Friday, April 27, 2007

CodePink supports Peace Coalition

Code Pink stood for Unity this afternoon. We witnessed the fusion of art and activism, politics and power, veterans and voters, women and warriors, all speaking out against the Iraq War. Nearly a dozen activist groups came together today in a coordinated effort to demonstrate a united front and express the outrage of the people in the Hart Senate Office Building as the Senate passed the Supplemental Funding compromise. 14 were arrested in the action, including Adam Kokesh of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Reverend Lennox Yearwood of Vets for Peace.
With our high visibility and reputation for consistent action on the Hill, CodePink took what appeared to be the point position on the action, but we mixed it up, to the surprise of the Capitol Police. We gathered together in the atrium of the building, a huge airy space that lends itself very well to our purposes. We rallied and split up into several teams, decked out in our flashiest pink regalia or in orange jumpsuits (some having just left a hearing on detainees). One CodePink group kicked off the entire action by dropping a small banner from the third floor while others of us proceeded through the open halls of the building singing. We distracted the Capitol Police, drawing attention away from other groups and leaving open the way for their voices to cry out against the continued funding of the War without intense scrutiny from the Police.
While the uniformed officers followed the women in pink, as is the custom now, our singing, banner-dropping contingent spread out on three sides of the upper levels around the atrium.

Marine Mom Tina Richards, local activist Pete Perry and other activists used the opportunity to read aloud letters from Gold Star and Military Families to the Democratic leadership of Congress with the full attention of tourists, students, staffers, supporting activists and the full coverage of the press in the lobby. CodePink then re-joined the other groups in the lobby, as planned, drawing with us the Police assigned to our groups to await the next phase of the carefully choreographed event. We wandered about on the ground floor, fully pink, some with pink tape marked with 3334 (today’s reported death toll of American service personnel) holding up copies of the Constitution, drawing more warnings from Police. Just then a group of women from New York City, Artists Against the War, unfurled two 700 square foot banners from balconies on opposite sides of the fifth floor. One of the black banners, lettered in white, said “Your Silence, Your Legacy”, the other was a direct quotation of the Articles of Impeachment from the Constitution. The crowd of more than a hundred in the lobby cheered as the banners were dropped, tied off and one of the two groups was arrested. The others led onlookers in a cry of “Impeach Now”.
“I have to go vote now, but I didn’t want to leave without saying thank you for what you are doing. We need these voices. Keep it up.” - Anonymous Senator attending action

We stood there in the lobby surrounded by supporters of peace, justice and impeachment as the voices of the people rose up in Congress. The cheers, chants and shouts did not stop when the Police cut away and confiscated the banners. They only faded as the solemn notes of Taps trumpeted through the building, echoing off the walls and unsettling hearts. Taps is the traditional tune of military mourning and the occasion was indeed mournful. The final phase of the action was beginning.
But, before the planned funeral for the next fallen soldier began I was approached by a Senator, who took me by the arm and said, “I have to go vote now, but I didn’t want to leave without saying thank you for what you are doing. We need these voices. Keep it up.” I was a bit stunned and surprised and it took me a moment to realize that he was a Legislator because he had removed his congressional lapel pin (going incognito to the protest, I suppose), but I recognized him from hearings and later looked him up in a facebook directory.
Taps continued as he left me, his staffer urging him toward the door to head to the Capitol for the vote.
Adam, a former Marine Sergeant and Iraq veteran who served during the invasion of Fallujah, marched across the atrium wearing his black IVAW shirt and Marine camo hat bearing a ceremoniously folded American flag. He halted in front of Reverend Yearwood, a former Air Force Chaplain and the President of the Hip-Hop Caucus, dropped to one knee, bowed his head and offered up the flag while the next soldier to die in this war was eulogized. Rev. Yearwood, in his black shirt and white collar also wore his Air Force camo hat bearing his bars of rank. The two were making it clear to the world that their actions were validated by their status as veterans. Rev. Yearwood’s words were filled with pain and his face a vision of determination as he explained that more would die every day while Congress continues to provide money to pay for the war. With or without a Veto from George, right now Congress is buying this war.
People and police were gathered around with press everywhere jockeying for shots of the two, who were somberly paying their respects to those who have fallen and will continue to fall in this unjust war. Just as the soldiers are the ones to bear the heavy costs of war Adam and the Rev were bearing the costs of this action.
The police approached, cutting through the crowd to warn them and notify them that they were about to be arrested for unlawful assembly and demonstration. They held their ground, following through with their mission to express the sadness of the entire movement at the loss of life in senseless, unwarranted aggression. In all, 14 arrests were made in association with the action.

Code Pink joined the coalition of groups which included Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, United for Peace and Justice, Artists against the War (We Will Not Be Silent), Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, and Grass Roots America, among others.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Subpoenas, Impeachment, & MORE...

Today was a long day (as usual)...

We started out by heading to the Goverment Oversight committee hearing that was to vote on issuing subpoenas for Bush administration officials including Secretary of State Rice.Waxman was also attempting to subpoena emails for the Republican National Committee. We wore our Pink Police outfits with Constitutions and "subpoenas" peeking out of our pockets. We had been in the same hearing room yesterday where Congressman Waxman asked us to not hold up signs. So, we put our signs on top of our hats... We had the names of Rove, Condi, and other Bush admin officials pinned to our hats with a red line through it as if saying, "No Condi" or "No Rove". Whenever they would mention one of these shady characters, we bowed down our heads so the representatives could see our sign; today, Waxman's staff didn't say a word. The Republicans tried to stall the vote on subpoenas by using various parlimentary tricks. However, the committee ended up voting for the suboenas in bi-partisan fashion, 21-10.

While that hearing dragged on, some of us left to go to another hearing on Armed Services Contracting for Iraqi Security Forces... I changed out of my Pink Police outfit and put on a pink nightgown with "STOP FUNDING WAR" on it. A couple of other CODEPINKers also went to the hearing where Conyers' Judiciary committee was voting to subpoena one of the assistant Attorney Generals who was involved in the controversial firing of 8 Attorney Generals for political reasons in December.

After leaving the hearing, we ran into Representative Ellison in the hallway. He was very gracious, and was generous with his time. He shared with us that he sincerely wanted to end the occupation of Iraq, and was not sure if the path the Democtratic leadership would work. However, he also said he was going to vote for the supplemental because he couldn't see any other way to start getting troops home from Iraq.

At noon we went to join in on the press conference to support Congressman Kucinich's filing of Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Cheney. Speakers at the press conference included Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, David Swanson of, Daniel Ellsberg and Cindy Sheehan.

After lunch, we went to a hearing where General Petraeus was to give a report to Congress about the current situation in Iraq. CLICK HERE to read the blog post about what happened when the public was refused entrance.

Finally, we split up so we could try to reach as many Congresspersons as possible on their way to the Capitol before the House vote on the 2007 Iraq War Supplemental Spending Bill. Several CODEPINKers went into the basement of the Rayburn office building to catch representatives on their way to the House chamber; we got to talk to 50 or 60 reps in less than 2 hours. Others were outside the capitol with one of our big "Don't Buy Bush's War" banners and other signs.

Well, that's about it... just another day working hard for peace with CODEPINK DC!

Peace & Freedom,


Moments ago, anti-war activists were refused entrance into a House Armed Services committee hearing in which General Petraeus, commander of U.S. operation in Iraq, was scheduled to appear. The CODEPINK ladies, dressed in Pink Police uniforms, and others including Gold Star Mother for Peace Cindy Sheehan and Marine mom Tina Richards, went to the hearing expecting it to an open and transparent. Instead, they were told there was not enough room availble for the public to attend. This was very similar to what happened at the House Appropriations 07' supplemental markup hearing last month. There was A LOT of mainstream press there to cover the generals testimony that got footage of the ensuing conflict. The group of peace advocates started chanting "TROOPS HOME NOW". Suddenly infamous neo-con Negroponte showed up in the hallway on his way to the hearing. People dropped the chant and started yelling at him, "WAR CRIMINAL" and "WHAT ABOUT THOSE NICARAGUAN DEATH SQUADS; Negroponte turned around and ducked into another room to get away from the protesters. The Capitol police told people they coulod not stand in the hall and would have to move along. At that point Cindy, Medea, Gael, Ann and all the others started marching up and down the hallway continuing to chant. The Capitol police came out in full force until there were more blue cops than pink cops. Then the same police officer who instigated the police brutality at the appropriations hearing blew his whistle and announced that they were clearing the hallway, and that everyone who did not coply was going to be arrested. The police formed a tight police line and, step by step, that foced the
group back away from the hearing room. As of now no arrestes have been reported but we will keep you updated as information becomes available. Since all power is "derived from the People", American democracy should be a transparent process. The most disgusting thing about this incident is that shows how our elected officials are attmpting to lock "the People" out of the legislative process.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CODEPINK impacts 3 different hearings on hill in one day.

The first hearing of the morning that CODEPINK attended was the Senate Armed Services hearing to receive testimony on United States Pacific Command, United States Forces Korea, and United States Special Operations Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2008 and the Futures Years Defense Program. This hearing was in the same room as the Gonzales hearing last week, but not nearly as well attended by the general public. Still, the testimony was heavy as Generals and Admirals spoke of the need to expand bases in South Korea and of the "growing threat" that China supposedly presents to U.S interests. There were only a couple of us in this hearing, but we were able to sit in the front row where we got quite a bit of attention from the video cameras in the press gallery. This was a classic CODEPINK protest where we held up pink signs and wore pink clothing with pertinent messages such as "NO $$$ $ WAR" and "STOP FUNDING WAR".

Most of us CODEPINKers, joined by a couple Iraq Veterans Against the War, started the day at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing of Cong. Henry Waxman. A progressive Democrat, Waxman has been doing terrific hearings into corporate war profiteering, government corruption and sordid deeds of our elected officials. Today’s hearing was designed to help uncover the truth about the rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq and the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan.

We almost didn’t get to attend this hearing! Waxman’s aides insisted that we sit in the back at the far side, despite the fact that there were plenty of seats in the middle. We refused, and they called the police to eject us. We shouted, “Is there an attorney in the room? Our rights are being violated. They want us to sit in the back of the bus.” The staff got embarrassed and finally backed off, but they kept harassing us whenever we tried to simply hold up a supportive sign like “No More Lies.”

Jessica Lynch’s story was simple and not very compelling. She talked about how the army and media had embellished her rescue for PR purposes, and said that the American people are smart enough to create their own heroes and didn’t need to be told elaborate tales.

The Tillman’s testimony, however, was heartbreaking and fascinating. Pat Tillman’s brother Kevin was the first to speak. He accused the military of “intentional falsehoods” and “deliberate and careful misrepresentations” in portraying his brother’s death in Afghanistan as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy instead of friendly fire. He said that this tale was invented to deceive not only the family but the American public.

He was angry that Pat had been used as a sales asset, and when they were finished with the PR, they wanted the family to sink quietly into their grief. But they miscalculated, and the family has been fighting ever since to uncover the truth.

Pat Tillman’s mother, Mary, spoke about how the family was appalled when they realized how they had been lied to. She also said she believed former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld knew that her son had died by friendly fire.

During the break between the family testimony and the military folks testifying, we thanked Kevin Tillman, the father (who was sitting quietly in the audience), and Pat’s mother Mary. We gave her a copy of our Mothers Day flyer and asked her to please consider joining us. She gave me a warm hug.


A few people stayed for the rest of the hearing and we went on to the hearing on the National Guard over in the Senate side, which was chaired by Patrick Leahy. It focused on a change made last year—quietly without public debate—to modify the Insurrection Act to make it easier for the President to “federalize” the National Guard without consulting governors.

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley testified on behalf of the National Governors Association that the change in the 2006 defense bill could put in jeopardy the governors’ ability to plan for disasters.

Another one who testified was the head of the National Guard, Lt. General Blum. I had a nice conversation before the hearing with him. I asked him about the Guard being mobilized to go to Iraq and Afghanistan and he certainly seemed concerned. He said the number of Guard serving in these wars had been reduced to about 50,000, but that Bush was calling up about another 25,000 guardsmen. He looked at my “Troops Home Now” shirt and commented, “Just make sure that let these troops know that you have nothing against them, just the war.” At that point, I showed him my “Love the troops, Hate the War” button, and he nodded in approval.

About the federalizing of the guard, he said that only 10 times since World War II has the National Guard been federalized under the Insurrection Act, mostly during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. All those who testified seemed to have similar perspective: they’d like to see more control over the Guard returned to the governors.

When the hearing ended, we shouted “Don’t send the Guard to fight foreign wars” and similar things. Afterwards we followed Leahy all through the halls, asking about what the Dems are going to do after Bush vetoes the supplemental. Exasperated, he finally said, “You ladies aught to go after the Republicans!”, to which we shouted, “We do, but we want YOU to do more to bring them home NOW.”

~ Written by Medea and Midge

CODEPINK "prescription for peace" demo in halls of Congress

On Monday April 23rd, CODEPINK activists took a creative anti-war protest into the offices of all 23 House members on the Iraq War Supplemental. Some of us dressed up as doctors with nametags reading "American Voted MD" to deliver a "prescription for peace". Others had pink fabric signs safetypinned to our shirts with slogans like "CURES NOT WARS" and "WAR IS BAD MEDICINE". Later that day the representatives we visited would be gathering in the Capitol building as part of the conference committee that would meet to reconcile the House and senate versions of the 2007 Iraq War supplemental spending bill. So, we went into their offices and asked to talk to the Congressperson so we could check her or his heart. We split up into three groups in which the person wearing pink scrubs and a stethoscope (aka Dr. Voter MD) took the lead in talking to whoever would see us. We met with a chief of staff, several legislative aids, and many low level staffers throughout the day. Each time we would present them with a "Prescription for peace" that was attached to a toy soldier with pink ribbon.
To our surprise, Congressman Kingston (R-GA) aggr
eed to meet with us and personally accepted our "Prescription for peace"; he REALLY seemed to listen to us. We spent about 20 minutes discussing our differing philosophies regarding U.S. foreign policy. It was a fantastic dialogue!

We continued on delivering prescriptions most of the afternoon while being trailed by two to five Capitol Police as we moved throughout the public buildings which house Congressional offices. Afterward, Some of us stood outside at the entrance of where Congresspersons were entering the building to go to theconference committee hearing; a few people went into the Capitol but were not allowed into the hearing room despite it being publicized online as a "public hearing".

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO of our "Prescription for Peace" demonstration incuding some behind the scenes footage of CODEPINKers brainstorming and preparing for the action.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

CODEPINK protests Bush at White House correspondents dinner

We had one heck of a good time tonight! Several of us went out in front of the Washington Hilton where George and Laura Bush were inside at the annual White House Correspondents dinner. Some of us were in our Pink Police uniforms, and one CODEPINKer was wearing a home made Bush mask so we could dramatize the arrest of the world's best known war criminal. Armed with a couple megaphones, we shouted chants such as "Don't Buy Bush's War" and "George Bush, what do ya say... how many people have you killed today?" We stood along Connecticut avenue for several hours as thousands of cars passed by responding to the "Honks for Peace".


Friday, April 20, 2007

Don't Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran....CODEPINK Sings to McCain

On Friday April 20th, CODEPINK debuted The John McCain Song at the Senator's Capitol Hill Office. Inspired by his recent attempts to sing his way to war with Iraq, the women at the CODEPINK house in DC wrote a more appropriate parody of the classic beach boys tune that we call "Don't Bomb Bomb Don't Bomb Iran. CLICK HERE to see the originial version.
The day after the video of John McCain's horrible rendition of "Barbara Ann" hit the news, CODEPINK went to John McCain's office to sing his staff our response to his "Bomb Bomb Iran". We practiced it outside the Russel Senate office building, then went inside the building and occupied his office for about 10 minutes with our own CODEPINK Activist Chorus. However, before long the Capitol police showed up and told us to leave or we would be arrested, so we left the building singing our "Don't Bomb Iran Song" on the way out.


Here our lyrics- sung to the tune of "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys.

The John McCain Song

McCain will bomb bomb bomb Iran (2)
He'll bomb Iran. If he can, He'll bomb Iran. ( bomb bomb Iran)
He is abomination
Cause he wants to the bomb the nation of Iran.
Bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran.

Don't bomb bomb bomb Iran (2)

Oh John McCain, He is insane
John McCain ( John John McCain)
He'll wipe out a generation
If he gets to bomb the nation of Iran
Bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran.

Don't bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran (2)

Don't bomb Iran, be a man
Don't bomg Iran ( bomb bomb Iran)
He won't get the nomination
If he wants to bomb a nation like Iran. ( Don't bomb bomb bomb Iran)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"I have nothing to hide... except the TRUTH"- CODEPINK on FRONT PAGE OF NYTIMES.COM

Gonzales Faces Anger From Both Sides on Senate Panel

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales faced protesters while testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Published: April 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 19 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales encountered anger and skepticism from senators today as he insisted that he had nothing to hide in the dismissals of eight United States attorneys, an episode that has cast a shadow on the Justice Department and brought calls for his resignation.

Skip to next paragraph
Text: Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales

Audio Back Story With The Times's Sheryl Stolberg (mp3)
Doug Mills/ The New York Times

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testifying today to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I am here today to do my part to ensure that all facts about this matter are brought to light,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, noting that the panel’s inquiry into the dismissals had already yielded thousands of pages of internal departmental communications and hours of interviews with department officials.

“These are not the actions of someone with something to hide,” Mr. Gonzales said in his opening remarks.

His reception from Democrats and Republicans alike, at a hearing that was widely seen as a make-or-break event, did not seem to augur well for Mr. Gonzales. But at the end of the day, the White House issued a statement that President Bush thought Mr. Gonzales’s testimony had gone well, and that he had “full confidence” in the attorney general.

It was no surprise that Democrats were generally critical of him, but so were several Republicans. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania questioned Mr. Gonzales’s honesty as well as his competence, while Senator John Cornyn of Texas said the handling of the dismissals had been “deplorable.” And Senator Tom Coburn, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma, said Mr. Gonzales should “suffer the consequences” of the bungled dismissals and resign.

Mr. Gonzales has been battling amid accusations that he has been less than forthcoming, at best, about his role in the firing of the federal prosecutors. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said the attorney general had a “tremendous credibility problem.”

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who heads the Judiciary Committee, said the Justice Department “is experiencing a crisis of leadership perhaps unrivaled during its 137-year history.”

“The Department of Justice should never be reduced to another political arm of the White House — this White House or any White House,” Mr. Leahy said. “The Department of Justice must be worthy of its name.”

Mr. Leahy made it clear that he was not persuaded by the repeated assertions from President Bush and his allies that the dismissals of the United States attorneys, who are political appointees and serve at the pleasure of the president, were above board.

“Indeed,” Mr. Leahy said, “the apparent reason for these terminations had a lot more to do with politics than performance.”

Democrats have questioned whether at least some of the eight prosecutors were fired because they were being too aggressive in investigating possible crimes linked to Republicans, or not aggressive enough in going after Democrats, or both.

“I did not do that,” the grim-faced attorney general told the senators. “I would never do that, nor do I believe that anyone else in the department advocated the removal of a U.S. attorney for such a purpose.”

But Mr. Leahy pressed Mr. Gonzales on conversations he had with Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political adviser, about removing David C. Iglesias, the United States attorney in New Mexico. “So, when was David Iglesias added to the list of U.S. attorneys to be replaced?” Mr. Leahy asked.

When Mr. Gonzales said he did not remember, although he thought Mr. Iglesias was slated for removal between Oct. 17 and Dec. 15, Mr. Leahy responded: “He was added either before or after the elections, but you don’t know when. Is that what you’re saying?”

Mr. Gonzales insisted that he did not recall the timing. So Mr. Leahy asked why Mr. Iglesias was let go, since Mr. Gonzales himself had earlier expressed confidence in him: “When and why did he lose your confidence?”

Mr. Gonzales said in reply that Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, had expressed concerns about Mr. Iglesias. “He called me and said something to the effect that Mr. Iglesias was in over his head,” Mr. Gonzales said, adding that the senator was concerned that Mr. Iglesias was not focusing enough on “public corruption cases.”

The circumstances surrounding Mr. Iglesias’s firing have aroused particular interest, since Mr. Domenici is known to have queried Mr. Iglesias about the prosecutor’s refusal to pursue a possible voter-fraud case.

In insisting that politics has played no part in the department’s decisions about whom to prosecute and when, Mr. Gonzales noted that Representative Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican linked to a lobbying scandal, pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges six weeks before last November’s elections.

“We could have taken the plea after the election, and I’m sure when we took that plea, there were some Republicans around the country probably scratching their head, wondering, ‘what in the world are they doing?’ ” Mr. Gonzales said. “Well, what we’re doing is doing what’s best for the case. That’s what we do. We don’t let politics play a role — partisan politics play a role in the decisions we make in cases.”

Another dismissal in the spotlight is that of Carol C. Lam, who was the United States attorney in San Diego and who successfully prosecuted former Representative Randy Cunningham, a Republican, on corruption charges. Still another high-profile dismissal was that of H.E. Cummins III in Arkansas, removed to make way for J. Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Mr. Rove.

Mr. Gonzales conceded that his accounts of the firings, and his role in them, had been marked by imprecision and “misstatements.” But his expression of contrition did not seem to help him this morning.

Mr. Leahy and Mr. Specter, the panel’s ranking Republican, had already recalled inconsistencies in Mr. Gonzales’s recollections in their opening remarks, especially the fact that Mr. Gonzales’s former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, testified that Mr. Gonzales was “incorrect” in his earlier declarations that he was not involved in discussions about letting the prosecutors go.

“I’d like you to win this debate,” Mr. Specter told Mr. Gonzales. “But you’re going to have to win it.”

Mr. Specter wondered aloud whether Mr. Gonzales “had been candid — more bluntly, truthful” in his earlier assertions that he was not involved in the dismissals, or at least not deeply involved. “Were you prepared for the press conference where you said there weren’t any discussions involving you?” Mr. Specter said, alluding to the attorney general’s March 13 news conference at the Justice Department.

“Senator, I’ve already said that I misspoke,” Mr. Gonzales said. “It was my mistake.”

That did not satisfy Mr. Specter at all. “I don’t think you’re going to win a debate about your preparation, frankly,” he said. “Let’s get to the facts.”

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Specter asked Mr. Gonzales if he thought it was “a fair, honest characterization to say that you had only a ‘limited involvement in the process’?”

“Senator, I don’t want to quarrel with you,” Mr. Gonzales replied.

“I don’t want you to, either,” Mr. Specter said. “I just want you to answer the question.”

When Mr. Gonzales insisted that his involvement in the firings had been limited, Mr. Specter told him that his description of his role was “significantly, if not totally, at variance with the facts.” It was clear that, for at least some members of the committee, there was no longer a debate about whether Mr. Gonzales should stay.

“It cannot make anyone happy to have to question the credibility and competence of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat and one of Mr. Gonzales’s harshest critics. “This is, however, a predicament strictly of the attorney general’s own making.”

“The circumstantial evidence is substantial and growing,” Mr. Schumer said, alluding to allegations of political interference with prosecutions, “and the burden is on the attorney general to refute it.”

The attorney general said each of the eight fired prosecutors is “a fine lawyer and dedicated professional,” and that the dismissals should have been handled more gracefully.

Mr. Gonzales got a friendly reception from Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama and a former United States attorney, who urged Mr. Gonzales to be “honest and direct” and predicted that the attorney general’s basic goodness “will show through.”

But, perhaps ominously for Mr. Gonzales, even Mr. Sessions said he thought Mr. Gonzales had been less than candid about his part in the firings, and that the entire affair had hurt the Justice Department.

“It has raised questions that I wish had not been raised, because when United States attorneys go into court, they have to appear before juries, and those juries have to believe that they’re there because of the merit of the case, and that they have personal integrity,” Mr. Sessions said.

“So this matter’s taken on a bit of life of its own, it seems,” he added. “Your ability to lead the Department of Justice is in question. I wish that weren’t so, but I think it certainly is.”

President Bush has continued to voice support for Mr. Gonzales, his old friend from Texas, but has said that Mr. Gonzales must re-establish faith in his leadership. Today’s hearing was widely regarded as a make-or-break event for him.

“I have learned important lessons from this experience, which will guide me in my important responsibilities,” Mr. Gonzales said. “I believe that Americans focus less on whether someone makes a mistake than on what he or she does to set things right.”

Pink Police Invade Gonzales Hearing

In a packed hearing room, a nervous Alberto Gonzales attempted to defend his record of violating the Constitution and entering the United States into an era of torture. CODEPINK arrived at the break of dawn to be the among the first people in line for the hearing. The "Pink Police" marched in demanding that President Bush fire Gonzales for refusing to uphold the constitution. Officer Liz and Officer Medea held up the Constitution for Senators and the Attorney General. It is perhaps the first time the Attorney General was in the presence of the Bill of Rights. The Pink Police successfully arrested Gonzales ( or at least a strong likeness) and he traded his clothes in for the requisite Gitmo orange jump suit.
As the hearing continued, Gonzales attempted to evade questions Gonzales feigned having a short term memory problem. Gonzales had more than 50 memory problems before lunch with a "I don't recall" account of above 50 before the lunch break.
For the first time in the Gonzales administration, Justice, Liberty, and Habeas Corpus , all made their way back into the United States. CODEPINK women wore bright pink gowns with sashes reading "I MISS JUSTICE", "I MISS LIBERTY", and "I MISS HABEAS CORPUS". "I MISS JUSTICE" stood strong throughout the hearing by standing up for hours.
CODEPINK's presence throughout the hearing was noticeable. The women from around the country literally brought justice and the rule of law back into the United States. The Senators had to ask their questions knowing that every word, every question, was being witnessed by strong activists who will not let Gonzales get away with violating the Constitution any longer. Attorney General Gonzales had to the answer questions in front of signs calling on his resignation and firing. CODEPINK had the strongest contingent at the hearing, evening causing Gonzales to temporarily exit the hearing room to shouts of "Resign", " Do You Recall Torture?", and "Fire the Liar". As long as CODEPINK is around Capitol Hill, Bushies like Gonzales will not be able to act with impunity.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CODEPINKers escorted out of Rayburn building during "extraordinary renditions" hearing

Today a group of about 12 of us went to a hearing on "extraordinary rendition" held by the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Relations and Human Rights. It was to look at how extraordinary rendition has affected our standing with the European Community. There were members of the European Parliament there from England, France, Belgium, Finland and Italy. They were there to give the findings of their report published in January 2007 that was extremely critical of the United States and some of the European governments for collaborating in the abuse of the basic rights of prisoners.

We were in the hearing in our “torture garb”--orange T-shirts and jumpshirts. Some of us had black hoods on our heads. The orange T-shirts had big letters on the back spelling NO TORTURE. Also, we had on plastic chains and handcuffs on our hands and arms. We placed ourselves strategically around the room—eight people with the NO TORTURE letters were sitting next to each other and others near the aisles behind the witness stand. Before the hearing began, Medea Benjamin and others chatted with the witnesses who confided that they were glad to see us there.

As the members of Congress were coming in, we stood up and spelled out No Torture. When the Chairman Delahunt called the hearing to order, we sat down.
We had small hand-lettered hot pink signs with messages like "Support Geneva Conventions", "No Torture", "Got Habeas Corpus?", "No Renditions", "No CIA Secret Prisons".
Gael Murphy commented, “It looked like a spring garden of resistance with our orange jumpsuits and bright pink signs.”

The testimony was awesome as the EU representatives talked about how the United States' use of "extraordinary rendition". We were backing them up with our pink signs as we held our messages up intermittedly behind them.

We stayed relatively silent most of the time with the occassional clapping or one word comment. The only Republican in the room, Rep. Rohrarbacher from California was very agressive in his questioning to the point that he was practically beating up on the witnesses. He kept offering rationalization for why the US had to break its own laws on rendition and torture were unbelievable. His facial expressions oozed disdain and anger.

Finally, retired Army Colonel Ann Wright stood up, walked behind the witnesses and said to Rohrbacher, "I didn't serve 29 years of my life in the Army to sit and listen to this..." - At that point, the chaiman banged his gavel and the Capitol Police came to take Ann out of the room. So, we all got up and followed after her; some of us were saying other things quite loudly as we left the hearing room. Outside in the hall, we gathered around Ann in solidarity as the police waited to find out from the chairman if she would be arrested or not. Finally, we were told none of us would get arrested if we all left the building, so several police escorted us out.

Eva-Lee, a member of New York CODEPINK said of the day's action, “I’m 66 years old. I’ve never disrupted a congressional hearing in my life. I did two in one today and I’m HOOKED.”

Come join us in DC. The tide is turning.

Written by Medea and Midge with pics from Eva-Lee's camera.

New York CODEPINK and Grannies Visit Nancy Pelosi

Sunday morning we met at the Chinatown bus in a driving rain. We dozed all the way to DC while the driver chatted away in Chinese on his cell phone. After a metro ride and a short walk, we were welcomed warmly by Desiree and Liz at the CodePink house.
One look at the schedule for Monday and we knew we had our peace work cut out for us.
After Desiree fed us a lovely late luncheon we went down to the basement and began painting banners, t-shirts and sashes. Everybody worked so well together that the chore wasn’t a chore for very long – it became fun. While painting with Medea, Gael and Sonia, we practiced and composed songs for the Monday morning march to Pelosi’s office. Meanwhile Joan died a bale of t-shirts pink and hemmed a couple of banners. After Desiree’s delicious vegan dinner our musical abilities seemed enhanced. We reviewed plans for Monday’s breakfast press conference and the visit to Nancy Pelosi’s office. The D.C. based CodePink women whipped out their cell phone and began make reminder phone calls to area peaceniks. The three of us hit the hay while those that don’t need sleep kept working.
Monday morning the MSNBC crew arrived for breakfast and taped our rehearsal and preparation for the day’s actions. In pink apparel and with our voices raised in song we marched to the Cannon office building. As per our plan we settled in to Nancy Pelosi’s office. We offered the staff coffee and began decorating her walls with banners and pictures of soldiers who had died in the war. We were permitted to stay in the office and read the names of the 300 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since 110th Congress was sworn in. Suddenly someone from the House Rules Committee showed up and cited the rule that press was not permitted in Congressional offices. Some of the people with us left the room with the press to affirm the constitutional right of freedom of speech. Voices were raised and one person was arrested in the hallway. Eventually Speaker Pelosi’s Chief of Staff Terri McCullough did join us in the outer office for a stand-up meeting. There is much to be learned about political activism and we are taking a hands-on course
.Next the three of us hung pictures of our grandchildren from our necks and proceeded to go to the office of each of the nine members of Congress who voted no on the supplemental because they wanted to de-fund the war and bring our troops home fast. It was a pleasure to lobby with a thank you note for their vote. We realized how good a staffer feels when they work for someone with courage and character. When we asked how we could be more effective we were told that hand written letters mailed to local offices had more weight than emails or typed letters. Everywhere we went we asked that our troops be brought home, health care and education should be funded, and that funds should be allocated for the restoration of Iraq. And of course we also called for impeachment proceedings against our spectacularly incompetent president.
Later we regrouped and reviewed the day and headed to the restaurant Busboys and Poets to hear Congressman John Lewis speak. It was emancipation day and Congressman Lewis spoke about his early work in the voter rights movement. The District of Columbia still has no representation in Congress. Congressman Lewis noted that not enough of us in our country today are aware that change happens when you get in the way. And we felt inspired to keep on getting in the way!
Bev, Caroline and Eva-Lee, CODEPINK NY and Granny Peace Brigade

CODEPINK inside 4/17/07 Senate Armed Services hearing

This morning (April 17th) , Liz Hurican and I went to observe and participate in the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing "on whether the Army and Marine Corps are properly sized, organized, and equipped to respond to the most likely missions over the next two decades while retaining adequate capability to respond to all contingencies along the spectrum of combat".

We were planning on going to the Senate Judiciary committee hearing where Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was to testify in regard to the dismissal of U.S. attorneys which has been alleged to be politically motivated. However, last night we discovered that the hearing had been postponed until Thursday. I'll keep you posted on any new developements regarding the subpoena of Gonzales to testify before the Senate Judiciary committee.

So, in lieu of being able to pester Gonzales, liz and I went to the hearing regarding longterm readiness of the Army and Marines where retired General Barry McCaffery and others would be testifying. The chaiman of the committe holding this hearing is Senator Carl Levin. Liz's Senator McCain, who is the ranking Republican on the committee, was not present; however, my newly elected Senator, Claire McCaskill was there for most of the session.

As the hearing started, we were standing in the back with messages on our shirts... my shirt read "NO $$$ 4 WAR." In front of us sat about 20 midshipmen from the Naval Academy; There wasn't alot of press there, but the few cameras that were present snapped photos and shot video of us standing behind the students who were wearing their dress uniforms. Senator Levin read his opening statment, and made it clear that his feeling was that our military has been made weaker by the war in Iraq; he read off a long list of problems regarding America's current "volunteer" military force including misuse of "stop loss" and the continual lowering of requirements for enlistment. While he was speaking, Liz and I held up pink signs that had various messages on them including, "STOP FUNDING WAR", "FUND SCHOOLS NOT WAR", and "GOT A PEACE PLAN?"

The witnesses testified that U.S. Military strenth is so poor that they could not foresee America being able to maintain it's current mission in Iraq. General McCaffrey testified that "the war in Iraq is going badly" and then added, "However, the purpose of this testimony is not to talk about ongoing tactical operations, but instead the disastrous state of America's ground combat forces." He then went over a long list of problems with the capability and readiness of American troops. Here is a link to his entire

Also testifying were Dr. Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. , Dr. Lawrence J. Korb , and
Major General Robert H. Scales, Jr., USA (Ret.) - follow the links to read their testimonies.

A couple Capitol Police showed up to keep an eye on us, but they didn't say anything as we stood silently with our signs. Well, we were silent at first... however, Liz borke the silence when she was moved to yell, "Thank you" after General McCaffrey's testimony. Then as Dr. Korb read his prepared statment, Liz said "Shame" after many of the points he made regarding the Pentagon's overall negligence. So, I started saying "shame" and other short statements as well when it seemed appropriate. Levin and the police ignored the first several outbursts.

When the Senators began questioning the witnesses, it got interesting. They were asked "How can we pay for the U.S. military to add personnel.?"Dr. Korb got very specific as he went down a list of military hardware projects that he felt were unecessary and wastful including the B-22 and the F-34. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him add that "the United States should not build anymore nuclear weapons and that in fact we should make a good faith effort to start dismantling the nukes we already have so we could set an example to Iran and others to serve as an example of America's sincerity in stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons. At that point, I yelled "YES!" really loud. then the Dr. Korb went onto say that in order to afford the military needed to truly defend America, the United States would have to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible. I yelled YES" again and Liz yelled "Thank You". I guess that was a little too much noise as Levin grabbed for his gavel; he didn't bang it but is was clear he was nearing the end of his patience. So, after Dr. Korb finished, the chairman said, "I would like to pause for a moment to ask the people standing in the back to remain silent. We have been tolerating your signs this whole time, but if you make any further outbursts I will have you removed from the room. So, we just stood there with our signs for the remainder of the hearing.

On the way out of the hearing room I ran into Claire McCaskill who is the junior Senator from my home state of Missouri. She said "hi Midge", so I took that oppurtuniy to once again ask her to do all she could to end the war in Iraq." Then, I came back to the CODEPINK house satisfied.

Well, that's just a little taste of the excitment you will be a part of if you come to DC. See ya soon!

Peace & Freedom,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter in Crawford, Texas: Hell Freezes Over

By Mimi Kennedy, CODEPINK and Progressive Democrats of America, Board Chair
April 9, 2007, Van Nuys, CA

It’s snowing in Crawford, TX on George Bush’s Easter vacation.
Though snow ruined many a childhood Easter outfit for me in Rochester, NY which was a lake away from Canada, somehow I don’t think Easter snow is expected in Texas, a state that borders Mexico. It’s the kind of thing that makes people think twice, even people who normally avoid thinking once. We can hope.

I arrived in Texas on Thursday night for the Camp Casey Peace Awards dinner at the Spill Bar in Austin. I was there to intro fellow PDA Board Member Jodie Evans to receive her Peace Award from Cindy Sheehan. Days after Cindy first sat in the Crawford ditch to ruin George Bush’s summer vacation, Jodie showed up to support her. She’s supported Camp Casey ever since, and, with PDA Board Member Medea Benjamin, she founded Code Pink Women for Peace, which emboldens women worldwide to challenge warmongers directly and visibly.

Jodie, Medea, David Swanson and the indefatigable Ann Wright were all there to help Cindy celebrate the second anniversary of Camp Casey. PDA allies all, they represent the power of PDA’s “Outside” strategy. The room was filled with Camp Casey and Gold Star Family members and supporters from far-flung states of the union. Jim Hightower was there, and Camp Casey supporters Willie and Annie Nelson, who received a Peace Award. Willie’s rapturous face, listening to Caroline Wonderland sing his “What Ever Happened to Peace On Earth?” was a sight to see. Emma’s Revolution and several Camp Casey artists entertained.

The street was blocked off to vehicular traffic and outside, people strolled in still warm weather. Students were enjoying spring break, and the music and bars of Austin.
The troops should be home to enjoy this too. This is what peace looks like.

The next day – known paradoxically to Christians as Good Friday, the day the Roman Empire killed Jesus of Nazareth for his peace agitation – Camp Casey residents (I include those who opted to stay in the nearby motel, such as myself) drove to the checkpoint at Bush’s Crawford ranch. We sang to the tune of We Shall Overcome: “We are here with Cindy…We’re here to ask/What noble Cause/We are here with Cindy now” as we approached the orange plastic barriers. There, Cindy asked if she could meet with the president. The answer was still no.

She then addressed the crowd, telling her history of challenging the president on his vacation grounds and calling for his impeachment for war cimes. An altar was set up across the road where we gathered to read the names of U.S. military dead from this war. Dede Miller beat a drum each time a name was called and we intoned “Dead Forever,” as a reminder that, though Jesus rose from the dead and was seen again by the living, the dead of Iraq will not rise on Sunday or any other day on earth. They are permanently gone. Their loved ones will mourn until their own deaths.

After an hour, we were still reading the names of the first year’s casualties. A full reading, Cindy told us, would be well over six hours.

Back at Camp Casey, we shared a meal and an Impeachment Forum. David Swanson, Anne Wright, Medea, Cindy and I discussed Bush and Cheney’s constitutional violations, from signing statements, to lying the country into war, to ignoring the Geneva Conventions in order to torture, to stealing elections. A rousing impeachment poem was read. This event had been planned for the Camp Casey stage, but we held it around the roaring campfire. The temperature had plummeted! Not much deters Camp Casey campers. Their joy at being there, their determination to stay, committed those who’d pitched tents to spend the night in them. But they wore their sleeping bags as coats during the final night’s ceremony that ended with hugs around the campfire. Most had packed peace t-shirts and jeans; they’re used to Camp Casey being hot.

At the motel, we dyed Easter eggs well into the night, preparing for the next day’s action. The motel owner, Brenda, dropped by with her cousin, who proudly wears her IMPEACH t-shirt around Crawford. Everyone participated in writing messages on the hard-boiled eggs that were beautifully dyed rich purples, greens, yellows, pinks – and, the color of ’07, PEACH. (Immmm -peach!) A young man read from the motel’s Gideon Bible to help us choose salient quotes as Easter messages to George Bush, the eggs’ intended recipient, reminding him that warmongers aren’t living the Resurrection.

Medea Benjamin, it turns out, knows every song she’s ever happened to hear, at least in part. And I do too. So, in the course of the evening, we led the party in a chorus of soul, rock, camp songs, and Broadway musicals, a choir practice that paid off the next day with composition and performance of what will soon be (we feel sure) an instant classic: The Pink Police Song.

(TUNE: I’ve Been Workin’ On the Railroad)
We defend the Constitution
We’re the Pink Police
We defend the Constitution
We defend Free Speech
Can’t you hear the people shouting?
It’s become a Roar
Can’t you hear the people shouting
Time to end this war!
Time to end the war (etc.) I kno-o-ow
Time to end the war (etc) Right now.
Someone’s at the ranch with George
Someone’s at the ranch I know
Someone’s at the ranch with George
Cooking up another war (We’ll stop it!)
Fee fie fiddley eye oh (etc)
We can stop it now – we know!

On Saturday, Kathy Murphy distributed the Pink Police outfits she’d packed – to digress momentarily, I salute the impressive schlepping done by this peace movement. With generous spirit, people carted unwieldy duffels and suitcases to produce banners and outfits and all manner of helpful demonstration aids! Kathy had long-sleeved, collared shirts dyed bright pink, with PINK POLICE printed on the back and security guard patches on the sleeves, along with police hats artfully covered with sewn-and-glued pink covers. Plastic badges completed the outfits.

Medea had warned that donning them would trigger subtle personality changes; as an actress, I knew she was right. A local fast food place saw a mirthful bunch of Pink Police acting out their inner peace officers. Yes, one of us should have had a phone camera, at least. But we didn’t.
We gathered once again at the checkpoint – caravanning in cars and the bio-diesel-fueled peace bus driven cross-country by a group of activists. You can’t park close to the checkpoint anymore. We walked the rest of the way, Pink Police in the lead, hiding eggs for activists – especially the two children with us, Ella and Julian – to find and put in two baskets that the children and Cindy would attempt to deliver to George Bush.

As Cindy and the children approached, with Pink Police and activists surrounding them, the security detail warned us back. They told us to part for arriving traffic (no George Bush in the opaque-windowed SUVs, it seemed) They told Ella, Julian and Cindy that the eggs could not be taken to Bush. They told us to get back beyond the barriers.

At that point, the Pink Police declared the area a crime scene and set off bullhorn sirens. Violation of the right of free speech – to address the president and be heard – was the immediate crime, but, as yellow crime tape was spread across the road in front of the barriers, Pink Officer Anne Wright read the litany of crimes committed by the ranch resident, and Cindy called for impeachment.

I couldn’t turn around to see the faces of the security detail. But I had seen their faces when Medea Benjamin asked for one of their names. In her police costume, she’d said, “What’s your name, sir?” The look on the face of the plainclothesman – whether he was Secret Service, FBI, local detective I couldn’t tell – was indescribable. Somewhere between disbelief and anger, he seemed to be thinking: That’s not a question you get to ask, lady. I ask you that question. You don’t ask me. In the next moment, maybe since we had been singing about defense of Free Speech, you could almost see him register the unconstitutional, undemocratic nature of his reaction, and to his credit he gave his name. As Officer of the Pink Police, Medea then introduced him, by his name, to Ella and Julian, the children presenting the eggs. She was humanizing the situation; not tapping his phone or starting a file.

We went back to Camp Casey, where PDA Board Member Rev. Lennox Yearwood had arrived for his “Make Hip-Hop, Not War” bus tour concert that night. I was able to say hello before going back to LA to prep for PDA’s Barnstorming CA tour – which will see, among other great events, the Hip-Hop Bus arriving on Tuesday, April 10. The temperature had dropped even further as we drove away – Medea, David Swanson and I, all booked on Saturday flights for hometown actions. Before we reached the airport, Anne Wright phoned Medea to report that it was blizzarding at Camp Casey. The flakes were thick and white, she said. And they were accumulating on the ground.

A cold day in hell. Can peace be far behind?

Mimi Kennedy is an author, actor, activist and charter member of Artists United to Win Without War. Perhaps best known for her role in TV’s “Dharma and Greg,” she has appeared widely on TV, the stage and in movies.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Busy Easter Week!

By Medea Benjamin

It was a busy Easter weekend for CODEPINK! In Austin, Texas on Thursday night, we joined the wonderful Gold Star Families event honoring CODEPINK and others who have supported Cindy Sheehan from the moment she started camping out at Bush’s ranch. On Friday we participated in a solemn commemoration outside Bush’s ranch in Crawford where we set up an alter and read out the names of the fallen soldiers. In the evening we had an Impeachment Forum outdoors at Camp Casey. Cindy, Ann Wright, David Swanson, Debra Sweet and I spoke about Bush’s crimes and the need for accountability.

It was starting to get cold on Friday night, but by Saturday, the temperature dropped precipitously. We awoke in the morning to FREEZING weather, but we continued to press on with our plans: an Easter egg hunt outside the checkpoint to Bush’s ranch. The night before we had made decorated over eggs with messages like Thou Shalt Not Kill, Troops Home Now, and Be an Egg-ample by Making Peace. In the morning we scattered them around the checkpoint to the ranch. Much to our surprise, the Secret Service didn’t try to stop us! About 100 people came out in the bitter cold to gather the eggs and try to deliver them to Bush. But there the Secret Service did object—refusing to let us past the barrier and refusing to take the eggs. Cindy gave an improvised talk about how Bush had ruined Easter for so many US and Iraqi families, and how he should be impeached.

Then a group of us CODEPINK women dressed up as the Pink Police—with caps, badges, and official-looking shirts—took out our crime tape and surrounded the checkpoint with it. We warned the crowd about the dangerous criminal inside, listed all the crimes he had committed, and ended with a fun song to the tune of “I’ve been workin’ on the railroad”, with the words “We defend the Constitution, We’re the Pink Police; We defend the Constitution and We defend free speech.”

By the time the action was finished, the weather turned into a full-blown snow storm, and folks from Camp Casey took refuge in a hall in town. I got a ride back to Austin to get back to San Francisco in time for our Sunday action.

After cold, stormy and conservative Texas, it was liberating to be back in beautiful San Francisco. Sunday was a gorgeous day, and we started our actions with a lovely walk over the Golden Gate bridge. The last time I had tried to cross the bridge was in January when we were commemorating the death of the 3000th US soldier in Iraq. But when we got to the bridge entrance, we were stopped by the police who not only refused to let us on the bridge “in pink”, but arrested us for insisting on our rights! This time, we came armed with a letter from the ACLU detailing our rights, which included the right to carry signs (no bigger than 2x3). In a show of overkill, though, the police actually escorted us on the pedestrian walkway of the bridge with a phalanx of police on motorcycles, on bicycles and on foot! We very wary of those people in PINK!!!

Part of the group started the walk from the San Francisco side, the other part from the Marin side, and we had a joyous meeting in the middle. We sang and cheered to the constant honks of support from the passing cars. Ah, it’s great to be back in the bay area…

From the bridge, a group walked three miles to our next stop, the home of Senator Diane Feinstein. She lives in a Pacific Heights mansion just a few blocks from Nancy Pelosi’s house. The mansion has a lovely park in front of it, where we were met by the raucous Raging Grannies singing hilarious Easter songs, and by the larger-than-life Gandhi peace puppet that often accompanies our CODEPINK actions thanks to the Gandhi Peace Brigade.

It was quite a feat getting Gandhi up the stairs to Feinstein's house!

We had made this stop at Senator Diane Feinstein's house for two reasons. One was to pressure her to stop funding the war and to support the new legislation introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold, with the support of Sen. Harry Reid that calls for the troops to be home within a year - with a fixed timetable for withdrawal.

The other reason is our concern about her conflict of interest, with her husband Dick Blum receiving multi-million dollar defense contracts while she headed the subcommittee on military construction. We feel that she and her husband have profited from this war, and they should return the profits back to the Iraqi people. Congress should also investigate the conflict of interest.

[One of the journalists who covered our Easter visits, Luke Thomas from Fog City Journal, got a response from Feinstein’s office saying: “Senator Feinstein never sought to influence which entities were awarded any military construction contracts. Neither she nor her staff ever wrote, spoke to, or influenced in any way Defense Department officials in charge of determining which entities were awarded any military construction contract….There is no conflict."]

We delivered two Easter baskets to Feinstein and Blum. One had eggs with peaceful messages; the other was full of war toys and fake money, with a message calling for them to play with the toys if they must, but stop funding and profiting off real war.

Then we pushed Gandhi up and down the Pacific Heights hills to Nancy Pelosi’s house, where were we met by a contingent of both San Francisco police and DC Capitol Police—some of whom are our old buddies who have arrested us many a time in the halls of Congress.

This time, however, they just stood by and watched as we sang, danced, ate, drank and made merry. We talked about how we would keep pushing Pelosi to stop funding the war and put impeachment back on the table.

Several intrepid CODEPINKers spent the night outside her home. The next day they tried to deliver flowers to the Speaker, with a request for a meeting. The flowers passed muster from the police, but the Speaker refused to accept them.