Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Your favorite PINK house story is wanted!!

Remember when?

The Washington Times said:

Pink - a mostly female protest group best known for their pink costumes - has taken up residence in a Northeast house within walking distance of the Capitol. And while some in the politically astute neighborhood say they disagree with Code Pink's views or tactics, they also say the group hasn't proved to be too disruptive a neighbor..."

Salon said:

"Located in a brick row house on Capitol Hill, the Code Pink house is its rallying point for Washington actions. It serves as a base for activists from Code Pink's 250 local chapters around the globe. Inside, the atmosphere resembled a grubby, renegade sorority installation at FAO Schwartz -- the underground headquarters of Barbie's rebellion.."

The Washington Post:
Medea Benjamin, one of the founders of the women's peace group Code Pink, wears pink every single day, and sleeps in it, too.
Her shoulder bag, her wallet and her cellphone are all pink. When she visits Washington from San Francisco to lobby Congress against the war in Iraq, she stays in Code Pink's new group house on Capitol Hill, where nearly everyone wears pink, where her bedspread and her pillow and her bedroom curtains are pink, as are the drinking cups in the kitchen and the flowers that grow out back.
Code Pink's signature color is a bright, vibrant shade, the hue of Barbie dolls and Victoria's Secret panties. It's a color for those who believe that even in the midst of serious --

James' blog:

"The “lone young man stuffing manicotti in the kitchen” has left the Pink House… and although my involvement with the Pinkies has only just begun, my departure from the Pink residence feels like the end of an era… if not for CODE PINK, then at least for me.

For nearly five months I occupied the basement of the CODE PINK DC House, a.k.a. “the Cave,” and I am pleased to report that my time as CODE PINK “caveman” (or “troglodyte”) was one of the happiest, most positive, constructive, and best times of my life."

Please add your favorite house story to share with the world! Just post your story as a comment!

Des, Adam & Dylan


Eileen Coles said...

Well I love that house. It has such a great vibe and it's the people who are there who make that happen. I guess my fondest memories of the house include the looks on people's faces when they came downstairs and saw the freshly painted PINK!!! shelf in the basement, running the ethernet cable to the basement and cleaning up that... interesting... wiring situation... you had in the front parlor. Also I went down there to make that rosemary mead on Mother's Day and accidentally left my 3 gallon white ceramic brewpot behind. I came back a few months later and someone was making refried beans in it! I cracked up laughing and decided it made a good donation to the house. My house is nowhere near as nice as CodePink's but you know how it is, the barber's kids always need haircuts!

LaFajita said...

My own favorite story has to be all the remarkable people I met at the house, both the staff and the guests. That, and a ride to a taxi stand one nite when I really needed it. I will probably always feel I owe you all something for that.

JimPreston said...

One of my favorites was rehearsing the "Whipping Congress Into Shape" song on the front steps. In case you don't remember, it went to the tune of "These Boots are Made for Walkin'".

There will be plenty of time for more stories when we all live in peace.
Yes We Can!!


lovedefieslaws said...

I guess my "favorite moment" -though there are many good ones- would be when I was somehow talked into modeling a pink sequined dress for an auction at Busboys and everyone ended up bidding on the dress contingent upon the fact that I wear it to Congress the next day. Instead I ended up in the back of the pedicab as I Miss America in front of the White House where tourists took photos with me thinking I was the real deal. Beauty queen for a day. And Jim is the best pedi-cab chauffeur ever!

CODEPINK said...

In October 2008 I stopped for one night at the CodePink, Women for Peace house in Washington DC. The house is so organized, and FULL of PINK stuff: banners, hats, parasols, shirts and posters.
I was impressed, and took lots of pictures to share.

stayed in a room with 4 beds, the house was full of guests, and always is. I was in awe, the dishwaher even has a sign on it that you flip to let people know if the dishes are dirty or clean.
The hardest part of this house is finding an electrical outlet to plug in a hair dryer.

Kelly Jacobs MS

Midge for Congress said...

I was maybe the 2nd or 3rd person to move into the house, and I've got to say that seeing the evolution that developed throughout the spring and summer of 2007 was the most amazing thing in my whole life! Watching Joan fill the house with stuff she found on Craig's List etc was definitely amazing as well.

Specifically, one REALLY INTENSE memory that stands out in my head is when the members of the pro-war bike gang Gathering of Eagles showed up on our doorstep trying to pick a fight. All the CP women, and men, that were there that day did a very good job of remaining peaceful in the face of danger.

Of course, the thing I miss the most that I am not there day in and day out is the late night brainstorm sessions in which so many people from so many different walks of life would pull our minds together to create the perfect protest in Congress the next day, whatever the next day might bring.

Keisha said...

I have only had one stay in the house (thus far)... I stayed in the house July 5-11, 2008. During my stay I was lucky enough to meet so many strong woman who will inspire me for the rest of my life. I was fortunate enough to help with the blockade of Ackerman's house-boat! That was probably the highlight of the whole week. We spent the whole week bannering and preparing for that action and every LONG hour was worth it in the end. There isn't a day that passes that I don't wish I was back in the house... Can't wait to see you all again!

Midge for Congress said...

Another moment that stands out in my mind in CP house moments is when Leslie got arrested in Lieberman's office. That was a neat action! Partly because the days leading up to that particular moment were very intense with Leslie fasting for diplomacy with Iran and partly because most of the folks at the house that week were college students who had come for summer activist trainings. The YouTube video gives you a good impression of what an educational experience this must have been for those students.

Midge for Congress said...

And the time that we all went to the Heritage Foundation was pretty awesome. Medea, Carlos, and Betsy (and later Desiree) took the stage and had plenty of time on CSPAN that day!

Here are links to the video:

Medea, Carlos and Betsy Rose:


Hannah Miller said...

There are so many things...

One of my favorite was the moment when, while lobbying the Senate on FISA, we were standing around in the lobby of the Russell building (which is this big massive cold impersonal space), when out of the corner of her eye Des spied Senator Russ Feingold walking somewhere on the second floor. "HEY SENATOR FEINGOLD!!!" she hollered up in this big voice, raising up her arms and waving up at the senator like she just spotted one of her best homies at a party, "HEY!! SENATOR!! DOWN HERE!!" and then just taking off across this massive lobby with all these tourists wondering why everyone in the Senate apparently wore pink all the time. Eventually she made it up to the second floor or whatever, and had a chat, but what was so great about this moment is that Washington is a place where people don't act like real human beings very often - they are often scared and intimidated by all these massive bureaucracies and the concentration of power - but in the end, we all have a voice, and most certainly, one that is loud enough to boom out mightily in the lobby of the Russell building. I learned something from her that day, and I think the tourists did too.

CODEPINK said...

Lori Perdue
Straight from my CODEPINK Journal:
May 2008

I was standing in front of “The Board” at the CODEPINK House this rainy, early summer Capitol Hill morning, interpreting the daily schedule to two fairly young women, newcomers to the house, when a small woman came down the stairs, singing in a soft soprano. “He’ll bomb the whole wo-orld if he can,” she intoned just under her breath as she reached the bottom step. “Good morning.”
“Good Morning, Medea,” I replied, emptying my coffee mug, still eyeballing the hearings, and I heard a small rustle and an intake of breath from the newcomers behind me, seated in the front parlor. The last I checked on them, they were happily ensconced on the couch with Amy Goodman on the television, reading the descriptions of hearings in the CQ. They were chatting pleasantly, and asking questions just moments before. Medea approached, also peering up at the board and apparently unaware of the two young women sitting on the couch. She greeted me as we often do, with a gentle, casual nudge of shoulder or hip and asked, “What are we doing today?”
“The same thing we do everyday Pinky, try and stop a war.” I replied, with a smile and a return of the nudge, getting a chuckle from one of the pair on the couch. “We’re looking at the hearings now.” She smiled, although I don’t know if it was because she got the “Pinky and The Brain” reference, or because we were already working on the schedule when she came in.
I turned to introduce the two college students to Medea, but they were both up and off the couch, leaning over the table to extend their hands to her before I could spit out their names or even remember what school they were from. They seemed like energetic students when I met them as I came downstairs, got my morning coffee and began to orient myself for the day, but with Medea in the room, they were glowing. It was cute.

“I’m going to put some water on for tea, does anyone want some,” Medea asked heading off for the kitchen after a brief and pleasant conversation. Looking into my empty coffee cup, knowing there were a number of others that would like coffee and hearing the steady rumble of a number of women preparing for a full day on the Hill rising from all sides, I, for once, said yes to tea in the morning. “Sure, thank you. And, yes, I’ll share your tea bag if it’s some sort of black tea,”
She waved, “Bring your cup.”
I headed off to the kitchen behind her and the young newcomers again started chatting. “I told you meeting her would be cool,” said one. The other, “She’s so cool.”
I shook my head on the way to the kitchen, unable to suppress a grin, and in the kitchen, Medea sported a tiny grin of her own, obviously reading that situation well.
She voiced my first thoughts, “They’re cute.”
“They think you are really cool. I just heard them chatting all excitedly when you left,” I poked.
She smiled more and I helped her with the tea, delivered one of the newbie’s mugs and then took mine to the back yard, still amused.
It was a good day. The pair was curious and interested, soaking in our brand of extreme lobbying, or extra-legal lobbying as Gael likes to call it, lately. Situational sponges, they were, never missing a beat, not afraid to talk to legislators about their views and representing their generation in the most heartfelt manner.
They took Medea’s lead and added their own determination and again, this place, the Pink House, taught me a powerful lesson, gave me a powerful memory, empowered me to believe in the power of one woman touching the heart and mind of another. And the flame carries on. I am humbled and grateful.
I find myself wondering if I will someday recall these events like the title character in Forrest Gump.
“People say that tiny little woman that liked tea, not coffee, and whose heart wanted to sing and dance, was bound and determined to make a big splash. People say she helped changed the world…”

CODEPINK said...

Dear Sisters-in-Pink,

As another Turkey Day swings around, I find myself very thankful for the friendship and solidarity, the lively communications and the livelier actions, the travels and even the travails I've experienced with/because of CODEPINK. I give thanks that each one of us is connected to our hearts, and that we use our time and talents for the intertwined causes of peace and justice. May our longing for a greener, gentler world draw us toward new allies and paths in the year to come.

Here's a quote from "Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War" by Barbara Ehrenreich, a book I just finished that I highly recommend to all (it presents a very intriguing hypothesis on why war exists):

"... for all their failings, anti-war movements should already have taught us one crucial lesson: that the passions we bring to war can be brought just as well to the struggle against war. There is a place for courage and solidarity and self-sacrifice other than in the service of this peculiarly bloody institution, the inhuman 'meme' -- a place for them in the struggle to shake ourselves free of it. ...

"And we will need all the courage we can muster. What we are called to is, in fact, a kind of war. We will need 'armies', or at least networks of committed activists willing to act in concert when necessary, to oppose force with numbers, and passion with forbearance and reason. We will need leaders -- not a handful of generals but huge numbers of individuals able to take the initiative to educate, inspire and rally others. We will need strategies and cunning, ways of assessing the 'enemy's' strength and sketching out the way ahead...

"But what have all the millenia of warfare prepared us for, if not this Armageddon fought, once more, against a predator beast?"

War is so over. The "decision-makers" who are themselves at the unwitting service of war, the "parasite on human cultures" (Ehrenreich again) just haven't quite realized it yet. Our task is to bring this truth into the light, out of the darkened rooms of suicidal young veterans, into the public realm so relentlessly that it can never be evaded or denied again.

Many thanks on this Thanksgiving Day and every day,
Janet Weil

des said...

Dearest Des,
First I'm thankful that you sent this wonderful reminder of all we have that keeps us lively and vibrant. I woke up this morning thinking of my list. I really can't remember the last time I did that. Here are some of my thoughts:
I am thankful for a renewed relationship with my daughter Liberty. She has recently moved back to Florida, with her husband and our 2 grands, Tatler and Mac. I had no idea we were missing so much on the day to day level with Libby and her family. I am thankful that my father-in-law, who has become my real father on this earth, has found love again. Mom died 5 years ago and he has been hesitant to give his love to another. Now he is dancing on Friday afternoons and having Thanksgiving with "some special". He is 88 years young. I am thankful for my wonderful husband Dave. We will celebrate our 1 year anniversary on December 20th. Although we have had a long relationship of many years, this first year of marriage has been fresh and new. It's wonderful to really trust someone enough to be married to them. I'm thankful I made it to 57 years old - truly a miracle. I'm thankful for my Code Pink women (and some men) friends. I've learned so much from every single one of them. I'm truly thankful for the Code Pink staff. How they continue to put up with the ups and downs and moods I'll never know. And, lastly, I am thankful for George W. Bush. Shirley MacLaine suggested this outrageous thought in her last book, "Sage-ing While Age-ing". She said this his miserable behavior would change to world for the better. I just couldn't put my arms around it. Now, watching him do his last "this" and last "that" I can't help but be thankful that I will never have to see him pardon another Turkey (unless he pre-pardons Cheney, Rummy and the rest), start an Easter Egg hunt on the White House lawn, start an unjust war, condone torture, say something really stupid, lie, wave when he gets of Air Force 1, lie some more............the list goes on and on. War is SO Over - We have so much to do and so much to look forward to. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Love to All Lydia

des said...

Dearest Des,

I thought I'd drop you a note to say that my time at the CP DC house was a life changing experience. I am so proud of my time with you, especially the way your strength of character grew my ovaries! You will never appreciate how much I personally grew as an individual, and the positive impact you made on my life and the lives of my family, the peace groups here in the Inland Empire, and everyone who will give me time to say "I was trained at the CP house in DC". "Hanging" with you the day of the Iraq hearings was an experience I will never forget. When you went for that open mic, I almost died from fear of retribution. Now, after a year of leading people from being sheep to standing tall for what we believe in, I'd do it in a heartbeat! I don't have a big CP group but the few of us who wear the pink, have lead the established group, a Dem club, and free agent peace activists to new actions. I am speaking with Peter and Sally, the Arlington West filmmakers. We are going into schools doing counter recruitment. I talk as a Grandma of an eighteen year old who has seen friends die, come home suicidal, and with PTSD so bad they are forever lost. And, I take one of Lonnie's extra legs to pass around. We talk about how it separates him physically from me. Seems to work.

Fortunately, I run into Medea occasionally which is a joy. I keep up with you, and the rest on TV. It is not unusual for my husband to call and say "Did you see CP on ……." My wish is to return, but unfortunately my nerve disease is keeping me to a single story.

Col. Ann will be staying with me for four days in Feb. speaking at schools and a church, and book signings. We were able to get U of Redlands, a private, expensive, Christian, conservative University to hold a "Cost of War" week and Ann will be speaking there. That will be a fun time also.

During the Primary season I ran a Congressional Campaign against Jerry Lewis. We were unsuccessful, but we gave Jerry a run for his money. My guy will run again, but not with me. It took every waking moment so except the weekly vigil, my peace activities were minimized.

Wishing you and those you care about happiness and joy to fill your life of unselfishness.

CJC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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