Friday, February 29, 2008

Potluck 02.27.08 Thanks To Everyone

Peace is the way!

thanks to all the food handlers!
Call your rep's everyday!PLEASE
we want our troops home safely now
thx liz ARIZONA SAYS NO McCain

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Typical Day in Dc Lobbying for PEACE

Human Needs Lobbyists on the Capitol Hill all day! Lobbying for Peace in Uganda!

Alicia, from Long Beach, CA meets Oversight Guru Henry Waxman as we hand deliver the letter petitioning the debarment of KBR over the gang rape of Jamie Lee Jones.

Governor Janet Napolitano & Noah Kroloff walked right into the peace team


Before the hearing started i covered the failure of policy in IraQ

that is stretching our military with General Casey ! i had several minutes in

discussing Stop LOSS -PTSD TBI genereal concern for the troops with

reference to the SUICIDE rate and sexual misconduct that we are hearing

about lately!

My Code Pink Calling....

Sometime in early December I happened to open my email program to find a message asking for people to sign a pledge to have a peaceful holiday Season. I thought to myself... who wouldn't agree to do such a thing and how much easier could it be than to click on a link (provided) in the email? Once I clicked I was taken to a website where I signed my name to the pledge. There was a contest taking place there during the month of December and whoever happened to refer the most names pledging to engage in a number of suggested ways to keep the holidays peaceful would win a trip to Washington DC to stay in the "Pink House" where the women from Code Pink are headquartered just minutes from Congress.

My interest in the trip and contest was stimulated by a simple thought. "Wouldn't it be really cool if one of the tiniest communities in the US (The Methow Valley) was able to gather more peaceful participants than any other... even the largest of communities across America? Wouldn't that be a testament to the peaceful spirit of The Methow Valley?"Of course I would like to say... well gee... I never imagined our tiny little hamlet could do such a thing but in truth... I'm well aware that it only takes a spark to ignite a raging inferno. You learn that quickly when you live in a dry wilderness area surrounded by nothing but trees.... you can bet your astrals on that.

When I began personally calling people that I noticed had not responded to the initial call to action (they had a tally on the Code Pink website) I decided to call my buds Michelle Mondot and see if she would be interested in doing a little networking with her own friends and she responded with tremendous enthusiasm in the affirmative and also stated that she would LOVE to go with me if in fact we did win. Well folks... that was all it took because it was then that I knew "IT WAS ON".

I canvassed the Code Pink site daily... ok... actually... hourly at times to keep an eye on the numbers and who was doing what in terms of getting signatures on the pledge. Any time I saw someone inching up... Michelle and I would send out more requests to motivate those who we had not seen respond to previous requests. I have to admit... it was an ultimate networking success to say the least. KUDOS to all of us... and we all know who WE are eh?

So it is... Michelle and I departed for the other Washington (yep... we come from the big Washington... as in state) on February 23rd (thanks to all of you who signed the pledge) and spent the evening in Spokane Wa. so we would look and feel as fresh as daisies... well... I felt like a Rose but I'll have to ask Mich what she felt like... ha. I don't get out much obviously and I live in a town of less than 300 people and I believe half of them if not more are only part time residents. We were on our way to DC to meet the famously notorious Code Pink people who would be sharing with us how to apply activism in a results oriented manner among other things.

CULTURE SHOCK!!!! Whew... this place doesn't operate on what we so lovingly refer to as Methow time at all. NO... everything that takes place around here takes place FAST... and if you aren't fast... you will get left eating the dust these trailblazers make in their wake I tell ya. I'm still trying to get over my dizzy spell. These women might wear some funny lookin duds at times and make a lot of noise... but I can tell you one thing... they are both SERIOUS... and they KNOW THEIR STUFF. It is amazing watching and listening to them throw the facts out there at those less informed. I'M IMPRESSED.

Hopefully I'll be able to pump up the volume and keep up with them tomorrow since I haven't been feeling well (unfortunately) since the day Michelle and I left WA. I call myself the cellar dweller since I have spent most of my time here so far in the basement working on an AWESOME banner that reads Pro Peace *Pro Soldier. I was looking forward to showing it off but its raining and I don't think I used waterproof paint... rats! Maybe before I leave I'll get that opportunity. Before I get off here to prepare for tonights pot luck.... I'd like to throw a HOLLA out to my Cosmic Crew (do ya miss me guys and gals... I sure miss you and wish you were here)
So I'm off to engage in some real Democracy... wish me luck ya'll... Cosmic Rose (Rose Hughes) Methow Washington... USA.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Counter Recruitment with Love in Our Hearts

  • we love the troops WE WANT OUR TROOPS HOME SaFELY NOW!

  • NO poverty draft-LOVE not WAR!


  • Protecting America is Educating our Children

  • Security through PEACE!

  • Budget PEACE not endless failed wars & occupation

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Gandhi Peace Brigade/ 400 Fasters Join Leslie

Dear Friends,

Today is the 21st day of Leslie's Hungry for Justice? Impeach him FAST! to pressure Congressman John Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney. 400 people from Vancouver, Washington to Kennebunkport, Maine, have joined the fast, with more signing on every day.

Unfortunately, Leslie's not feeling well. Last summer she was taken to the hospital for dehydration during her Lieberman fast and at the time she promised her son she would end her fasts before jeopardizing her health. We don't want to lose the momentum established over these past three weeks, so we're asking for your help. She would like to ceremoniously break bread in Congressman Conyers' office to end her fast and then pass on the leadership role to a successor. This person would continue the fast and visit Conyers' and other Judiciary Members' offices until the next successor takes over, and so on, and so on ... until Congressman Conyers begins impeachment hearings. If you would like to take on a leadership role for the fast, please let us know. If you can't come to DC, but you still want to participate in the fast for a day or longer, please sign up here:

The fast coincides with an exciting new development in New Hampshire, where the state legislature began hearings on House Resolution 24, calling for impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. The hearings have been spearheaded by Representative Betty Hall, a 14-term legislator. If the impeachment resolution passes, New Hampshire would join the Vermont Senate and 91 cities in a grassroots call for accountability.

This past week Leslie visited all of the Democratic Judiciary members offices to set up appointments for Betty Hall and her to talk about supporting impeachment hearings and signing onto the Wexler letter. "The call for impeachment continues to grow," says David Swanson of After Downing Street "If we get just three more members of the Judiciary Committee to come out for impeachment hearings, that will represent a majority of Democrats on the Committee, which will really turn up the heat on Chairman Conyers. The Impeachment Fast and the new developments in New Hampshire are helping to build the momentum."

The following Judiciary Committee members are the most likely to sign onto the Wexler letter. Please call them ...

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (202-225-3072)
  • Rep. Melvin Watt (202-225-1510)
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (202-225-3816)
  • Rep. Bobby Scott (202-225-8351, Mon.-Fri.)

Also, please continue to call Congressman Conyers (202-225-5126, Mon.-Fri.).

Thank you for your support!
Much Love,
Peace and Freedom,

Jes & Leslie

Just for fun ... photos of Leslie, Jes and our CodePink Sisters from DC's High Heeled Race:

Jes & Leslie
... A Journey for Peace and Freedom:

Work PaRTY 02.23.08

CODEPINK prop party on a cold day in DC
We constantly need prop work completed to Keep the OUT of IRAQ NOW Message
on the mind of our ineffective Congress!!! Alicia Des Medea Andre putt putted all afternoon into late night hours painting stylizing & creating personalized designs for our upcoming Auction.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Oil Change Press Conference 02.22.08 IPS

It is criminal to allow US & British OIL companies i.e.EXXON, CHEVRON,BPSHELL
to divide up the natural resources and profit from OIL during an ILLEGAL Occupation!
IRAQ should control there own resources!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

far away from home

I arrived late wed night to the DC Code Pink house...busy and bustling with people at nearly 11:00 at night. I received a warm code pink crash course and was promptly set out on my own to write my name on the board, sign the book and meet people. The atmosphere was one of camaraderie, acceptance and friendship, people from all walks of life were jovially horsing around, talking, cooking soup and preparing for bed; all at the same time. By the time I had finally made my way to bed, it was passing 2am.

I awoke at 8 to an empty room, everyone already wide awake and starting their day. There was a group of girls from NY getting ready to head back home, hustling and bustling about the house. It was nice to talk to everyone, see why they were here, what they had experienced here in DC, what they enjoyed about their trip...try and give myself a little insight into my week to come.

The house was quiet after the girls group left, just a few of the more regular Code Pink members left behind...with the weekend starting and congress out until next week, it was looking like a quiet few days of research and emailing anyone and everyone I could. But even in the quiet, the house was still exciting! Democracy now was blaring on the television from the front room; costumes and Code Pink paraphernalia in baskets, on banisters and shelves to explore; and pictures of times past everywhere. I was in beginner activist heaven.

As Willy Nelson wrapped up his last song, and Democracy Now came to a close, I headed for the kitchen to clean the last of my dishes. I then headed for the winding staircase and began to clime to the third floor, when I heard Desiree, the house leader, eagerly say, "Who's coming with me?" Go where? I want to go, I though. This is what I came for, what can I do? How can I help? What are we doing?

Apparently the ladies had been watching CSPAN and saw that, though congress was out, there was a State Commotion on International Religious Freedom taking place and someone needed to be there! Well I'm there! I ran shower less up the stairs, quickly throwing on my clothes for the day. I then raided the banister--pinked myself up, stuck a banner reading "DONT IRAQ IRAN" to my shirt and ran out the door behind Desiree. Yes! My first Code Pink action, I was so excited.

As we sat down, it was explained to me that we should always try to be seen by the cameras, make our presence known (how exciting, we were being televised on C-SPAN at that very moment, I don't think I have ever been on tv before). The Commission was meeting in reference to religious freedom and related human rights in Iran, a country Bush is increasingly becoming more hostile with, wanting to increase our empires resources and strength our power in the middle east. Even before arriving in DC, I have been hearing increasingly of America, or the Bush regime, looking for reasons to go to war with Iran, stomp them out as a power in the Middle East. Well today’s meeting seemed to me like a fishing expedition, just as we were fishing with Sadam and Iraq. Old habits die hard I guess.

After the first panel finished, two professional women speaking against military action and for diplomatic reasoning, gathered their belongings and departed, leaving 2 front row seats wide open, right in the line of the cameras. Geared in pink, I guarded the seats and waited for Desiree to rejoin me. Though, after comfortably seated, we were promptly asked to quietly cooperate and move back to our original spots...we were too visible apparently.

The commission meeting ran over, and when they finally did finish, there was time for questions and answers. I got to see the Code Pinkers (as several others had joined up with us through out the proceeding) in action, asking tough questions, letting people know that their actions were not going unnoticed...Go talk to someone, Desiree said. Scared, and not sure of what to ask or say, I began approaching people. Though I only spoke with maybe all of 2 of them, I still noticed the overwhelming resistances to what I thought were rather mild questions. We were then all interviewed by a website reporter and asked questions on our view of the proceeding. What did we think the answer was to the human rights situation in Iran, and what we felt would actually bring peaceful change. Every one had something different to offer, there are so many voices here for peace, so many different ideas of activism, from fasting to banner waving, it was inspiring. For my first action ever, it was quite an experience.

The rest of the day flew by, I went to my congress woman's office to request an audience; I sat in on A Cope Pink action planning meeting; and at the end of the night, to wind down, every one gathered around the television, Thai food in lap to enjoy the democratic debate in TX. Who could ask for a better vacation? I feel so lucky that I cam upon these women and men of action--I am honored that they have let me stay here, that they help me learn, and that they don't discriminate. I look forward to my days to come, with such an exciting slow day; I can only imagine what is to come. All I know is, I welcome it with open arms! Thank you Code Pink, for making this all possible!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Capitol Hill with Youth Leadership from NYC

02.19.08 Rayburn Building after lunch Photo Op---Youth Leadership in action
We are heading to Senator Chuck Schumer in the Hart-less bldg!

Young Leaders Join CODEPINK to Lobby 02.19.08

Lower East Side Girls Club have arrived Tuesday 02.19.08

at the CodePink Palace to lobby for dire funding needs!!

This will be a taste of how our power process works or how Process is stressed over solution based foresight! We are delighted to be the example of what a citizen of the world looks like ....through A CODEPINK LENS

This group Lower East Side Girls Club was founded 11 years ago out of necessity as there were 3 Boys Clubs in a 10 block radius and nothing for the girls??????????? Nothing for girls in NEW YORK CITY!

We have been long awaiting our young superstars to arrive........these young leaders have brought with a great batch of new energy & vision of the world!!YIPPPEEEEEE
We are looking for a few donors to lend support with any financial help possible to continue the Girls Club programs ---------please encourage friends neighbors to write a check to help out !!
Thanks to all the volunteers & teachers for making this trip reality!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

President day 2008 WHITEHOUSE

Banner....... still in the making .........

We don't really know what way to celebrate President's Day except to

denounce war, war mongering, and perpetual state of War & a basic fear

mongering through this bogus color coded alerts!

We demand a peace president & candidates that value peace more deeply

than they utilize the fear factor card in their deck of leverage

Gandhi Peace Brigade/ Leslie Meets with Congressman Conyers on Impeachment

Dear Friends, Impeachment Fasters and Supporters

I met with Congressman Conyers for over an hour on the 12th day of my fast, after many postponements. He asked me about my father, Ed Blankenheim, and I pulled out my copy of Freedom Riders, 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. I showed him the picture of my dad bent over chocking after the Freedom Riders' bus was set on fire. "This could have easily killed everybody on the bus." he said. He paged through the book and continued to talk. "Look at this bus after they got through with it. Boy oh boy, so much violence ... and law enforcement was involved in so much of it ..."

"And they are now." I replied. "I've attended both of the Mukasey hearings. Apparently he believes the president is above the law. It seems he will do nothing to hold him or the members of this administration accountable. That's the reason I've come to speak with you today, why I'm fasting ... to plead with you to begin impeachment hearings."

I read him an excerpt from the book describing why my father joined the Freedom Riders: "Farmer had asked "to keep an eye out for potential Freedom Riders" and [Dave McReynolds] felt he had found a good prospect in Arizona. Blankenheim had seen enough of the South ... to be wary of directly challenging the region's racial shibboleths, and he knew full well that he "was being invited on a trip into the Deep South as part of a mixed-race bomb." After a little prodding from Farmer, though, he could not resist joining the Ride." "I was no less concerned about the danger of my commitment," my father later explained, "but all that I had seen in the South and all that I had learned from Dave stared me down. I had come too far and I couldn't turn back."

"This is how I feel ... we've come too far and I can't turn back. There are now 42 people who have joined the fast. We're desperate to hold this criminal administration accountable. We respect you, we honor you, and we're asking that you PLEASE start the impeachment hearings against Dick Cheney.

"Have you heard about the contempt of Congress charges we've issued to Miers and Bolton?" he replied. "If they don't comply, we'll challenge them in court. We're not depending on him (Mukasey) to comply. He'll do what Gonzalez did and not enforce it. We think this is a historic step forward."

"But if you held impeachment hearings executive privilege wouldn't apply. You could subpoena Cheney himself." I talked about the Watergate hearings and Vice President Agnew's decision to step down before he had to face an investigation and John Dean's crucial testimony which led to Nixon's resignation. Neither would have happened if there hadn't been open hearings. The Congressman reminded me he introduced the first impeachment resolution for Nixon. "And you could do that now. Bush and Cheney are far worse than Nixon ever was. Tell me what I need to do to reach you." I asked. He replied, "I think you've reached me."

I read him a statement from a dear friend, Gael Murphy: "We come to you with a heavy heart, overflowing with the sadness of the American people, and the state of our beloved country. The government's inability to deliver justice to its people, creating so much mistrust that it is destroying our inner fiber. It is time for a cleansing of all of the crimes, known and unknown. The war, the torture and the lies committed in our name and their consequences cannot be ignored or they will be repeated. When South Africa began to create its democracy it chose a path of truth and reconciliation to resolve conflicts left from the past. We desperately need such a process in this country to be able to move forward and to accomplish that which you devoted your entire career to achieve. Good policy is good politics. The Congress has a sworn duty to impeach if crimes are committed. The Constitution says Congress SHALL impeach. It is not a choice. Bringing Justice to the American people is the only successful road forward."

"Truth and reconciliation is what our country wants. The American people and the world need to see us hold these criminals accountable for all the suffering, the war, the shredding of our Constitution. Sir ... Bush and Cheney continue to threaten Iran, even after the N.I.E. came out with a report stating they have no active nuclear weapons program. They're just looking for an excuse. I'm so afraid Bush will attack Iran before he leaves office" ... and I started to cry. I showed him some of the beautiful photographs Jes and I had taken during our trip to Iran last May and I told him stories of the wonderful people we met there. He was silent.

His staff reminded him he had an appointment, so Congressman Conyers ended our talk by saying, "I see many people across the country and I have many friends who want me to take this action [of impeachment]. I think about it every day. It's a decision I've taken lots of advice on, but I have to decide. I'm deeply moved, but the decision I make I will have to live with and I will soon have to answer to my friends. They will either agree or disagree with what I do."

He signed my copy of his book Constitution in Crisis (see slide show photos below), we shook hands and then I hugged him. He told me, "I'm sympathetic to the issue you raise and feel your deep passion and belief."

I believe Congressman Conyers was touched by my plea, but he's not yet willing to start impeachment hearings. I will continue the fast.

Peace and Freedom,

Leslie and Jes

Leslie meets with Congressman Conyers ... a short flickr slide show:

The Folly of Attacking Iran: Lessons from History
Almost 60,000 people have viewed this YouTube on Iran:

Jes & Leslie ... A Journey for Peace and Freedom:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Vagina Awards in Westminster Maryland 02.16.08

CODEPINK'S work was gifted with the Vagina Award for the courageous efforts over the past 5 years of this failure in IRAQ.............endless failure.............
Medea Benjamin was honored last night in Westminster Maryland at Carrolton Community College for the unrelenting peace & justice efforts!Medea graciously accepted the Vday award acknowledging the many women that have worked tirelessly through these past 5 disgusting years to wake Americans up to the disaster of Empire building policies that misdirect our human capital & resources !!
Thanks to all the voluteers and supporters
& the Police staff
We had a wonderful time!!
many thanks to Sylvia

Banner Drop Sunday 02.17.08 Union Station

This a professional Banner Drop!
Union Station DC------------------------------- Tiger fromVenice Cali is my mentor--------------------