileah and Janet Weil. The training was followed by an action bringing our pink BOW$H umbrellas and choreographed chants to the popular Eastern Market area of DC – thanks to prop master Tighe and dance director Rae!
During the first week of October Medea released her hip-hop debut with Head-Roc, “Blackwater Makes a Killing out of Killing,” shortly after she was arrested for paying a visit to Eric Prince’s home in Virginia. She was later acquitted of the charges. The terrible ninth anniversary of US bombing of Afghanistan was marked by a protest in DC; see video of a mock drone attack, the signature weapon of this escalating war, and photos here.
The following weekend (October 7 -10), during CODEPINK Women for Peace's first-ever Southeast Planning and Training Retreat in Tennessee, about 25 women from TN, AL, GA, DC, CA, and Austria gathered on The Farm for a weekend of workshops, rejuvenation in nature, sisterhood, and song. On October 10 we held a 350.org Work Party for Climate Solutions action, planting trees and visiting the newly installed solar panels at The Farm, located about 1.5 hours from Nashville.
Pink goes great with green! CODEPINK DC and around the country joined our environmental allies at 350.org events in DC on 10/10/10, including a rally directly across from the White House. For an inspiring video of this global event, click here.
Berkeley Says No to Torture Week! The week of Oct 10 – 16, a coalition of groups organized by Cynthia Papermaster, Golden Gate local group coordinator, presented a series of events. “(Torture) has not ended with Obama coming into office,” Papermaster said. “…we’ve chosen to hold many events on or around campus as we want to give Cal students an opportunity to express their outrage as the lack of accountability for torture carried out in our name.” More here...
Iraq invasion justifier Condi Rice was called out in dramatic fashion in San Francisco and LA as she went on a book tour. This was a sort of warm-up for the all-out war criminals accountability actions that happened in November.
On Parent Teacher Conference night (October 28) in city high schools, CODEPINK NYC members handed out materials to parents and students which protect student’s private information from military recruiters, focus on Non-Military Options for Life after High School and Truth in Recruitment. Cristina reported: “Barbara Harris and I met with a young journalist from NYU who produced a piece on our counter-recruiting work."
Bay Area CODEPINK went to Game One of the World Series in SF! There was a lot of political messaging and flyering at the ballpark, as the San Francisco Giants met Bush’s old team, the Texas Rangers, for the fall classic, and codepinkers brought our BOW$H banner and flyers to the mix. We were warmly received and often photographed by people in the huge, enthusiastic crowds.
At the end of the month, CODEPINKers attended Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” in DC, where they created a Mad Hatter PINK Tea Party to highlight how “War is Insane”. After CODEPINK was featured in a rather insulting way on the Daily Show, a month later Medea was featured talking about our accountability campaign in a scene designed to make activists look ridiculous (though Medea came out looking smart and savvy!). During the weekend of the rally, CODEPINK also protested the Chamber of Commerce and its blood-sucking CEO Thomas Donahue, asking him to stop playing tricks by treating right-wing candidates to millions of dollars of vicious and misleading attack ads.
Veterans Day is a sad, but important day in our pink calendar, a time to remember the troops and the need to end war. From Maine, state coordinator Lisa Savage reported: “Many streams converged on Veterans Day when Space Gallery hosted Draw-a-thon II to Bring Our War $$ Home. 30+ artists + Buddhist monks and nuns leading the Maine Peace Walk with drums and chanting + Pink women + Vets for Peace + general public age 2 to around 90 being artists or subjects + Kenny Cole's amazing show "The Hellfire Story." See fun photos – including Lisa in her monster pink wig – and read more here.
CODEPINK’s national organizer Rae joined with young Jews from Jewish Voice for Peace to disrupt Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the North American Jewish Federation conference in New Orleans. The action made news globally, especially in Israel and in Jewish and mainstream US outlets. Read more here.
Bush’s book, “Decision Points” was hyped this month, with the Liar-in-Chief going on a book tour. In Miami on November 14, pinkers turned out in force to protest a Bush talk at a book fair. “We think his book belongs in the Crime section of book stores and he belongs in court," said CODEPINK Cofounder, Jodie Evans, who participated. Codepinkers have also "greeted him" at book signings in Dallas, Milwaukee, and elsewhere.
Lots of people around the country have been “relocating” Bush’s memoir to the crime, fantasy or other sections of their local bookstores in a photo contest. One man has photographed the book in appropriate sections of a grocery store! Winners of the contest received prizes including a pack of our War Criminals playing cards.
Another organizing opportunity has come from the opening the Bush LIE-brary in Dallas as CODEPINK stepped up to protest and satirize! Leslie Harris and other Texas pinks did a tremendous job of organizing a series of events.
Our online organizer, Jean Pockrus, reported this on Facebook response to protests at the future site of Bush's library: “Yesterday I sent out several bulk messages with an update about the CodePink presence at the protests to members of our Fb groups, probably a few thousand in total, and I've been getting a lot of positive responses in my Fb inbox. “ A couple of examples:
Paul S - November 17 at 10:23pm: thanks Jean- makes me proud to be Pink- keep up the great work; and
Bethel S - November 17 at 5:54am: Thanks, Jean. I love Code Pink, and everything you all do.”
In December we spoke up to say, “Hands Off Wikileaks!” and continue to support Bradley Manning, speaking out against the outrageous treatment he is experiencing in military prison. Find out more about our Wiki actions here.
Many local groups, from LA to NYC sung holiday carols about boycotting Ahava outside stores carrying the product. CODEPINK released an update on our Ahava Boycott, including info about the Russell Tribunal on Palestine that CODEPINKers Nancy K and Rae testified at in London in November.
We look forward to being in action with you in the year ahead. We're getting ready of a day of action against torture and detainment at Guantanamo in January, and will have our work cut out for us when the new Congress begins next month also. We continue to track war criminals, and our accountability and no drones campaigns will grow in the year ahead. We'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what you are engaged in organizing and want to see CODEPINK get involved with in the peacemaking year ahead.
Help us keep making a bright splash for peace in 2011 by making a year-end donation to CODEPINK.
Peace and joy to you and yours,
Rae, Janet and the CODEPINK team
PS: Let us know what you are planning by adding your event to our Action Calendar. After you have had your event, please post a report back Local Spotlight... and you may be featured in the next Roseroots Report!
Want to get a short essay published, or republish your letter to the editor? Please post to PinkTank. Your comments on posts there are also very welcome.
View or share your photos at CODEPINK's flickr webpage.
The Roseroots Report is a bimonthly bouquet of CODEPINK local actions and news. Why roseroots? Because we're cultivating a vibrant pink flowering garden with a hearty stemming history and strong roots, not just little "grassroots." The 1912 Lawrence textile workers on strike had it right when they said, "We Want Bread, But Roses Too!" Our pink hearts are moved by CODEPINK's approach to peacemaking: we aren't just about getting out a talking point or ensuring a basic right, we're about bringing our money back to our beloved resources - schools, health, parks, libraries and more, disarming our defenses, opening our minds to new narratives and possibilities, and creating beauty. www.codepink.org