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Code Pink

Code Pink: Women for Peace
Code Pink activists demonstrate in front of the White House on July 4, 2006.
Code Pink activists demonstrate in front of the White House on July 4, 2006.
Formation November 17, 2002 (2002-11-17) (9 years ago)
Type NGO
Purpose/focus Anti-war, social justice
Region served United States of America
Key people Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin
Website www.codepink4peace.org

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.[1] 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."[2]

With members wearing the group's signature pink color,[3] 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.[4]



Code Pink was founded on November 17, 2002 by Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin and other activists.[2] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7] Along with other groups, they gave over $600,000 worth of humanitarian aid to refugees of Fallujah in 2004.[8]


  Code Pink protesting against Arnold Schwarzenegger, during his campaign to get elected as the Governor of California.
  Protest by Code Pink against AHAVA in Los Angeles, California in July 2009.
  • November, 2002: Code Pink launched a four-month vigil in front of the White House, culminating on March 8, 2002 International Women's Day, with a 10,000-person march.[9]
  • January 20, 2005: Code Pink protesters attended President G.W. Bush's second inaugural address, unfurling banners and heckling the president during his speech.[10] The group reportedly received VIP passes from unidentified members of Congress, and were eventually escorted out of the area by police.[11]
  • September 21, 2006: Code Pink staged a peace march that blocked traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. Code Pink received permits allowing them to march after the morning commute hours at 10:00am. Instead, the group began an illegal walk toward the center of the span at 7:30am. They left by 10:00am.[12]
  • March 22, 2007: several Code Pink protestors were arrested outside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi after announcing their intent to take over her office. Code Pink was protesting that the majority Democratic Party had not stopped war funding.[15]
  • September 10, 2007: Code Pink protested at General David Petraeus' Congressional testimony, interrupting the general's testimony. Committee Chairman Congressman Ike Skelton (D-MO) banged his gavel, attempted to restore order, and informed the protesters of possible legal ramifications of their actions. The protestors were subsequently removed from the hearing[16]
  • October 24, 2007: Desiree Ali-Fairooz approached Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with red paint on her hands and shouted "The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands!" She was immediately arrested.[19]
  • September 4, 2008: At the 2008 Republican National Convention, a Code Pink activist attempted to heckle nominee John McCain onstage while he was giving his acceptance speech. Secret Service stopped the activist before she reached the stage.[20]
  • December 12, 2008: Code Pink announced its plans to invest in Iranian wind energy in hopes to defy sanctions and build peaceful relations with the government of Iran.[21]
  • December 31, 2009: Code Pink was one of the organizers of the Gaza Freedom March on December 31, 2009, which brought over 1,300 people from more than 43 countries to join Gaza Palestinians in a non-violent, mass march to the Israeli border.[23]
  • May 11, 2010: Code Pink attempted to arrest Karl Rove at a book signing.[24]
  • June 8, 2010: Code Pink heckled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over lack of funding for states.[25]
  • March 2011: Code Pink members demonstrate outside of the FBI headquarters in support of suspected Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning.[26]
  Marching in 2004.
  • September 11, 2011: Code Pink activists marched across the Golden Gate Bridge while calling for troops to leave Iraq and Afghanistan.[28]

  Ongoing protest rallies

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.[29]

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.[30] 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."[31] 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."[32]

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."[33]

  Demonstrations at Walter Reed Medical Center

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."[34] 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.[35] 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.[35][36]

  Protest during Plame hearing

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."[37]

  Halloween 2009 White House protest

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".[38]


Code Pink also published a book called Stop the Next War Now,[39] 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.[40]


According to the Jerusalem Post, Code Pink is a pro-Palestinian group.[41]

  See also


  1. ^ Code Pink "Contact Us" page. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  2. ^ a b Code Pink "About Us" page. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  3. ^ Copeland, Libby (June 10, 2007), "Protesting for Peace With a Vivid Hue and Cry: Code Pink's Tactics: Often Theatrical, Always Colorful", Washington Post: D01, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/09/AR2007060901488.html 
  4. ^ Just the Beginning, CP, http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?list=type&type=3, retrieved 2008-02-24 
  5. ^ CODEPINK Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.codepink4peace.org/section.php?id=207, retrieved 2008-02-20 
  6. ^ Corbett, Rachel; Tranovich, Anja (20 March 2006), "The Normalcy of Fear", The Nation, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060403/tranovichcorbett 
  7. ^ Families For Peace Delegation, Code Pink Website. Retrieved 3 July 2006.
  8. ^ US delegation goes to Middle East, Democracy Now! Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  9. ^ Code Pink "About Us" web site.
  10. ^ CODEPINK Alerts January 25, 2005, Code Pink website. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  11. ^ Coile, Zachary (January 21, 2005), "OPPOSITION: Loud, peaceful protest interrupts Bush speech"], San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/01/21/MNGT8AU70N1.DTL, retrieved 2009-09-12 
  12. ^ "Code Pink's war protest jams bridge traffic"], Marin Independent Journal, September 22, 2006, http://www.marinij.com/marin/ci_4378700, retrieved 2006-10-16 
  13. ^ "Clinton: 'It's Just Not Fair'", The Hill, March 23, 2007, http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/clinton-its-just-not-fair-2007-03-22.html 
  14. ^ Davis, Teddy (March 27, 2007), "Code Pink Targets Clinton", ABC News Political Radar, http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/03/code_pink_targe.html, retrieved 2007-04-10 
  15. ^ "Anti-war protestors arrested at Pelosi's office", The Hill, March 22, 2007, http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/anti-war-protesters-arrested-at-pelosis-office-2007-03-22.html 
  16. ^ Baker, Peter; Weisman, Jonathan (September 11, 2007), "Petraeus Backs Initial Pullout: General Praises Progress, Warns Against 'Rushing to Failure'", Washington Post: A01, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/10/AR2007091000806.html?hpid=topnews, retrieved 2007-10-25 
  17. ^ Perez, Simon (October 3, 2007), "Berkeley Marine Center Draws Anti-War Ire" (– Scholar search), KPIX-TV (CBS affiliate), http://cbs5.com/local/local_story_276204539.html [dead link]
  18. ^ Bhattacharjee, Riya (2007-09-28), "Code Pink Protests Marine Recruitment Center", Berkeley Daily Planet, http://www.berkeleydaily.org/article.cfm?issue=09-28-07&storyID=28097 
  19. ^ "`Bloodied' anti-war protester gets in face of `criminal' Rice". The Star (Toronto). October 25, 2007. http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/270322. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  20. ^ "CodePink Alert!". September 4, 2008. http://blogs.post-trib.com/grimm/2008/09/codepink_alert.html. 
  21. ^ "CODEPINK leaders announce plans for investment in Iranian wind energy company". Code Pink. December 12, 2008. http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=4564. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  22. ^ Wilson, Scott (June 4, 2009). "CodePink Alert!". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/04/AR2009060401024_3.html?sid=ST2009060401217. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  23. ^ "CodePink Alert!". December 28, 2009. http://www.gazafreedommarch.org/article.php?list=type&type=416. 
  24. ^ "Code Pink Tries To Arrest Karl Rove At Book Signing". May 11, 2010. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/05/11/code_pink_tries_to_arrest_karl_rove_at_book_signing.html. 
  25. ^ "Pelosi Heckled At DC Event Over Lack Of Federal Funding". June 8, 2010. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/06/08/pelosi_heckled_at_dc_event_over_lack_of_federal_funding.html. 
  26. ^ Nakashima, Ellen (March 12, 2011). "WikiLeaks suspect's treatment 'stupid,' U.S. official says". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/11/AR2011031106542.html. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 
  27. ^ Jewish Protester Disrupts Netanyahu During Congressional Address
  28. ^ Amy Crawford (September 11, 2011). "SF war protesters choose to remember military dead on Sept. 11". The Examiner. http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/09/sf-war-protesters-choose-remember-military-dead-sept-11. Retrieved Octocber 4, 2011. 
  29. ^ Code Pink: The Women's Anti-War Movement, http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/v1185995675.pdf, retrieved 2008-12-07 
  30. ^ William Hughes, COMMENTARY: Code Pink Challenges White House, Baltimore Chronicle, May 15, 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2006.
  31. ^ "Valentine's Day Kiss-In at Military Recruiting Centers". Code Pink. http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?list=type&type=343. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  32. ^ (PDF) Make Out Not War, Code Pink, http://www.codepink4peace.org/downloads/CR_MAKEOUTNOTWAR.pdf, retrieved 2008-01-31 
  33. ^ Osama Bin Laden Is Dead; Let the Peace Begin
  34. ^ Morano, Marc (2005-08-25). "Anti-War Protests Target Wounded at Army Hospital". Cybercast News Service. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071218212040/http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=%5cSpecialReports%5carchive%5c200508%5cSPE20050825a.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  35. ^ a b "Statement on Vigil Outside of Walter Reed Hospital" (Press release). Code Pink. 2005-08-26. http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?id=476. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  36. ^ "Activists See Deception in Night Arrivals". Stars and Stripes. 2005-03-31. http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=27210&archive=true. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  37. ^ CNN Newsroom, Cable News Network, March 17, 2007, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0703/17/cnr.06.html 
  38. ^ Code Pink Press Release Accessed 21 Dec 2009
  39. ^ Evans, Jodie and Benjamin, Medea (editors) (2005), How to Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism, New World Library 
  40. ^ About the Book Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism at Code Pink website.
  41. ^ Pro-Palestinian activists protest during PM's AIPAC speech

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