Women to GOP: End War on Women; End All Wars! CODEPINK Women “Bring their vaginas” to protest the RNC in Tampa Next Week

Contact: Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517, medea@codepink.org
Alli McCracken, 860-575-5692, alli@codepink.org

August 21st, 2012

WHAT: CODEPINK Activist Convergence
WHEN: 1-7pm, Saturday, August 25  
WHERE: Sacred Grounds Café, 4819 E. Busch Blvd, Tampa, Florida
VISUALS: Activists creating banners, practicing songs and chants

WHAT: Coalition March on the RNC
WHEN: 10am, Monday, August 27
WHERE: Perry Harvey Park, 1200 N. Orange Avenue
VISUALS: Women in giant vagina costumes, large banners, mock drones

Tampa, FL—On the heels of headline news about Republican candidate attacks on women's reproductive rights and support for ongoing wars, CODEPINK activists, in collaboration with Eve Ensler's V-DAY, will bring a bold message to the Republican National Convention in Tampa: End the war on women and respect reproductive rights; end the wars overseas and bring our war dollars home. 

Outrage over the GOP anti-women platform has been building this summer.  Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown was censored from speaking in the state capital after saying the word “vagina” on the house floor in June. Republican Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said that victims of "legitimate rape" don't get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."  If elected vice president, Paul Ryan is determined to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers and cut women off from crucial health care.  “Women's rights are taking a serious pounding from anti-choice legislation to economic inequality to wars overseas that steal resources needed for healthcare and education,” said CODEPINK co-director Medea Benjamin. “We'll be at the RNC demanding respect, economic fairness and peace.”

The anti-war group CODEPINK created a splash at the 2004 and 2008 party conventions with creative street theater and convention floor disruptions opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   This year the group plans to continue the anti-war call with messaging opposing killer drone strikes, potential war on Iran, and the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan.  The group will also “call out the elephant in the room” by calling for money out of politics.  In the wake of the Citizens United case, some $10 billion will be spent on getting political candidates elected this year, polluting democracy and drowning out the will of voters.  “We are calling for people-powered elections that prioritize human needs over war and greed,” said CODEPINK co-director Jodie Evans.  “The United States isn't even attempting democracy anymore, but we have these charades called conventions to divert attention from the oligarchy that governs us.  We will be at both the RNC and DNC to shine a light on the lies and greed that continue to strip too many Americans of their rights, property and dignity.” 
CODEPINK cofounders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, and activists from around the country, are available for interview.  Please contact Alli McCracken at 860-575-5692 or alli@codepink.org to set up an interview.

CODEPINK, founded in 2002, is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities. www.codepink.org