Thanks to you, CODEPINK was able to colorfully and bravely work for peace this year. As 2008 drew to a close—a year that saw continuing war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, a burgeoning refugee crisis in the region, and an economic meltdown of staggering proportions here at home—we doubled our resolve to continue pushing for peace and justice in 2009.
Here are some highlights from our creative, committed efforts this year:
- From the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post, Politico, Huffington Post, Salon.com and more, CODEPINK appeared all over the news. Powerful photographs from Wall Street actions protesting the bailout, disruptions of major RNC speeches accompanied hundreds of stories on the campaigns and the economic crisis. We also launched our blog, PINKTank, a powerful voice in an evolving media world!
- We launched CODEPINK Action, a virtual Peace Room (our version of the War Room), where we activated our membership to step up candidate bird-dogging skills—bringing non-stop action around the country and encouraging voter outreach!
- When Congress was debating the bailout, CODEPINK was on the front lines in the halls of Congress, the streets of Wall Street and the steps of the Treasury Department saying “Bail out Main Street, not Wall Street.” The rapid response from our list to an email alert about a Queens woman who was about to lose her home after losing her veteran son, helped save her home from the auction-block. We all embodied what the government should be doing: funding cities not Wall Street.
- CODEPINK Rocked the Parties by bringing the peace message to the presidential election race. At the DNC & RNC we maintained a vibrant pink presence with our bike brigades, aerial image, guerilla street theater, commemorative peace posters and more.
- Our PINK house on Capitol Hill drew hundreds of women and men from around the country who joined us in bringing the message of peace to the halls of Congress with creative, daily actions. We also hosted citizen activists from Vietnam, the Philippines, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Brazil, Italy, and Japan.
- 300 Plus CODEPINK local groups promoted peace this year with innovative, bold tactics, such as: congressional phone-a-thons on the streets of Brooklyn, Memorial Day Banner Drops over freeways nation-wide, monthly peace walks across the Golden Gate Bridge, I-Miss-America pageants in DC, Emma Goldman-inspired Dance Parties in Portland, and SuperShero street theater in Austin!
- On Mother’s and Father’s Day we partnered with the Collateral Repair Project—an organization dedicated to supporting Iraqi Refugees—to raise funds for Micro Projects which have supported Iraqis in rebuilding their lives and their communities.
- On International Women’s Day our regional activist trainings empowered women of all ages in democracy-building action!
- In April we joined Eve Ensler in New Orleans and shared in the healing that was V-DAY’s 10th Anniversary at the Superdome, and planted the CODEPINK V Garden with Common Ground in the Lower 9th Ward. We honored and connected with women from the Gulf South, the DRC, and all over the world.
- We followed the great tradition of war tax resistance in the U.S. by organizing a tax revolt campaign joined by many activists who took the courageous step of not buying Bush’s war and refusing to pay up to 51% of their taxes.
- We campaigned against torture and terrorism by advocating for the closure of Guantanamo Bay Prison and for terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to be added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
- As part of our NO WAR ON IRAN Campaign, we brought an Iran peace resolution to the National Conference of Mayors. We joined in a peace coalition meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad in NYC, and created our own “no blockade peace flotilla” around the houseboat of a Congressman who had advocated further sanctions on Iran. The resolution sank—our peace blockade was a success!
- CODEPINK traveled to Italy, Brazil, Bolivia and Iran to expand our global diplomacy initiative and build bridges with peace activists. CODEPINK’s own Medea Benjamin & Tighe Barry traveled to Pakistan (and were deported at gunpoint) to stand with Pakistani civil society to reinstitute the Rule of Law.
- We welcomed 28 new local groups to the CODEPINK family of 220 chapters around the world! They blossomed from Flagstaff, AZ to Solon, ME, from Curitiba, Brazil to Monrovia, Liberia, from the college campuses of Wesleyan in Connecticut to USF in Sarasota, FL.
- We supported our sisters in their resistance against military sexual violence to protest Halliburton/KBR for the undemocratic lack of protection and human rights standards for women serving overseas.
- Our Valentine’s Day Kiss-Ins at Military Recruiting centers spread love all around the country—we say: “Don’t Enlist, Stay and Kiss, That Way We All Make Out!”
This year the Obama campaign’s calls for CHANGE and HOPE mobilized a movement of young people, people of color, women, environmentalists, unionists, grassroots activists and the retired. People who had never before donated to or volunteered with a campaign, were taking buses to swing states and making tens of thousands of calls. One of the main motivators for many of these citizens was Barack Obama’s pledge to end the war in Iraq. We hope our work this year will be to help President Obama live up to his word. We can’t let his promises and our hopes be derailed by politics as usual—the horse-trading in Congress, the powerful interests of corporate lobbyists, the inertia and the corruption of the Democratic machine.