When I attended the March on the RNC on Monday, September 1st, I saw some groups and people that I was familiar with, such as the Radical Roosters, and some groups I had never seen before. One new group that I saw was CODEPINK. Before the big march they were milling around the capitol lawn, all dressed in pink, handing out stickers saying “make out not war,” and “make bridges not enemies.” Later I saw the crowd of pink-clad people up on the main stage speaking, and during the march I passed them and noticed several huge puppets and a large group of people. When I got home I looked them up, and although they only started six years ago, they are well-established.
CODEPINK started with a group of women who strongly opposed the Iraq war, and their name is a comment on Bush’s different levels of security (code red, yellow, orange, green, etc). Now their efforts include avoiding war with Iran, helping Iraqi women and children, helping Darfur, and closing Guantanamo. The group includes both men and women, but they are “particularly eager” to see women, the “guardians of life” speaking up against the war.
Obviously due to its name, stickers, and puppets, CODEPINK is quite a jolly group of lively women who use unconventional methods to get their message out. The simple act of each member dressing in bright pink is enough to catch the eye of a passer-by, and who doesn’t want a sticker that says “make out not war”? CODEPINK has traveled to Pakistan and Italy to work with women against wars, and has held numerous rallies, protests, and vigils throughout the nation. Four of them were arrested on Wednesday for trying to climb under a fence after police told them to leave.
They visited the DNC as well as the RNC to make their anti-war stance known to all politicians, not just Republicans.
After Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans managed to get into the Xcel Center , tried to disrupt Palin’s speech, and were then arrested, numerous newspapers ran articles about the incident. The Minnesota Independent wrote a short article which included a written statement by CODEPINK media contact Jean Stevens. The San Francisco Chronicle included remarks by Benjamin, detailing rough handling by the police. The lovely and ever-popular Fox News mentioned the incident, but said nothing about the women, and used the verb “escort” when explaining that the women were forcibly removed from the building. The verb “escort” has an almost positive connotation, and definitely does not imply any sort of violence. This upholds Fox News’ anti-liberal slant, which does not dare the taint the image of the police. This progression makes sense: the independent media gives the most information, with statements direct from the source, while the more conservative media does not give all the dirty details.
CODEPINK is a jovial group, but they can be at least as tough as any other protesters, and have no problem getting arrested.
· FOXNews ,“Protesters Try to Make Most of Republican Convention,” Fox News. http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/04/protesters-try-to-make-most-of-republican-convention/ 9/4/08.
· Birkley, Andy, “Four Members of CODEPINK Arrested,” The Minnesota Independent. http://www.minnesotaindependent.com/7318/four-members-of-codepink-arrested. 9/3/08
· Marinucci, Carla, “CodePink at the RNC: The Tradition Continues,” The San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=29807. 9/4/08