CODE PINK: WOMEN FOR JUSTICE

May 11, 2011

The Following article originated at and is taken from DiscoverTheNetworks.com

Launched on November 17, 2002, Code Pink: Women for Peace describes itself as a “grassroots peace and social justice movement" whose self-defined mission is "to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities." Rejecting "the Bush administration's fear-based politics that justify violence," the organization calls instead "for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law." Code Pink was founded by four radicals: Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin, Diane Wilson, and a radical Wiccan activist calling herself Starhawk. Ms. Evans is the nominal leader of the organization, which works closely with Medea Benjamin's group Global Exchange and Leslie Cagan's antiwar coalition United For Peace and Justice.

As a parody of the Bush administration's color-coded security alerts (regarding terrorist threats), the "Code Pink Alert" warns that this administration poses "extreme danger to all the values of nurturing, caring, and compassion that women and loving men have held." Proclaiming that "women have been the guardians of life … because the men have busied themselves making war," Code Pink calls on "women around the world to rise up and oppose the war in Iraq … to be outrageous for peace." During one Code Pink demonstration in Washington, D.C., participants marched up the steps of the Capitol, unfurled their slogan-bearing banners, and stripped down to the dove-adorned undergarments they wore beneath their clothes. "We're putting our bodies on the line," they shouted. Another popular chant was, "We don't want your oil war. Peace is what we're calling for!"

During each of the first 100 days after its inception, Code Pink staged all-day antiwar vigils in front of the White House. Moreover, it initiated a campaign that involved presenting pink slips (women's lingerie) to President Bush and other pro-war officials – an allusion to pink slips of the paper variety, which are traditionally given to employees whose jobs are being terminated.

In 2003 Jodie Evans led a delegation of fifteen Code Pink women to Baghdad, where they met with Iraqi women for the purpose of "creat[ing] the understanding that the people of Iraq are no different than you and me." "We who cherish children," said Evans, "will not consent to their murder ... in a war for oil."

In addition to scorning America's military action in Iraq, Code Pink also condemns the racism, sexism, poverty, corporate corruption, and environmental degradation they claim are rampant in the U.S.  Depicting the financial cost of the Iraq War as a drain on resources that would be better earmarked for other purposes, Code Pink laments that "[M]any of our elders … now must choose whether to buy their prescription drugs, or food. Our children's education is eroded. The air they breathe and the water they drink are polluted. Vast numbers of women and children live in poverty." The threat of distant terrorists, claims Code Pink, is insignificant when compared to the "real threats" that Americans face every day: "the illness or ordinary accident that could plunge us into poverty, the violence on our own streets, the corporate corruption that can result in the loss of our jobs, our pensions, our security."

In conjunction with Global Exchange and United For Peace and Justice, Code Pink helped establish Iraq Occupation Watch (IOW) to monitor potential American abuses -- including "possible violations of human rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly" -- during the reconstruction of Iraq. Code Pink's and IOW's stated objective is to thin U.S. forces in Iraq by causing soldiers to seek discharges and be sent home as conscientious objectors.

During the last week of December 2004, Medea Benjamin announced that Code Pink, Global Exchange, and Families for Peace would be donating a combined $600,000 in medical supplies and cash to the families of the terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Fallujah, Iraq. In an article dated January 1, 2005, the online publication Peace and Resistance reported that Rep. Henry Waxman had written a letter addressed to the American ambassador in Amman, Jordan to help facilitate the transport of this aid through Customs.

For much of 2005, Code Pink for Peace staged weekly protests outside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where many U.S. soldiers wounded in combat are treated. As one Code Pink sign put it, American soldiers were being sent overseas to "die for a lie."

As part of a national coalition led by the Ruckus Society, Code Pink runs an aggressive Counter-Recruitment campaign aimed at dissuading young men and women from joining the U.S. military. According to Code Pink, this project represents a way of "standing up to these warmongers and liars" in the Bush administration.

Code Pink also endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting civil liberties, vital national-security policies that had been adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In July 2005, Code Pink joined a coalition including individuals and organizations ranging from Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, Not In Our Name, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Culture Project, and United For Peace and Justice -- who together demanded the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison camp and an "immediate independent investigation into the widespread  allegations of abuse taking place there."

In 2004, Code Pink was a signatory to a letter urging members of the U.S. Senate to vote against supporting Israel's construction of an anti-terrorist security fence in the West Bank, a barrier that Code Pink described as an illegal "apartheid wall" that violated the civil and human rights of Palestinians.

Code Pink identifies another of its objectives as "creating space for women to speak out for justice and peace in their communities, the media and the halls of Congress." Code Pink was a Cosponsoring Organization of the April 25, 2004 "March for Women's Lives" held in Washington, D.C., a rally that advocated unrestricted access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.

Consisting of more than 90 chapters in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, Code Pink is a member organization of the Abolition 2000, United for Peace and Justice, and After Downing Street anti-war coalitions, and a member of the National Council of Women's Organizations. As of July 2006, Code Pink claimed that more than 30,000 people were receiving its weekly updates and "alerts."

Code Pink works closely with Cindy Sheehan, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace.

In early 2008, the Code Pink website featured an anti-military-recruitment petition that read, in part:

I recognize that recruiting efforts by the US military are targeted disproportionately at young people in communities of color or lower income and that Military recruiters are often lying to young people with false promises of cash bonuses, education, jobs training, fun, travel, and adventure. I recognize that 60% of recruits never receive any money for college and that veterans returning from Iraq are far more likely than the civilian population to become homeless, commit suicide or other violent acts, and have long-term physical and/or mental health problems. 

Soon after a September 2008 meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City, Code Pink launched a pro-Hamas, anti-Israel campaign. That November, Jodie Evans and Code Pink visited Iran at the personal invitation of Ahmadinejad. The group stayed mainly in Tehra. Davood Mohammad Niar, head of the U.S. Desk of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, escorted the group on a visit the holy city of Qom.

In December 2009 Code Pink led an international delegation of anti-Israel leftists to Gaza, where they delivered “tens of thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid” as a gesture of defiance against Israel's blockade (designed to prevent the importation of weaponry) of the Hamas-controlled region. Hamas protected the marchers during their two-day stay in Gaza by tightly controlling their movements and contacts in Gaza, and by having them stay in a Hamas-owned, 5-star hotel that one marcher described as "the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at." Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh addressed the marchers in Gaza via cell phone, while other Hamas officials spoke to them in person.

Next, the marchers went to Egypt where they participated in the Hamas-organized "Gaza Freedom March," again to protest Israeli policy. Before the group departed for Egypt, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin told the media that Hamas “has pledged to ensure our safety.” Joining Code Pink on the trip were former Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

The trip to Gaza and Egypt was timed to mark the one-year anniversary of Israel’s December 2008 defensive action against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, who had fired some 3,300 rockets into Israel during the preceding months. Hamas marked the anniversary by launching a number of rockets into Israel while the organization hosted the Code Pink delegation.

During the trip, Code Pink endorsed the “Cairo Declaration to End Israeli Apartheid” authored by pro-Hamas leftists who likewise had gathered for the "Gaza Freedom March."  The declaration called for a wide-ranging boycott of Israeli economic, travel, academic, and cultural endeavors.

When the Code Pink excursion to Gaza and Egypt was over in early January 2010, the organization's website proudly announced that the delegates had fosed "worldwide attention on the [Israeli] siege"; "lifted the spirits of the isolated people of Gaza"; "put the spotlight on the negative role Egypt is playing in maintaining the siege"; "forced the Egyptian government to make a concession by etting 100 delegates into Gaza"; and "signed on to a lawsuit against the Egyptian government for building a wall to block off the tunnels that have become the commercial lifeline for the people in Gaza."

Between 2008 and 2010, Code Pink made nine trips to Egypt in a campaign to undermine the Egyptian government, which was on friendly terms with Israel and was helping to enforce the Israeli blockade against Gaza. Then, when riots erupted in Egypt in late January 2011 -- ostensibly protesting the autocratic and corrupt regime of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak -- Code Pink representatives were on the ground in Cairo from the very start of the uprising. In early February 2011, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin reported that her organization had already raised more than $10,000 for the anti-Mubarak protesters. Nonetheless, Code Pink issued an emergency appeal for an additional $5,000 to fund “the next big uprising” against the Egyptian government.

Code Pink receives financial support from the Tides Foundation, the Streisand Foundation, and the New Priorities Foundation.

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