CodePink 4 Peace to counter Bush?s Code Red

WASHINGTON, DC, November 18, 2002?As President Bush prepares to
invade Iraq, prominent women, mothers, human rights activists and
women’s groups from around the country gathered yesterday at
Lafayette Park in front of the White House to launch a 16 week
vigil/fast for peace.’All over the world, women disproportionately
bear the effects of war and conflict,’ Medea Benjamin, founder of
Global Exchange said to the gathering, which began the vigil
yesterday morning in a pouring rain. ‘An attack on Iraq will
undoubtedly kill tens of thousands of civilians, many of them women
and children. As mothers, we have a special moral authority to say
that war is not the answer and a special obligation to actively
oppose war.’ Unreasonable Women for the Earth and
Codepink4peace joined with other women’s
groups in kicking off the vigil. Each week the Women’s Peace Vigil
will feature a different theme about the costs of war. Featured
themes include the impact of war on children, the impact of war on
the environment, the financial costs of war, who profits from war,
and the disproportionate enlistment of people of color and poor
people. Targeted demonstrations and especially designed educational
events will help illustrate the different weekly themes.Diane
Wilson, the Texas fisherwoman and hunger striker for the victims of
the chemical spill in Bhopal, announced her commitment to increase
the length of her hunger strike to 40 days. For Diane ‘this is the
bottom line, I do this for the future of the planet I have been
working to protect and a future for my children.’ She said a hunger
strike is the most powerful action she can do, ‘The strength of my
intent is more than meets the eye’ she proclaimed. Some of the
survivors of Bhopal she was helping earlier in the year will join
her from India. Other women around the country are joining her in
the park and from their homes (register to join her at
codepink4peace.org). Diane said she was
amazed at the women who have just appeared out of the woodwork
during the last week of planning with their generosity and joy.As
they all escaped the rain by climbing into a temporary tent, while
the DC police moved in to have it pulled down, Nina Utne, CEO of
Utne magazine, a bit worried about embarking on a fast given her
enormous work load said, ‘I have decided to get involved in this
peace vigil, and to fast, for the sake of my children. I don’t want
them, or any other mother’s children, to be put in harms way for
what I consider an unnecessary war.’ Nina smiled and said, ‘We feel
like completely drowned rats but everyone is in such good humor and
spirits. This was an auspicious beginning, all good things begin
with the rain washing away what isn’t needed.’Diane Wilson ended
the kickoff by proclaiming, ‘We will encourage more women to stand
up and speak out. As our numbers grow, our voices will be heard.’
To find out more and how you can participate:
www.codepink4peace.org.?Jodie Evans, The
Bad Babes and their Buddies

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