June 11, 2012
From No NATO protests in Chicago to anti-nukes actions in Japan, the past three months have been action-packed for CODEPINK roseroots organizers and the national staff team. Read our quarterly Roseroots Report here and join us in action this summer!
The United States was born as a nation in Philadelphia, and this summer Occupy movement activists from around the country are gathering in Philly for the Occupy National Gathering “a week of direct actions, movement building and the creation of a vision for a democratic future” June 30 – July 4. I invite you to find out more and to join Women Occupy organizer Nancy Mancias and many other women for a strong feminist and pro-peace presence. Sign up to join us and for more info email Nancy.
This follows on the Feminist General Assemblies (FemGAs) that were held in NYC, Chicago, Tucson and elsewhere in May: read more (scroll down) here. Women in pink: let's show up, get on stack at the National Gathering and share our ideas and energy!
I have a tall stack of summer reading at home, including “Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution” which includes contributions from CODEPINKers Kristen Ess Schurr, Nancy Mancias and Rae Abileah. We rocked the NYC and SF book launch parties. Get your copy here.
For your own beach/bedtime reading, please check out Recommended Reading.
A sampler from CODEPINK local actions during the past three months:
In March, for International Women's Day, Western Massachusetts CODEPINK and allies organized a week of actions including talks and an anti-nuke direct action with CP co-founder Diane Wilson. In San Francisco and Oakland, Super Sheroes and our friends brought the “Bust Up Bank of America” message to banks and ATMs. In a sad, solemn action, the names of 6,800 soldiers slain in Iraq and Afghanistan were read in a memorial ceremony lasting from 7am until 7pm, Friday, March 30, at Pima Community College in downtown Tucson.
In April, Tax Day fell on the 17th this year, also Global Day Against Military Spending, and CODEPINK LA joined our allies for marches on war and drones profiteers Boeing and Raytheon. On Long Island, CODEPINKers and friends took part in a 'Global Days of Listening' conference call, an international project that connects people to a group of Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers.
In May, CODEPINKers in SF protested the indefinite detention provisions in the FY2012 NDAA; participated in the May Day General Strike; commemorated the original spirit of Mother's Day by calling out war profiteers; and received international press coverage for heckling British war criminal Tony Blair (B-Liar) in Maine, among other actions.
The mid-month No to NATO protests and educational events in Chicago were, in Medea's assessment, “historic” (and she's been to many over the years!). Chicago-area local coordinator Pat Hunt did a great job representing CODEPINK to the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) and to the Network for a NATO-Free World. Thanks to CODEPINKers from Illinois and Indiana who turned out for direct actions, alternative conferences, marches and fun gatherings!
Enjoy this quote by German participant Kristine Karch: “If NATO's interests were focused on women's rights, it would have to abolish itself immediately.”
See videos and photos of CODEPINK in action.
To see all the local report backs from Spring 2012, please look here.
Elsa Rassbach in Berlin, Germany worked with the European and North American committees of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) and interviewed Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. Elsa joined CODEPINK in Chicago to protest NATO and the People's Summit showed her award-winning 1984 film "A history the 1% doesn't want you to see."
From Hisae Ogawa in Japan: “The study tour to Guam (of Japanese CODEPINKers) was great. I found the military build up in these two years had done so wrong to the indigenous Chamorro people.” The Green Tea Party, an ally organization of CODEPINK Japan (and completely different from the US Tea Party) is planning a gathering in San Francisco in November. Hisae has bravely visited the contaminated province of Fukushima and will share her reflections with the Roseroots listserv soon.
Updates from a few of our national campaigners:
The Ground the Drones campaign – Alli reports: CODEPINK DC hosted the first-ever international drone summit in Washington, DC in April. The conference featured academics, scientists, activists, and others interested in the US's use of unmanned aerial vehicles domestically and abroad as weapons and tools for surveillance. See Drone Summit pictures, interviews, and notes here.
Plus: The Nation highlighted our “Kill the Kill List” petition to Obama, and Medea wrote a brilliant article on drone warfare here.
The new website droneswatch.org serves as a major source of information. Contact email@example.com if you want to help on the campaigns, or if you have articles, resources and other suggestions for the website. Email Ramah Kudaimi to be added to the Googlegroup "Drone Summit 2012" to facilitate further collaboration, networking and advocacy efforts.
Make sure to check out “Why I Interrupted Obama Counter-Terrorism Adviser John Brennan” by Medea Benjamin and share the video, which has already had over 150,000 hits!
Medea is on a book tour with her new book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. If you'd like her to speak in your community, contact Alli. Medea has already visited New York (state and city), and several locations in the Midwest and South, and her book tour will go through the rest of 2012.
As part of grassroots activism against drones, now going from upstate New York to Wisconsin to Nevada to California, Toby Blome organizes a monthly 2-day vigil/flyering action at Beale AFB, home of the huge spy drone “Global Hawk”; the May vigilers included Cindy “Peace Mom” Sheehan and a guest from Germany, Elsa Rassbach. For a fact sheet on drones, news, and more, go here.
Peace with Iran – Rae reports: As the drumbeat to war on Iran intensifies, CODEPINKers are doing all we can to oppose escalating sanctions and an attack, which would be a catastrophe. CODEPINK joined with women in Iran and Israel to create a petition to say no to war, and we received an overwhelmingly positive response. Once we topped 20,000 petition signers, we handed the petition to Michelle Obama, who thanked us for keeping the pressure on, and gave it to Hillary Clinton at the State Department and to Ambassador Susan Rice. Following on a heartwarming wave of images from Israelis expressing love for Iranians, we created www.weloveiran.org - a new site where you can create your own "Iranians We Love You" image and share it with friends on facebook and twitter. Is your image up yet?
STOLEN BEAUTY/Boycott Ahava – Nancy K reports: This month the Stolen Beauty/Boycott Ahava campaign celebrates its third anniversary. We are proud of the victories of our international coalition partners. Recently our friends at Open Shuhada Street in South Africa successfully campaigned to have that country's Trade Minister correctly label Israeli settlement goods. In the official notice, Ahava was mentioned by name as a settlement company fraudulently labeling its products as “Made in Israel” -- they're made in an illegal West Bank settlement. Two days later, the Danish government announced that it was planning to label settlements goods as such so that consumers could make an informed choice. In Japan, there was another BDS victory: the distributor dropped Ahava cosmetics; read more on Mondoweiss, The Electronic Intifada, and in our national email alert sent out on June 7!
Follow this campaign at Stolen Beauty and on twitter, and see the Boycott Sodastream campaign website.
Staff News: Building CODEPINK
Hard times and an election year impact small grassroots groups like us, but thanks to your support, on Mother's Day we received a matching grant and raised above and beyond our goal - $21,500!
Thanks to our Facebook page moderator Carla, of CODEPINK Ohio, for keeping our page up-to-date with the latest news and actions. Also, like our page here. We held a social media training with Women Occupy.
When Kristen went on maternity leave (and just gave birth to a healthy baby boy!), Magda joined the team in the LA office. Magda is an avid livestreamer with Occupy LA (follow her on twitter). A huge thanks to Ramah Kudaimi who coordinated the drones conference in DC and has now moved on to work at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Welcome to our summer interns: Samantha and Assata in SF; Marlen in Venice, CA; and Jillian and Bridget in DC.
This spring, I had the pleasure of meeting in person with longtime locals Eliz Barger of Tennessee and Occupy Nashville; Lisa Savage of Maine and 3 ME occupies; Martha Shelley of Portland, OR who came to SF for a huge Wells Fargo protest; and Elsa Rassbach of Germany. Let me know if you are coming to the Bay Area and I can greet you at our office in the beautiful SF Women's Building and/or meet you for lunch.
SF office intern Sharon Miller and I have updated Action Planning Resources, now renamed Action Toolkit; this includes the NEW Social Media section. Every section of the Toolkit has been substantially updated and some include occupy-related info. Big thanks to Sharon (who's moving on after a year of great work) for her help, to web manager Farida for updating this section, and to YOU for reading, using and sharing!
Onwards for peace and economic justice,
CODEPINK Roseroots Coordinator
The Roseroots Report is a 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.