Hightlights from 2011

Women Occupy!

This year, the movement to stop a war joined with the Occupy Movement, a movement to change the world as we knew it. CODEPINK was on the ground at Occupy Wall Street since day one, creating safe spaces for women, making sure that they are able to take on vital leadership roles as part of the 99%. We launched www.womenoccupy.org to connect women at Occupy protests around the country and share tools and resources with each other.

CODEPINK has always trusted in the power of the people, but we were filled with deep awe and inspiration as we witnessed that power in action around the world—from the Arab Spring to the American Autumn, the 99% were finally rising up to express our basic human longing for, and right to, freedom and justice and peace. We were thrilled to see the Occupy Movement using messages and tactics similar to those of CODEPINK, especially the growing awareness that we must bring our war dollars home so we can focus our resources on jobs, health care, education and other vital human needs rather than corporate and governmental greed. CODEPINK has been saying this all along; now people all over the country were saying it. Corporate greed, the economic system, and military policy are intrinsically linked. Why else would the G8 and NATO be meeting during the same week next May in Chicago?

We also stood up for justice across an array of important campaigns connected to militarism. We had a major victory when in June the US Conference of Mayors passed an historic resolution to Bring Our War $$ Home, which CODEPINK drafted and campaigned for. We cheered as Iraq troop withdrawal began and will continue to work for a full exit—including private contractors—and reparations for Iraq. We stood in solidarity with the Arab Spring and we urged our elected officials to stand on the side of democracy and freedom, not tyranny.

Our disruptions of war criminals, from Rumsfeld to Netanyahu, continued to make news headlines and pressure for accountability. Our spotlight on the devastating impact of drone warfare won us a book deal. The book will be coming out in the spring of 2012. We held the first-ever national conference to examine how the AIPAC lobby prevents real peace in the Middle East, and are planning another one in March. And in the coming year, we will be joining with a global women’s movement aiming to activate a billion women to rise up against rape and sexual violence in conflicts.

We are at an historic moment when our deepest dreams of overcoming war and injustice are being debated—and acted upon—in town squares the world over. CODEPINK is right in the middle, with a tent in which everyone can express and channel their deepest hopes and frustrations into beautiful, meaningful action that reclaims our power.

The best investment in change you can make…

Bring Our War Dollars Home!

For the first time since the Vietnam War, this year the U.S. Conference of Mayors took a stand on U.S. war policy by passing a resolution “Calling on Congress to Redirect Military Spending to Domestic Priorities” that was drafted by CODEPINK.

Expose War Crimes

CODEPINK continues to hold current and past elected officials accountable from war crimes, naming the elephant in the room with provocative tactics, from citizen’s arrests to “glitter bombs.” When war criminals Dick Cheney and Condi Rice released their memoirs, CODEPINK activists went to local bookstores to set history straight by inserting an accountability bookmark and moving their books to where they really belong — the True Crime section! When President Obama spoke at Facebook, we created an online group asking the president to “Update His War Status.”

War Drones On

With an estimate of 60 bases around the global engaging in U.S. drone missions, opposition to drone warfare and war profiteering continues to grow. To mark the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan war, CODEPINK participated in a number of anti-drone demonstrations, and throughout the year CODEPINK activists held vigils outside Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, where drones are remotely piloted, and Beale Air Force Base in California. We look forward to the spring release of CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin’s book on drones, and the launch of a more intense campaign to “Ground the Drones.”

Hands off WikiLeaks

Documents leaked via WikiLeaks helped fuel the global revolutions this past year and CODEPINK has been instrumental in spreading the word about the truths revealed about war in these documents. From naked protests to stickering at gay pride parades to holding protests at the military prison, CODEPINK has stepped up to support alleged leaker Private Bradley Manning. The uproar created by these coalition actions forced the U.S. military to improve Manning’s pre-trial conditions, moving him from the harsh military brig in Quantico, Va. to more humane facilities in Leavenworth, KS.

Solidarity with the Arab Spring

From Tunisia to Bahrain to Saudi Arabia to Palestine and Israel, CODEPINK has taken a stand in solidarity with the Arab Spring and continues to work boldly for human rights, justice and equality in the Middle East. We had a delegation on the ground in Cairo during the Egyptian revolution that documented women’s stories and stood bravely in solidarity.

Move Over AIPAC:
Time for a New US Foreign Policy in the Middle East!

We organized the first-ever counter-conference to the right-wing Israel lobby AIPAC’s annual gathering in DC. CODEPINKer Rae Abileah made international headlines when she disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s congressional address. We also challenged the AIPAC-supported blockade of Gaza by participating in the flotillas and supporting Palestinian human rights advocates. Join us for “Occupy AIPAC not Palestine” in DC March 3-6, 2012, and throughout the coming year as we continue to educate people on how ending the occupation is in the best interest of Palestinians, Israelis and Americans.
Check out: www.moveoveraipac.org.

Stolen Beauty: Boycott Ahava Cosmetics and SodaStream

“The spectacular media triumph of the CODEPINK-led campaign brilliantly named Stolen Beauty—against Israeli cosmetics company Ahava…had a distinctly inspiring effect on [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] campaigns across the Atlantic, particularly in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.”
— Omar Barghouti, BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights

CODEPINK continues its campaign to boycott Ahava Cosmetics, made in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. We have also expanded our boycott to include settlement-manufactured SodaStream. Follow us at www.stolenbeauty.org and @boycottahava!

Sisterhood is Global

When earthquakes rocked Japan and its nuclear facilities, CODEPINKers around the world sent messages of solidarity to our vibrant CODEPINK Japan group. CODEPINK supported Saudi women in their campaign to win the right to drive. We co-organized a series of dialogues with women from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Bahrain, and Gaza. Together we become much more than a protest group — we are the living example of the community and world we want to live in!