What is CODEPINK

wisemen_crop.jpgWhat is CODEPINK?

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs. Join us!

What we do

Founded in fall 2002 as a grassroots effort to prevent the US war on Iraq, we continue to organize for justice for Iraqis and to hold war criminals accountable. We actively oppose the continuing U.S. war in Afghanistan, torture, the detention center at Guantanamo, weaponized and spy drones, the prosecution of whistleblowers, U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and repressive regimes.

How we do it

Rooted in a network of local organizers, online supporters and generous donors, with an emphasis on joy and humor, our tactics include satire, street theatre, creative visuals, civil resistance, and directly challenging powerful decision-makers in government and corporations. And of course, wearing pink!

Why women?

CODEPINK is not exclusively women — we invite non-binary, gender-non-conforming people, and men to join us. We are particularly eager to see mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters, female workers, students, teachers, healers, artists, writers, singers, poets and all outraged women rise up and oppose global militarism.

womennowar2_crop.jpgHow did we get started?

Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Diane Wilson, Starhawk and about 100 other women kicked off CODEPINK on November 17, 2002. We set up for a 4-month all-day vigil in front of the White House during the cold of winter.

The vigil inspired people from all walks of life, and from all over the country, to stand for peace. Many organizations joined us, including Global Exchange, Greenpeace, WILPF, WAND, Public Citizen, NOW, Women for Women International and Neighbors for Peace and Justice. The vigil culminated on March 8, International Women's Day, when we celebrated women as global peacemakers with a week of activities, rallies and a march to encircle the White House in pink.

Over 10,000 people participated, and a group of 25 women, including Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston, Susan Griffin, Starhawk, Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, were arrested for taking our peaceful protest right up to the White House gate.

CODEPINK thus emerged out of a deep desire by a group of American women to stop the United States from invading Iraq. The name CODEPINK plays on the former Bush Administration's color-coded homeland security alerts — yellow, orange, red — that signaled terrorist threats. While Bush's color-coded alerts were based on fear and were used to justify violence, the CODEPINK alert is a feisty call for people to "wage peace."

Since then CODEPINK has become a worldwide network of women and men committed to working for peace and social justice. We have become famous for confronting the warmongers, whether in the halls and hearing rooms of Congress, the national conventions of both the Republicans and Democrats, George Bush's fundraisers, the publicity tours of Karl Rove, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and others, and Nancy Pelosi's house.

CODEPINK statement of nonviolence

CODEPINK is grounded in the understanding of the power of love and maintains a commitment to nonviolence in all of our actions. We understand that any violation of this commitment to nonviolence—no matter how small—may seriously damage our movement.

We define nonviolence to include the following elements:

  • We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any person.
  • We will maintain an attitude of openness and respect toward all people we encounter in our actions.
  • We will not destroy any property.
  • We will carry no weapons.
  • We will exercise personal and collective responsibility to ensure all participants adhere to these commitments.

Peace3_crop.jpgPink action principles

  • Nonviolence: We are committed to peaceful means of protest and resolving conflict when executing our actions, in coalition work, and within our internal process and relationships. 
  • Clear Goals: We will define CODEPINK's unique niche in our community (creative protest, cultivating women's voices, etc.) and set attainable goals for local projects that will further CODEPINK's peace mission. 
  • Communication Guidelines:  We write, speak and listen with respect to all.  Disagreements or disappointments are opportunities to practice peaceful and productive communication with each other. We keep our criticisms concise, specific, constructive, and focused on future improvement. We affirm a culture of appreciation, thanking and valuing all our activists and acknowledging donations, co-sponsorships, and other support.
  •  Responsibility and Teamwork:  We work in teams, sharing tasks and responsibilities, and building skills, together. We agree to be responsible for something only when we're 100% sure we are going to do it.
  • Diversity and Tolerance: We embrace feminist principals of cooperation, problem-solving, critical thinking, compassion, analysis and processing.  We will speak up against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ageism, and other forms of oppression and prejudice.  We will work towards a deeper understanding of our own power and privileges, and seek to cultivate a diverse local group with connections to the array of social justice groups in our cities. We highly recommend that every activist read this piece about recognizing privilege, entitled "Unpacking the Invisible Backpack."
  •  Resource Sharing: Our logos, photos, and the downloadable resources on our website are free for local groups to use.  Central staff can help send email alerts for local organizers. Local groups can endorse or cosponsor local events without seeking permission from the central staff. Local groups are autonomous and are encouraged to take on national campaigns.
  • Messaging: We will work to make the messages on our banners, flyers, and public/ social media statements clear and potent. We aim to amplify our work through positive media coverage  -- for example, sending press releases, conducting press calls and liaising at events, providing talking points for participants, media training for local groups, etc.
  • Global Community: CODEPINK's work to end the war in Iraq was shared by 250 local groups in the US and a dozen international groups.  The solidarity between CODEPINK-ers in the US and overseas strengthens our work to end US wars and drone strikes, curtail government surveillance, bring justice to war victims, and reduce militarism worldwide. CODEPINK has taken delegations to Cuba, Iran, Israel-Palestine and other conflict zones to promote global and cultural engagement and awareness. We also participate in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, international forums on war and peace, and other peace and diplomacy-building events.
  • Long Term Vision: We commit to working for a better world, for the long haul. We want to build what is called a “peace economy”: global community that cultivates a sense of respect for all people, and takes responsibility for the suffering we see in the world. We can begin by strengthening our relationships at home through our interactions and activism.  In the words of CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin, “Activism is good for our health and spirits—it keeps us engaged, active, upbeat, and passionate. Ending war may take a long time, and we can use that time to inspire ourselves and each other with positive, creative actions that embody the world we want to see!” 

Comments

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  • commented 2018-01-07 16:57:02 -0500
    Omg. You think I think Saudi Arabia government is good? Nope.

    I challenge bad systems in place anywhere. Tons of flawed systems in Saudi Arabia, Britain, Spain, United States, Mexico, Greece, etc…

    A fighter knows who their opponent is and who it isn’t. I fight for the rights of all people.
  • commented 2018-01-07 16:35:39 -0500
    David I agree with your statement 100%. I do choose to challenge the system more. I loathe the U.S. military industrial complex but I don’t loathe citizens who were lied to, manipulated, and/or brainwashed into group think; and sadly joined the military. I can’t go there. I did years ago. Most systems in society are failing. People can be reasoned with but systems are cold and feelings are irrelevant. Political correction has to happen.
  • commented 2018-01-07 16:20:35 -0500
    re Susan’s statement below: demonizing exactly what both are doing- mostly the men- to me the Israelis have the most power and thus should make the most concessions and be generous- it would be easy for them to do so but for their fundamentalists and right wingers- I blame Israel more – I agree with Code Pink’s position on the matters- on all matters, for that matter!. We live in a system that is rotten due to capitalism- a word you will not find mentioned in most media- nor “military-industrial complex”. The U S is the world’s biggest terrorist- a rogue nation.
  • commented 2018-01-07 16:09:48 -0500
    Jewish people aren’t evil. Neither are Palestiniams. Systems are evil. Most people can agree on the following statement.

    Israelis are absolutely correct that they have a right not to be hit with rockets by Hamas, not to be kidnapped, not to be subjected to terrorist bombings. And Palestinians are absolutely right that they have a right to a state, a right to run businesses and import goods, a right to live in freedom rather than relegated to second-class citizenship in their own land.

    CodePink addresses system failures. Demonizing one side or the other doesn’t help anyone.
  • commented 2017-12-05 03:27:54 -0500
    I am deeply saddened by the lack of insight displayed by some commentators on this page. Direct action of the sort promoted by Codepink is a consciousness raising, solidarity creating exercise. How could anyone compare this to the ‘liberation of Auschwitz by an army’ (and by the way, dude, Auschwitz was liberated by the Russian army, not the US army).

    To members of Codepink: you actions are courageous, determined and an inspiration to all who engage in confronting ignorance and authoritarianism. I have seen members of Codepink do things I personally would not dare to do. Confronting perpetrators and criminals without violence takes enormous courage.

    Of course it is true that non-violent direct action has its limitations, but I also believe it is inspirational and points to many possibilities that exist despite the political realities, using existing human and civil rights and the hypocrisy inherent in the current situation to expose stupidity, greed and insensitivity in ways that violence never can.

    So thank you to all the brave people making this happen!
  • commented 2017-08-19 20:54:50 -0400
    I totally agree with Code Pink’s message for peace, only women can bring this about!! Meanwhile Medea is right that we can engage ourselves with positive, creative actions to create the peace we want!
  • commented 2017-08-19 04:36:22 -0400
    We need to allow the "Christian " population of America to understand how America kills people on a daily basis. The arms we sell and give to the governments of this world murder on a daily basis. The autocratic governments America arms so they can stay in power need to be held up publicly so the people of America can see the sins they commit each and every day. The number of people who die as a result of the weapons we give their leaders and the number of people that die as displaced persons due to the destabilization of their homeland by the U.S. war machine need to be known by all Americans. We need a Department of Peace working for a world in harmony. Zero effort gets Zero results.
  • commented 2017-08-11 11:51:09 -0400
    My name is Genie Silver and I’ve been a member of WILPF since I was 23 (1973). In the 1980s I chaired WILPF’s internat’l effort to stop the cruise and Pershing 2 missiles from being deployed in Europe — we worked with END/CND and many other organizations in this effort. In the 1980s, I went on peace missions to the USSR and the GDR as well as working with WILPF sections around the world. With 4 other WILPF members, I did civil disobedience at the White House in 1983 and spent a couple days in the D.C. jail. I’m on WILPF’s Middle East Committee. We are possibly considering going on a peace and fact-finding mission to Iran to meet with women peace activists and others. I receive CODEPINK’s emails and remember seeing a trip to Iran for CODEPINK members. WILPF’s Middle East Committee would very much appreciate speaking with the women in CODEPINK who have organized your trip to Iran. My email address is rhsilver@comcast.net. Thank you, in advance, for being in touch. For Peace, Genie
  • commented 2017-08-10 11:57:01 -0400
    THANK YOU CODE PINK FOR WHAT YOU TRY TO DO!
  • commented 2017-08-10 11:55:54 -0400
    THANK YOU!
  • commented 2017-07-21 11:39:29 -0400
    No Sandy,

    That is not what Code Piink is… Here is something for you to consider because most of us who associate with Code Pink have.

    Do you feel like something is just not right? You are not alone. Americans take four times more prescription medication than any other citizens on the planet. We have more diseases, dysfunction, and stress than most third world countries. Our health industry is modeled on sickness not being well. We abuse alcohol, drugs, pornography, and every vice known to humankind in excess. Mental health and Medical health have continuously declined for the entire population. Anxiety, depression, and low self esteem are normal and commonplace. We have been trained from infancy to be consumers and to work work work to buy things. We are deep in debt and stuck in jobs and careers that pay the bills but kill the soul and destroy the body. Our food is taken apart and sold separately so vitamin deficiency are normal. The parts taken out are then sold to us to try to address the deficiency that the removal first created. We spend more time in traffic commuting to work than we do connecting to people that matter most in our lives. Our schools train us to be workers not thinkers. Conformity is expected and demanded. The top one percent of our country controls and uses 90% of the wealth and resources. Poverty is rapidly approaching catastrophic levels not just in large cities but in rural America. We poison our land and water. 98% of the waterways across the country have department of health disclaimers that fish caught is not edible. We store nuclear waste on Native American tribal land which neither the tribes agreed to store nor do they collectively believe in such weapons. We have enough nuclear weapons to kill every person on our planet four times.
    We store more toxic waste than the rest of the world combined. Slavery has never been bigger than it is today mainly due to sex trafficking and the dark web. When you see a poster of a missing child know most were taken by perverts walking among us. Facebook, Instagram, Craigslist, and Twitter spy on you every minute of every day and have contracts with D.O.D. to do so. Our country has been at war for more than 16 years and killed more than one million grandparents, mothers, fathers, children, and infants who were never soldiers or our enemies in 9 countries. The war on terror has cost U.S. taxpayers $8 trillion dollars with 90% of that money going to the richest 1% of Americans. Our country is in a constant state of war and there are more than 10,000 military recruiters seducing our children at every high school in America. We have more than 1,000 military bases worldwide. Our nearest competitor has less than 80. We are viewed as bullies by most world citizens and most bases create prostitution (mostly underage) in the areas where they are located. We jail peaceful protesters and reward evil entities and practices. We put more of our citizens in jail and prisons and set people on paths of marginalized existence to control them. TV is meant to numb you and dumb you down. Celebrities are useful idiots for the top 1% of the population to distract the rest of us. Most A-list celebrities are in the richest 1% of the population. Only 20 t.v. channels are profitable but more than 200 channels exists because D.O.D. and other powers need you to not pay attention to what is really happening. Are you paying attention now?You should be…

    Susan E Dunn
  • commented 2017-06-12 12:34:30 -0400
    Don’t fool yourself in believing the so called War on Terror is close to ending. The U.S. has spent more than 8 trillion dollars on this grotesque mistake with 90% of that money going to the richest 1% of the population. The masses believe we are safer. Let’s think about it as a business person would. Purely by the numbers.

    Has it worked? Is anybody, including Americans, safer? Few in power even bother to ask such questions. But the data is there. The Department of State counted just 348 terrorist attacks worldwide in 2001 compared with 11,774 attacks in 2015. That’s right: At best, America’s 15-year “war on terror” failed to significantly reduce international terrorism; at worst, its actions helped make matters 30 times worse.

    U.S. military is destroying more than just the Middle East. (That alone is heartbreaking) I am a veteran and I approve this message.
  • commented 2017-06-12 04:30:16 -0400
    All this war being waged around the world by US government will end…yes to code pink!
  • followed this page 2017-05-25 18:00:45 -0400
  • commented 2017-05-25 14:19:22 -0400
    recommend to “not secure”- read Night by Elie Wiesel- i am david eberhardt mozela(@comcast,net also on face book- let’s talk

    also- just war theory- was w w 2 perhaps the last just war?

    i have no problem with liberating concentration camps- nor bombing rail lines to such camps- thus we destroyed draft boards during the vietnam war- some property has no right to exist!

    i believe this regime needs disruption/confrontation and sand in gears action- militant non violent direct action- like CODE PINK’s
  • commented 2017-05-25 14:14:03 -0400
    my comment re auscwitz goes to “not secure”- not apparently scure abt identifying him or herslf- pity
  • commented 2017-05-25 14:12:33 -0400
    this box comes up when i hit “respond here” to a post re auschwitz- how do i know it is going to the person i want it to? not ewell designed
    i am not a pacisfist
  • commented 2017-05-25 13:40:33 -0400
    I think Hitler would have never rose to power in the first place had it not been for US military intervention in WWI. We should have stayed out of WWI. If we had WWII probably would have never happened.

    The victors write history how they want the masses to remember it. Reality and truth is not available for any propaganda agenda.

    WWI put harsh sanctions on Germany. Hitler rose from that anger. WWII was not inevitable it was sadly another failed military maneuvering by governments for elites. They had to deal with Hitler because they helped to create him. Same as Kadafi, Saddam Hussein, and now with ISIS.

    ISIS is going after Britain, France, Russia, and United States. The same entities that created the Middle East mess because of WWI.

    Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. We have been repeating the same war songs for 100 years.
  • commented 2017-05-25 13:22:49 -0400
    Quick question – The Auchwitz camps were liberated by soldiers, not peace activists. What do you think would have happened if peace activists had walked up to the auchwitz camps and demanded the freedom of the prisoners there? how do you think the Nazis would have reacted and what they would have done to the peace activists?
  • commented 2017-05-04 20:52:41 -0400
    I don’t know what the jailing of Ms. Fairooz for laughing at Sessions isn’t all over your home page?! This is a conscious threat by Trump against everyone in this country who disagrees with them. Who’s safe if you can be jailed for disagreeing with government officials? Are we really going to ignore this?! You have a critical responsibility to lead a national campaign to free this woman and make the Trump and Sessions pay politically for what they have done. I certainly will volunteer my time to help, but you, her organization, MUST LEAD.
  • commented 2017-05-02 16:16:10 -0400
    “Working to support peace and human rights initiatives.”
    Ok, I saw a woman representing your group, on social media RAILING against Israel, and favoring Palestinians.
    Do you support Palestinians when they make war on their Israeli neighbors?
    When they sneak into the country and stab non-combatant teenagers?
    When they use the money they receive for aid and nation-building, instead for dowries of the families of suicide bombers, incentivizing the populace to sacrifice their own children and the potential for their future growth?
    Furthermore, considering how much of the Arab world treats women, I’m curious how you can align yourselves, this way?
  • commented 2017-04-23 15:11:18 -0400
    Women need to step up and save the world; or we will watch men destroy it. Yes I mean exactly what I said. Time to stop acting like the elephant isn’t in the center of the room. Earth and humanity’s only chance is Women.

    Susan in Kentucky
  • commented 2017-02-22 00:18:31 -0500
    If people would read what Code Pink is about, they will not hesitate to be a part of the ongoing struggle for World Peace and Human Rights. Thanks to the women who started the movement Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Diane Wilson, Starhawk and the other women. There could not be any better way than what they have suggested- Resolving Conflicts through Peaceful Means and Respect for all Parties Involved. I am sure that Code Pink organization will become bigger and stronger each year.

    “When I was born in 1942, World War11 was still going. And I began to realize when I became a young adult that if we don’t teach our kids a better way of relating to their fellow human beings, the very future of humanity on the planet is in jeopardy.” (quote from Graham Nash-singer song writer)

    neysha sima
    canada
  • commented 2017-02-18 09:14:07 -0500
    As posted below- Code Pink is the bee’s knees (save the dusty patched bumble bee from republicans!); let me add to what I said below that I believe that protest needs tactics and philosophy. The tactics I have used and written about- My book “For all the Saints”- have been militant, disruptive, confrontational, sand in gears, guerilla theatre, free range, heirloom (lol) civilly disobedient, non violent resistance- and that includes some property has no right to exist.
    We should remember that, as said by Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker, “Our problems stem from this filthy, rotten system” and the system is capitalism. It follows that as well as using our non violent tactics we must support left groups and always mention the elephant in the room that is capitalism
  • commented 2017-02-17 10:40:45 -0500
    Great—informative—supports a revolution of values!
  • commented 2017-02-07 20:18:45 -0500
    Article is good…clear mission and vision and approach…commitment to non-violence is essential. I encourage CODEPINK to lead the women’s movement and to have a clear calling for no more war and eradicate nuclear weapons worldwide NOW. If the US starts rattling the sabre for another war I hope women stop it. I will be with you.
  • commented 2017-02-06 14:38:05 -0500
    Lila Garret 090.7 fm radio said you were going to Washington. What does this entail?
    Are there tickets already purchased and what kind of sponsorship could be involved?
    kEEP UP THE GOOD GROWL.

    Albia Miller
  • followed this page 2017-02-06 10:05:28 -0500
  • commented 2016-12-09 21:02:55 -0500
    You should change the Why Women section to say “CODEPINK is not exclusively women identifying people, we welcome all PEOPLE to join us….”

    This should be a point of the organization, to make it more inclusive to people, making connections by the fact that we all identify as women. CODEPINK should make sure they are not only talking to people who identify as men/women and be more inclusive of people who do not necessarily fit those labels. It doesnt matter what your identity is, everyone is welcome to resist War!
  • commented 2016-11-20 02:05:44 -0500
    Kathleen Murphy is absolutely right about Hillary Hawk. I too voted for Jill, a good peace woman. And I’m sorry that MoveOn.org is trying to put a warmonger in. At least Trump will not get us into WWIII with Russia, and he has reiterated that he wants to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. If he can get Netanyahu to agree on peace, all power to him. Hillary would stop the BDS movement and assure that Netanyahu can continue his extra-judicial executions of Palestinians without protest from the US. Let’s encourage Trump on peace issues and oppose him when he’s wrong. A mass movement to ban the bomb and rid the world of war probably would influence him since he follows the polls closely and is independent of corporate interests. Why not try?