Wednesday, July 3, 2013

@CODEPINK Associates Hot Summer Of Actions

Photo posted by Nancy Mancias July 2, 2013: #BARTstrike workers & #nurses join #socialsecurity march to Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office 
Summer is underway and CODEPINK associates are busting out all over with actions challenging the status quo of drone strikes, wars/occupations, illegal detentions at Guantanamo, and austerity cuts to crucial programs for vulnerable populations so the Pentagon can continue to gobble up 57% of the federal budget.

Co-founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans along with Tighe Barry, Ann Wright and other allies visited Yemen in June to meet with families affected by drone strikes and Guantanamo indefinite detentions. Here's Medea explaining some of what she heard in Yemen, speaking in an interview with Dennis Trainor:

Support for whistleblower Bradley Manning was strong as CODEPINK Bay Area joined thousands of other supporters to march in San Francisco's Pride Parade 2013. Because Manning was removed as a Grand Marshall despite having been democratically selected for the honor, this was a perfect venue to support Manning during his court martial trial for providing evidence of war crimes to all of us via Wikileaks. Here are some of Manning's rocking Pink supporters in SF:

In Maine our most recent action on the streets in Portland called for a ceasefire to end the tragic levels of bloodshed in Syria and for the U.S. to abandon plans to send weapons there.

Local artist William Hessian designed and printed recycled t-shirts for CODEPINK Maine with a drone on the front and "One Nation Under Drones" on the back.  We'll be wearing them again on 4th of July when we march in Bath with a giant drone puppet and wearing our surveillance eyeballs. Maine recently passed a bill requiring law enforcement to obtain warrants before using drones to gather information -- but allowing military drones to be tested in Vacationland. Bad idea!

CODEPINK NYC is hot on the trail of Stolen Beauty with the call to boycott cosmetic products by Ahava, made from mud pillaged in settlements near the Dead Sea in occupied Palestine. Their petition to the department store chain Nordstrom to stop carrying products made illegally hopes to gather 5,000 signatures. Click here to sign the Causes petition or, if you are not on Facebook, you can sign the letter here instead.

A most inspiring ongoing action, pictured above, is the eloquent demand for justice at Guantanamo taking place regularly at the White House. Especially of note: Diane Wilson has been fasting since early May in solidarity with hunger strikers protesting inhumane conditions at the notorious prison where innocent men cleared for release are kept in limbo for years at a time. When Diane's weeks of fasting didn't get the attention of the President, who has the ability to release prisoners and even shut down Guantanamo, she hopped the fence. Diane and Medea and others were then arrested.

Here's Medea being slammed to the pavement by police on the sidewalk in front of the White House after protesters were told to clear the area and she paused to help another hunger striker who was having trouble walking:

It occurred to me that police might have been angered by the street theater enactment of forced feeding a la Gitmo, as shown here by Tighe Barry and a CODEPINK "prisoner":

As I watched this I reflected on news today that hunger strikers being held in Cuba would be force fed only after dark as they are Muslims observing Ramadan. Even George Orwell could not forsee this criminal absurdity.

Hot summer of actions ahead! Click here to find Codepink associates in your area.

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