We had an
exciting week in Boston at the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
After a weekend of leading CODEPINK training sessions and spending time
with thousands of peace and justice activists at the Boston Social
Forum and the National Vets for Peace Convention, we made our way to
the DNC. Each day, from the early morning until the wee hours of the
night, we galvanized and organized so as not to let the convention
render the war in Iraq completely invisible.
We delivered the
message to the DNC that they should join the pro-peace majority and
adopt an anti-war position on Iraq. We hung a huge pink slip banner out
a hotel window to highlight the message "Bring the Troops Home, NOW!"
We dressed as pink statues of liberty with tape over our mouths to
object to the 'protest pen', a cage designated as the convention's
"Free Speech Zone", made of tall wrought iron fencing and barbed wire.
We distributed stickers to delegates that reminded them that 82% of
democrats oppose the war. We fought hard to ensure that the police
didn't remove our banners, which were hung around the city.
organized a press conference to urge Kerry and the Democratic
leadership to set a timeline for the withdrawl of troops from Iraq that
featured Kelly Dougherty, an Iraq war vet, and Fernando Suarez, whose
son was one of the first soldiers to die in Iraq. Police came to take
down our banner. We stood our ground and as Fernando and others
struggled to keep our banner up, Fernando asked, "is this the freedom
of speech my son died for?"
Inside the convention, our anti-war
message was received with delight and gratitude. Ninety five percent of
the convention delegates oppose the Iraq war, but, even so, our own
Medea Benjamin was carried off the convention floor after holding up a
pink banner with the message "End the occupation of Iraq" just as
Theresa Heinz was calling for women's voices and all voices of dissent
to be heard.
photos: Orin Langelle/Global Justice Ecology Project
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. The name CODEPINK satirized the Bush Administration's color-coded, fear-mongering "security" alert system that has since been phased out. CODEPINK is a lively call for the people of the world to "wage peace." More...