Host a War Criminals Card Party!

Hosting a card party is a fun way to get together with friends and fellow activists outside of the picket lines, down from the trees, and away from the jail cells. Card parties are a great way to build partnership with other organizations in your area, learn about their campaigns, and enjoy the company while playing old favorites or learning new games. At your card party you can spread the word about where the next war criminal is appearing, who made the latest attempted citizens arrest, and how to pass a city ordinance to promote executive accountability. It's a good time to also rant about the cost of war in your community and ways to hold those accountable for leading into the illegal war in Iraq.

Yes, yes, I want to host a card party! Now what?

  • c4.jpgPartnerships! First, you may want to invite diverse organizations to partner, and check on date and space availability with them. Think about what groups in your community are working to end the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. What interfaith, peace and justice, and cultural groups can you reach out to? Set the time, date and location of your party.
  • Outreach! Create an email and flyer to invite people to your party. Ask the partner organization to invite their members to attend the party. Spread the word far and wide on emails listservs, online calendars, facebook, the walls of you local cafe, radio and newspaper event listings, and by outreaching the old-fashioned way: pick up the phone and tell people your throwing a card party! Consider also inviting friendly members of the press. Add your event to the CODEPINK calendar!
  • Decide on the games. There are so many card games to choose from. Explain to your guests the games which have been chosen, write out the rules, set up the games at different tables, and let everyone decide their destination. If you decide to just play one card game, it's always fun to do it in tournament style.
  • Provide Food. You went to parties as a kid because of the cupcakes and sundaes. You went to philanthropic meetings in college because of the free meal. Things have not changed. Host a "Pizza & Poker Night", "Shiraz & Spades", or maybe "Potluck & Pinochle". The menu and game is up to you, but give your supporters a reason to come other than cards! And, of course, you can serve up a delicious pie ala mode from the latest CODEPINK Peace Never Tasted So Sweet peace pie cookbook.
  • Have the rules available for all games. Print off on recycled/reused paper or write on a large pink poster board the rules each game you will play. Having these handy and visible will keep participants from having to ask questions. Each table of players can refer to the rules. Depending on the game card rules can be downloaded online.
  • Set up tables. Set your party tables up with enough room to maneuver around. It is a good idea to make sure that the tables you use have room for people to place their fancy pink drinks, or that there is a table nearby for them to set a beverage. Set up a separate table for organization handouts, sign in sheets, food and snacks. Make sure there's a enough recyclable or biodegradable plates, cups, napkins and utensils.
  • Decorate with Pink. You can find card themed decorations at any party store. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, simply make an "Arrest the War Criminals" banner for the party. The War Criminal card deck can be used as centerpieces, as garland around a hot pink boa and even as place cards with your guests' names.
  • Get set, go! Make sure EVERYONE feels welcome. Consider having a greeter or passing around name tags. You don't have to play cards in order to join in on the fun. Perhaps have side activities like a pink craft table or a computer to watch the online video of CODEPINK Cofounder Jodie Evans arresting Karl Rove
  • After your card party. Post photos or videos from your card party online. Share on twitter and facebook. Email all your guests, partner organizations and press to thank them for joining in the informative and fun evening and mention any next steps and upcoming actions. Might we suggest a next step for your community? Pass a city ordinance to promote executive accountability! Keep the pressure up!