Thursday, July 5, 2007

CODEPINK volunteer staying busy and having fun

Janet Weil,

Greetings from NE Washington on the 4th of July! The Pink House is quiet this morning as most of us DCers camped out near the White House last night to secure a place in the big parade. Not just to watch (when does Code Pink ever just watch something?) but to join in! The past two days have been a flurry of making pink tutus, new banners, peace tiaras, magic wands and more in the basement, aka "The Fuschia Factory." Last night as we were finishing up, we sang folks songs and show tunes with Joel, our resident singer/songwriter/guitarist from Alaska. The bicycle pedicab has been decked out with bunting and painted dark pink.

I need to do some cleanup to make the house ready for our weekly community potluck dinner, so I'll just quickly run through some of my activities over the last few days, including resources for you to check out.

-- Went to a book talk by Josh Rushing, a former Marine and Public Affairs Officer who has left the military and is now a journalist for the English version of Al Jazeera, now available in the US only on the internet. See I'm reading his book, "Mission Al Jazeera" right now, which has as its subtitles: Build a Bridge; Seek the Truth; Change the World.

-- Watched a preview of a documentary produced by Phil Donohue called "Body of War." It shows the interconnected stories of Senator Byrd (D- WV) and his powerful speech against the vote for war in Fall 2002, and the hard journey of a young veteran after being shot and paralyzed in Iraq. i was very emotional, thinking of my nephew Joel now in Marines Officer training in Virginia. Please check out for more info. I had an interesting encounter with Senator Byrd; details later.

-- Visited the office of the Institute for Policy Studies, our friendly local progressive think tank.

-- Played "Learn Your Women Senators" game with House Mama Des and other folks, using handy face cards produced by Midge in preparation for our work on Capitol Hill next week.

-- Had some great conversations with Arvind, the filmmaker from Texas (and India) about violence against women, her filmmaking techniques, and of course politics!

-- Went to the White House for the "Libby" action; go to if you haven't already for my blog.

-- Received a wonderful email from my mother on how she's getting the word to the Democratic National Committee about "no money until you lead us out of war." Thanks, Mom! More later on that, too.

Finally, on a sadder personal note, I spoke with my nephew Joel last night and made arrangements to meet him and his girlfriend in Alexandria, VA on Saturday. I was happy to hear his voice, lively and enthusiastic as ever, but I also felt such an undercurrent of such dread.

In between communal meals, actions and outings, and housekeeping, I'm reading and studying, including the latest issue of Middle East Report (an excellent quarterly journal); its cover story is "The War Economy of Iraq." Pick up a copy if you can.

SUGGESTED ACTION: Think about what you want YOUR country to be and do in the world, and write down and post on your fridge 3 things you are willing to do to help that come into being. Of course, I'd love to read about your "3 things" so send me an email if possible!

And now on to some housework before I hit the streets of DC!

Posted by Janet Weil

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