This past weekend, CODEPINK took part in the Social Forum of the countries of Mercosul in Curitiba, Brazil. (Mercosul refers to the southern common market of South America: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.) Sponsored by CASLA, Casa Latinoamericana through the efforts of Gladys and Dimas De Souza who founded the cultural institute. Gladys, a retired pediatrician and Dimas a tenured sociology professor at the state university provided wonderful support and encouragement to Simone and I. They had planned a full agenda of speaking engagements at the forum and area universities.
At this event, Simone Delgado (NY) and I also participated on the Peace panel and the Women's panels.
http://www.forumsocialdomercosul.org/modules/galeria/fotos.php?evento=12 We talked about CODEPINK work and how we need the support of women in Latin America to bring about an end to the violence in Iraq. At the women's panel we shared the beautiful slideshow that Rae put together and presented a very brief history of CP and our creative tactics.
The event also invited popular progressive politicians Cuellar Araujo and the governor of the State of Parana, where Curitiba was held, Roberto uião.
The president of FDIM, the International Democratic Federation of Women, Marcia Campos put out the call to each of the participating women's groups to be more active. She said and I paraphrase, "If they can protest in the belly of the beast, (referring to the land of the imperialist Bush) then why can't they?
We were so proud and pleased that a Junior High school teacher and her students whose mothers were so inspired the day before by the CODEPINK slide show that they sent their daughters the next day to meet us at the forum.
Simone and I were overwhelmed by the support and encouragement provided by all. We recruited around 50 people to CODEPINK from our signup sheets at the event over the weekend and spoke to over 500 from events outside the forum! (Thanks to Simone who picked up where I left off after coming home for my trial.)