definition of Wikipedia
|Code Pink: Women for Peace|
Code Pink activists demonstrate in front of the White House on July 4, 2006.
|Formation||November 17, 2002|
|Purpose/focus||Anti-war, social justice|
|Region served||United States of America|
|Key people||Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin|
Code Pink: Women for Peace is an anti-war group that is mainly composed of women. It has regional offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C., and many more chapters in the U.S. as well as several in other countries. Code Pink describes itself as "a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities."
With members wearing the group's signature pink color, Code Pink has conducted marches, protests, and high-visibility publicity stunts in order to promote its goals. Although women initiated and lead the group, Code Pink allows men to participate in its activities.
Code Pink was founded on November 17, 2002 by Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin and other activists. The group's name is a play on the United States Department of Homeland Security's color-coded alert system in which, for example, Code Orange and Code Red signify the highest levels of danger.
In February 2003, just weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Code Pink organized its first trip to that nation, and subsequently led five delegations there. These delegations included parents who had lost their children in Iraq, and parents of active soldiers. Additionally, they brought six Iraqi women on a tour of the United States, and published a report about how the US occupation affected the status of Iraqi women.
On its website, Code Pink lists allegations of US war crimes, and states that thousands of civilians were killed in Fallujah in 2004 due to the actions of the US military. Along with other groups, they gave over $600,000 worth of humanitarian aid to refugees of Fallujah in 2004.
Code Pink often uses political street theater to publicize its positions. Favored methods include the use of puppets, effigies, over-sized heads, and fake blood, according to John J. Tierney in a publication of the conservative think tank, Capital Research Center.
Code Pink organizes annual rallies on Mothers Day and St. Valentine's Day. On Mother's Day 2006, Code Pink organized a 24-hour gathering in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, which was attended and supported by Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon and Patch Adams. For Valentine's Day they organize kiss-ins in which members are encouraged to assemble outside military recruitment centers and kiss, as well as hold up banners with slogans such as "Make out, not war!" and "Love the troops, Hate the War." Members are also asked to hand out flyers that according to the Code Pink website, "...claim that recruiters tell potential recruits their chance of being sent to a combat zone is slim" and that "almost all recruits will be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan."
Co-founder Medea Benjamin writes in the Huffington Post that the United States never had any "justification for invading Iraq", that there is no "justification for continuing the war in Afghanistan", and that in Pakistan, the US "drone attacks are only fueling the violence and creating more Osama Bin Ladens." Regarding the killing of bin Laden, she says "Let us not sink into a false sense of triumphalism in the wake of Bin Laden's passing."
Code Pink has also organized vigils at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC. The group has been criticized for actions at the vigils: the criticism has centered on tactics such as displaying coffins and chanting aggressive slogans. Speaking about the display of coffins, Kevin Pannell, an amputee and former patient at the hospital, said it "was probably the most distasteful thing I had ever seen. Ever. We went by there one day and I drove by and [the anti-war protesters] had a bunch of flag-draped coffins laid out on the sidewalk. You know that 95 percent of the guys in the hospital bed lost guys whenever they got hurt and survivors' guilt is the worst thing you can deal with." To those that faulted aggressive chants and signs, Code Pink responded that certain of the disruptive protesters were not part of their group and that they have asked these protesters to be respectful. Code Pink says that the purpose of the vigils is to highlight the lack of care for veterans and claims that the vigils have helped spur improvements in that care.
In March 2007, there were US Senate hearings about the disclosure of the classified role of Valerie Plame Wilson. During the hearings, a Code Pink activist, Midge Potts, constantly maneuvered to be in the camera views of the witness. Potts wore a pink T-shirt emblazoned "Impeach Bush". She said she was in the Judiciary Committee hearing room not to add anything to the proceedings there, but "...I switched it to the impeach during the Valerie Plame hearing mainly because it seems like that the Democrats or -- are going to push the supplemental through."
On October 31, 2009, Code Pink organized a protest rally outside the White House to coincide with President and Mrs. Obama's official Halloween party. As many of the guests were family members of military members, the Code Pink press release encouraged attendees to dress as "zombie soldiers".
Code Pink also published a book called Stop the Next War Now, which included essays by Eve Ensler, Barbara Lee, Arianna Huffington, Janeane Garofalo, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jody Williams, Naomi Klein, Benazir Bhutto, Helen Thomas, Julia Butterfly Hill, Amy Goodman, Doris Haddock, Cynthia McKinney, Gael Murphy and others.
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