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 2016-10-28 00:14:38 -0400
    very much! Why did we still invade Iraq and Afghanistan? Maybe we didn’t last outside the White House long enough?
    Maybe we needed to be MORE?
    Maybe we need a Woman President who is for peace??
    I’ll be there with us all and bring all my friends I can convince to be for peace..
  • commented 2016-10-28 00:08:56 -0400
    great. let’s do it again for however long it takes till Hillary, (the Hawk) declares ALL wars unconstitutional. We will not leave until she abolishes war and wages peace with the women of the United States of America.
  • commented 2016-10-23 21:15:02 -0400
    You should organize a peace conference to pull every organization you can think of together for an anti-war march against Syria and US putting missiles throughout the world. We need a big march and we need it now. And marches around the country. We need someone to committ to organizing this.
  • commented 2016-09-17 13:03:48 -0400
    Code Pink, stop supporting the White Helmets. Take some time and learn who they are. They are not what you think. They are Jihadists who are a propaganda arm of the US War Against Syria. The Real Syria Civil Defense are the ones who are saving lives on the other side of the battle field. The White Helmets are anti-feminists and extreme Wahabbist. Please address this road that you are taking, supporting the wrong side.
    http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2016/09/16/video-netflix-and-the-white-helmets-hand-in-hand-with-al-qaeda/
  • commented 2016-08-27 16:39:31 -0400
    to David Will (see below)- times are different- as u know our revolutionaries were deeply flawed- we have made progress since then- as w the 60’s- peace,civil rts, feminist, earth lib and lgbt movements- don’t swell in the past- join us building a future!!!
  • commented 2016-08-27 16:36:40 -0400
    continues the tradition i love- non violent, radical, militant free range, heritage civil disobedience and disruption (i am a 75 yr old in the catholic left/Berrigan tradition)- my recent arrest at the nra hq was thrilling and only set me back 80 bux
    spking egotistically- i have finished my book For all the Saints- and lking for a publisher- any ideas?
    Code Pink is like Art Laffin of the DC Catholic Worker (also a reg organizer of demos)- i feel we need to support CXode Pink money wise- and i hope youths will join
    the times we are living in (it/s 8/27/26) and easily as bad as the 60’s- we need to stir up some revolutionary spirit (as w Black Lives Matter)
    i recommend Dan Zak’s and Clara Bingham’s new books- and of course, Medea Benjamin’s.
  • commented 2016-08-23 14:53:06 -0400
    Just came across this very anti-woman post from Trump

    http://deadbeatdon.blogspot.com/2016/08/deadbeat-don-on-relationships-you-know.html
  • commented 2016-07-30 02:03:47 -0400
    I just think your great :)
  • commented 2016-07-27 22:34:48 -0400
    redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs. Join us!…..
    This they say ? How about redirecting MY tax dollars back to me to decide where I spend … Donate …or use it !
  • commented 2016-07-24 16:27:14 -0400
    Mr. Bonney, I find your response logical and intelligent. I could get behind everything you wrote, until you added the last sentence.

    I do not I own a TV and do not listen to the radio. I’m a writer; I listen to music. I believe I am at least sufficiently educated, but am enough of a critical thinker that I am always willing to listen.
  • commented 2016-07-23 20:37:22 -0400
    Mr. McCoy, I agree that war, though always hell, is sometimes justified. I do not even agree with about half of CODEPINK’s principals, but do stand by their right to demonstrate and advance their point of view.

    However, I took exception the the RNC’s treatment of the protestor, when thoughtfully engaging her, or least just quietly removing her, would have made more sense than trying to take her banner away and then covering it in the American flag, which is NOT a proper use for the flag. Those tactics only served to make those at the convention look like, as former Senator Humphrey put it, brown shirts. Brave men and women did not die in battle so that the flag could be used to silence dissent.

    Where I was finding fault in your argument (if there was an argument there) is in evoking communism, which makes no sense, as communist nations in general have long tended toward military aggression and repression. CODEPINK is merely advocating peace.

    Finally, there was little that was fallacious in my comment as I only asked if you were suggesting that to demonstrate resistance is unAmerican? It merely seemed to me that you were.
  • commented 2016-07-23 10:28:22 -0400
    So, exercising the right to protest – the freedom of speech and expression – guaranteed by The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is unAmerican?

    Are you, Mr. McCoy, suggesting that to demonstrate resistance to those policies we disagree with is unAmerican? I find that shocking and ridiculous, because you, yourself, noted the war for independence. If dissent were never permitted, the United States would never exist, which is exactly why our Founding Fathers wanted to protect our freedom of expression,

    If you do not care for the right to express unpopular opinions, than you would much prefer Eritrea, North Korea, and Saudia Arabia, where expressing an opinion at variance with the government policy is punishable by death.
  • followed this page 2016-07-22 00:59:22 -0400
  • commented 2016-07-22 00:50:09 -0400
    Dear Honorable Fellow Members of Judaeo-Christian Civilization:

    The basic “three-some” of CHESSED , EMES v’TSEDDEK, when integrated, are the three legs that support Peace / Shalom.

    A Universal Truth.

    Also they serve as the basis for each Human individual thinking and praying for World Peace / Shalom.

    Your organization and probably your Chassidim / Followers thinks negatively and are fragmented in your priorities .

    Missing one or two of the significant three legs, in your pseudo-intellectual “creations”. Too many of your Thinkers just are not so great thinkers when stretched out on the canvas of Life..

    As a simple student of Life, I think that all human beings are Great, if they are permitted or permit themselves to Think Great !.

    The Context is too often only One of the Three Legs. A very unstable snapshot. Shallow and Illusions. A picture of an amputee or handicapped individual, with missing parts.

    Simply too often a static vision , if not a dead snapshot, composed of missing vital facts and vital parts.

    Human skeletons with shadows rather than skin, bones, flowing blood vessels and nerve within a no longer beating human heart.

    Every civilized living human being agrees that war is horrible. This assumption is missing in your presentation. A major failing.

    Every one who seeks Family, marriage, children and a belief in a future, is a true and faithful supporter of the ideals and is anti-war..

    The Dead not the Living have become the triggers of your stories and your images. Time stops in your short paragraphs and posters as you portray Life as a static Illusion, with vague reference to Evil perpetrators.. Maybe the Dead you pose in your photos were the pre-existing perpetrators of Evil?

    You create this Graphic as if it were based on a platform standing on a unified bond of the above three legs. This is not the Truth.

    As if the Cemetery, with one or several tombstones have become a sign of a living human being . Of a Community. It is not.

    A false assumption. It is the living who are not Dead. Some Evil and some Good co-exists within each one of us. The Living.

    Your organization fails on the basis of NOT standing with all THREE of these separate legs integrated and connected to the Trunk and fails to make visible the responsibilities or the accountabilities of each one of the Living being examined under your microscope.

    Each and every one of the living share in becoming whole and integrated, or remaining fragmented.

    We, each one of us has choice. This is our individual freedom of choice.

    For many hundreds of years, there has been the practice of Chesed without Emes…a two-legged unsteady stool….on some of the platforms.

    A welcome and emotional response, yet too often being highlighted with a False exclamation point..

    Most often a platform composed with a poor reflection of actual History and an absence of Reality. Which often is seen as a positive option.

    However with strict Focus on a small window in the massive building that is being examined. A SELFISH image becomes visible and is simply out of Context and is not the Truth / No Emes.

    Today, tragically, too often the result is One-sided Tseddek without Chessed ….a one legged unsteady stool….the Platform of a Prosecutor without a Defense Attorney …a pre-existing presumption of Guilt – in a world where democracy claims that one is Innocent until Proven guilty.

    Shallow thinking. Not so Great. More dangerous than Death. It strongly afflicts the uneducated Living. The mostly ignorant masses.

    Peace and Shalom.

    Trying to live and walk and think with Three Legs, Together and United.

    With Ahava and Respect for all Human Beings who Love and Respect me and each other.

    Dr George Moskowitz.
  • commented 2016-07-22 00:09:29 -0400
    Well…. " star hawk" WTF ? More crack pots, losers who are comical ! Bulldaggers, whales, bloted old washed up Harry ass’ed scanks! Hug those trees girls! I wish I could slaughter every last one of you if it were legal! Fuck you all! Suck trumps filthy cock! Get dat’ CUM bitches.
  • commented 2016-07-21 22:51:57 -0400
    Without military protection of this country, or even “war”, they won’t have any healthcare, education, green jobs or other life affirming programs or anything else at all to worry about for that matter. These people are naive to say the least.
  • commented 2016-07-21 21:54:48 -0400
    “I wonder if Code Pink will protest at the DNC as well? HRC voted for war repeatedly, the Dems have proven themselves to be just as much the warhawks the Repubs are.”

    They certainly should and very well might, but Dems won’t be trying to take CP’s signs way from them and security they won’t covering their signs up with American flags in a sickening display of authoritarian nationalism.
  • commented 2016-07-21 00:42:02 -0400
    Peace through Strength, Strength through Unity, Unity through Freedom and the United States of America.
  • commented 2016-07-21 00:31:21 -0400
    Dear Steven Booney,

    The goal of the the first Crusade called in 1095 was to recapture the lands stolen by the Abbasid Caliphate from the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) which had happened centuries earlier. The crusades were called by the Byzantines 3 centuries after the creation and rapid, not to mention violent, expansion of Islam. During the early Arab conquests of Islam great Byzantine cities such as Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch were sacked and pillaged by muslim armies, and once the Abbasid caliphate had successfully subjugated Persi they set their eyes on Constantinople, the most culturally diverse and architecturally beautiful city at that time. However they were not successful, but the threat posed by Islam was still present. So at the beginning of the first crusade Nicaea was successfully captured, then the crusades marched down to capture Antioch, Jerusalem, and Edessa. THese would become the crusader kingdoms in the middle east. So you see the middle east was christian for CENTURIES before Islam, or for that matter the crusades, were ever conceived.
  • commented 2016-07-20 16:56:12 -0400
    When human species evolves to a higher being, then maybe we can achieve a peaceful utopia. Unfortunately, we are still morons and cannot handle a truly civilized world.
  • commented 2016-07-20 16:00:56 -0400
    I wonder if Code Pink will protest at the DNC as well? HRC voted for war repeatedly, the Dems have proven themselves to be just as much the warhawks the Repubs are
  • commented 2016-07-20 03:08:48 -0400
    Just saw the video of your protests at the RNC. Inspiring. Sign me up. Where do I donate? ~Chicana for Peace and Inclusion
  • commented 2016-07-19 12:39:45 -0400
    Their credo should be “we’re willing to sacrifice all including our liberty and beliefs for sake of (false) peace!”
  • commented 2016-07-19 00:31:22 -0400
    Dougie Weir you echo the tired old patriotic tear-fest that has been propagandized into American heads. My old man fought in two wars and I call bullshit on all wars except defensive ones — which are never wholly defensive anyway. WW2, there was an argument for, though not for its excesses — from the nuclear bombs to the innumerable atrocities that happened all the time, and which my own father witnessed as a commando. Mai Le was a drop in the bucket. That shit happens all the time in war. Think about it. And that’s why Vietnam was the last relatively freely telavised war. Now the whole “show” is carefully scripted so as not to put fear or disgust into the heads of us plebs.

    In the Korean War, my dad was in the air force. 77 Squadron — their motto was “Search and Destroy.” He flew 201 missions and killed more North Koreans than heart failure. Again, the stories I eventually heard through my brother, would turn you white as a sheet. Here’s just one of the insights you’ll never hear about that “war”: Noam Chomsky provides a more dramatic description of the situation: “When US forces entered Korea in 1945, they dispersed the local popular government, consisting primarily of antifascists who resisted the Japanese, and inaugurated a brutal repression, using Japanese fascist police and Koreans who had collaborated with them during the Japanese occupation. About 100,000 people were murdered in South Korea prior to what we call the Korean War, including 30-40,000 killed during the suppression of a peasant revolt in one small region, Cheju Island.”

    The US has always wanted control of the Pacific Rim. Strategic positioning and TRADE. Again, you have to dig to learn. Or you can believe the Domino Theory and go have a beer.

    As for Iraq and Afghanistan, they were invasions and nothing more. (The whole “weapons of mass destruction” lie and you still think there is validity? The locals want the Yanks out. We are responsible — via war, its effects, and sanctions — for the death of a million Iraqis, including women and children. There’s a difference between insane extremist Muslims and true Muslims, just the same as there’s a difference between all the batshit crazy Christians, and the people who worship sincerely and give what they can to charities. Yes, the oppression of women in Arab (and other) nations is horrendously wrong. Congratulations: That’s a CODEPINK campaign! But how are we better? We bombed hospitals and media centers in Iraq — and there’s plenty of evidence even on the Internet! There’s no excuse not to know these things. Our mainstream media doesn’t even tell the true story of what is nothing more than imperialist violence: power, strategic land gains, oil, etc.

    Fighting in Iraq or any of these wars has nothing to do with our freedoms. The nearest the Japanese got was Hawaii and other outposts that the U.S. had already invaded and stolen. The colonials wars? We stole Native America’s freedom, so that’s out. The Civil War, which someone here mentioned, had it’s positives. But do you know how badly blacks were treated in the north? And, for that matter, still are all around the country. Ask 10 of them about freedom and nine will not give you a happy answer. My point: When the hell were we ever really under threat? We’re always TAUGHT there’s a threat, because fear is the easiest way to control people. Be heroic: Think for yourself like the women of CODEPINK.

    Your self-righteous nonsense is understandable; because it is the drumbeat hammered into all kids in U.S. schools. Believing it does you and all of us harm. Only truth will help this world. It’s a fragile place and our government (and to a lesser degree others) and corporations seem determined on arming to the teeth and blowing it to hell.

    We live in the most war-mongering, arrogant, and internationally hated country in the world — actually, in all of history. Maybe we aren’t hated by the despots that we sponsor or exploit. (Until, Hussein, Noriega, Gaddafi etc etc get out of line and we have to obliterate them and ruin their countries beyond what the world economy has already done to them.) But we’re hated by the masses of ordinary people. People like you and me. You are arguing for the elites who have taught you the “war is noble” fairytale so you’ll send your kids to the meat-grinder with pride instead of wisdom; acquiescence instead of argument. In short, you are arguing against yourself, and that is what they want.

    Remember the Red Scare? They had everyone afraid there was a Red under every bed. These days it’s a terrorist. Americans live in fear and fear breeds anger. It’s pretty simple and the evidence is ample. (If we really want to end terrorism, we should stop bombing and pilfering other countries.) As for the Cold War, that really was an opportunity to terrify the masses — and Kennedy almost got us blown to hell (read the original sources). And yet now we have NATO Creep that contradicts an agreement that was made with the Russians, but it’s hidden behind talking about the Russians in Crimea etc. We always point the finger and praise ourselves for being the only righteous nation on earth. Dumb and sickening.

    It takes reading and thought to get this stuff. Sometimes some real research — but that’s easier than it used to be. And I know where you’re coming from. I used to believe what you did. I was so far right wing I almost joined the National Front and 14 to fight refugees! I would have been dead now and just created more hate. I was a fool. I was lucky to be taught the truth. And then I read and searched and thought and thought. If you want to be lazy, believe everything you hear. If you want the truth, dig!

    We have freedoms because of the dissenters and protestors. They refuse to play the game and fall into line. They shake things up and do their best to monitor the criminals in charge. It’s to them you owe thanks.
  • commented 2016-07-18 23:43:05 -0400
    This is an ignorant argument. Please get informed.
  • commented 2016-07-18 23:03:19 -0400
    I saw your protesters on the RNC broadcast. I wasn’t sure about this organization.

    Then I saw the comments referring to your “uniformed ignorant dumb asses” and I knew that people who will go out of their way to spew such hate, especially in a public venue, are the reason you exist.

    Thank you. You can expect a donation and I’ll be looking for a group near me.
  • commented 2016-07-18 22:51:14 -0400
    It said what do I think of this article. What I think of this article is, My grandfather, my wife’s father fought in WWII so you can voice your opinion. I stood watch on the east/west German boarders for three years during the Cold War so you can voice your opinion. My son did two tours in Iraq so you can voice your opinion. And pray to God that there are many more people out there that join/support our military and are willing to stand up to oppression around the so you can voice your opinion.
  • commented 2016-07-18 13:19:31 -0400
    Awsome, just saw codepink activists on TYT and thought the message was so “on message” it was great.
  • commented 2016-07-17 19:24:15 -0400
    I think this group ow women or whom ever is dumb asses that doesn’t know what it takes to keep our freedom.i just saw one of you stupid bitches on TV with a sign that say Refugees Welcome lol do you know how those people treat women and you wanna give our country to them you ignorant uninformed dumb asses. You wanna support something support the men and women that protect your freedoms and that protect your rights like the one you are expressing now! This group is what’s wrong with this country ignorant uninformed people!
  • commented 2016-07-17 19:24:10 -0400
    What is the matter with you? You are NUTS!!! You will sing “What the World needs now is Love Sweet Love” as the Murderous Radical Islamists Rape and Murder women and Children across many countries around the world. Then I see posters of “Refugees Welcome”… Do you really have a brain at all? You want peace, but peace comes through strength in MANY situations. I am lost to your true values… SICKOS