26
Jan
2005

CODEPINK crashes the inauguration

January 25, 2005

On January 20th, 2005, during Bush’s presidential inauguration, tens of thousands of people took to the streets, across the country and the globe, with a collective message of peace and resistance to the Bush administration’s detrimental foreign and domestic policies. In Washington DC, CODEPINK activists, coming from Arizona, Washington, Hawaii, Florida, New York, Ohio, and all over the country, bared freezing temperatures and snow storms to peacefully counter the Bush administration and let them and the world know that as long as there is injustice, we will continue to resist and speak out.

And speak out we did!

As Bush gave his inaugural address in front of the U.S. Capitol, eight CODEPINK activists, including CODEPINK founders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, and Diane Wilson, stood up on their chairs in the VIP section and shouted bring the troops home!The women also raised banners reading No War, Out of Iraq Now, and Bush Mandate: Troops Home Now. While these brave women made a splash on the inside, thousands took part in actions in the street. CODEPINK protested outside inaugural balls, reminding Bush supporters that while they sip champagne, soldiers are dying in an illegal, abhorrent and expensive war that they themselves launched. We helped organize an inspirational women’s rally and march, complete with a New Orleans style jazz band. And we even managed to hang our signature “pink slip” banner out the window of a downtown DC building a block from the White House, with a message of “Bring the Troops Home” for parade goers and protesters alike.

For pictures and articles on CODEPINK actions, go to:
//www.codepinkalert.org/National_Actions_J20.shtml

CODEPINK wasn’t the only group that was active and visible in DC. DAWN (DC Anti-War Network) organized a massive, coffin lined, anti-war march. The ANSWER Coalition fought and won for their right to hold bleachers along the parade route, which were filled with 10,000 anti-war protestors. The parade was also lined with demonstrators who participated in “Turn Your Back on Bush” as his motorcade drove by. Over the week-end National Organization for Women organized a large pro-choice rally at the Supreme Court, in honor of the anniversary of Roe V. Wade, and Progressive Democrats of America held a three day summit which CODEPINK participated in.

We left DC feeling energized and full of great ideas from CODEPINK meetings, the PDA conference, and all the wonderful interactions we had with activists from across the country. Many groups began talking about a possible joint campaign to get governors to call back their states’ National Guard troops. More on that and other ideas coming soon!

Remember, George Bush’s inauguration wasn’t the only one that happened on January 20. That day also saw the inauguration of the second term of the peace and justice movement. We made sure that Bush supporters weren’t able to forget that the war and killing in Iraq didn’t stop because of the U.S. presidential inauguration, and neither did the activism of the peace movement! As part of the launch of CODEPINK’s second term, we took a “citizen’s oath” that we plan to uphold in the coming years. We’ll leave you with that, urging you to do the same and pass it on to friends and family.

Citizen’s Oath*

"I do solemnly pledge that I will faithfully execute the office of citizen of the United States, and that I will, to the best of my ability, help create a truly democratic world by (1) going beyond mainstream corporate news media to seek out information about important political, economic, and social issues; (2) engaging fellow citizens, including those who disagree with me, in serious discussion and debate about those issues; (3) committing as much time, energy, and money as possible to help build grassroots political organizations that can pressure politicians to put the interests of people over profit and power; and (4) connecting these efforts to global political and social movements fighting the U.S. empire abroad, where it does the most intense damage. And I will continue to resist corporate control of the world, resist militarism, resist the roll-back of civil rights, and resist illegitimate authority in all its forms."

In peace,
Andrea, Carol, Claire, Dana, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Tiffany, and everyone who made our J20 actions possible //www.codepinkalert.org


*Courtesy of Robert Jensen, activist and professor at UT Austin, and meant for citizens and residents of anywhere in the world!


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