Thursday, September 6, 2007
Whipping Congress Into Shape!!!
With being Code Pink’s new intern for only three days now, I have already had some completely amazing, new life experiences. I arrived at the Code Pink house yesterday morning a little before nine to find the house full of energy and excitement. We were to hold a press conference to release our new agenda and campaign for the season. The girls were all busy finishing the last details to prepare for the big day: Medea revealing to me our new song they stayed up late last night creating, Ann putting together our beautiful new banner, Liz out back delivering Code Pink’s message to reporters.
When nine o’clock arrived we piled into the Code Pink house front lawn, fully equipped with riding gear: riding hats complete with pink bows and pink messages such as “troops home now” and “lead us out of Iraq”, our new campaign shirts stating “whipping congress into shape”, pink whips, and even pink tambourines. Medea stood front and center boldly addressing the press, “The people say no to war and we are going to whip congress into shape! No more money for this war!” We finished up by joining in to sing our new song which is to the tune of “These Boots Are Made for Walking” and then led the press into the house to have them preview our new campaign video.
I was astonished when midway through the press conference I saw coming down the road a huge bus, seemingly straight out of the 60’s, with “Iraq Veterans Against the War” written across it. We finished at the Code Pink house and piled into the big van to find it fully decorated: windows covered with various flags, furnished with couches, protest signs and eclectic supplies everywhere. We rode into town full of energy, singing our song all the way.
We marched out of the bus up to congress, a pink army, chanting, “Whip congress into shape, end the war, it’s way too late,” tambourines jingling, slapping whips in hand to the beat, our banner held high. We participated in a press conference across the street at the Cannon Building with our chant and proceeded in our excitement to join in the crowd. An overly excited secretary pleaded us to reconsider, “Don’t mess this up! Please! You were more disruptive across the street!” Medea, fearless, covered in pink, joined in the crowd. The rest of Code Pink followed, standing in the back holding up our banner.
At the close of the conference we stood at the foot of the steps and the Code Pink women approached all of the Congressional members as they passed by saying, “It’s a beautiful day to end the war! You’ve got to end this war, sir!” Some smiled, winked, thumbs up, nodding, loving what we were doing. We stood on the curb holding the sign up for the cars passing by, chanting, while the passengers smiled, and tourists took pictures.
At ten it was time for the second press conference of the day, which was held out in front of the congress building. Code Pink was joined by many other groups such as Iraq Veterans for Peace, Action Coalition, and The Backbone Campaign for a great turn out.
Following the press conference we marched over to the capitol steps to perform a political skit thought up by The Backbone Campaign. In response to the inaction of the congress members, we represented them as a flock of sheep dressed in suits. After clashes of symbols they herded to Sam holding a sign for oil, after another clash, nearly resembling zombies, to me holding a dollar sign. We finished out or skit after another clash, by the sheep turning to a bright pink peace flag and then having a gigantic constitution draped over the sheep. We all came together to hold up the constitution and joined in chanting “We the people, not the sheeple!” People were passing by smiling, photographing, and joining in to sign the constitution.
Some of the Code Pinkers, always working, came back to the Code Pink house to return to planning and preparing while the rest of them continued to go to hearings and press conferences.
I joined back up with Des, Liz and Medea later on as they sped wildly, full of energy throughout the congressional building in order to catch congress members leaving hearings. Charming and smiling, they questioned their plans to end the war and informed them of facts they may not have been aware of. Liz politely walking along with them pleaded “Our soldiers are dying to come home from Iraq!”
We finished off our big day of actions by dropping off a little surprise for Nancy Pelosi. In response to her callous comment she made to the dedicated protesters camping outside of her San Francisco home of “You guys are nuts!”, Des decided to drop off a bag of nuts and a copy of the constitution with the impeachment section highlighted in pink to her office. The bag was even complete with a pink bow.