Posted by CODEPINK Staff
Code Pink, Tucson – Statement to the Press following Tucson’s Safeway Massacre
12:00 noon, Tuesday, January 11, 2011
University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85724
*WATCH THE VIDEO* Peace Groups Press Conference 1/11/11 Tuscon, Arizona
Welcome and thank you for coming today.
Code Pink was born out of the 9/11 terror attacks. When the twin towers fell, the Department of Homeland Security responded by adopting a color code to alert air travels of the degree of danger – air travelers hear it is a “Code Orange” or “Code Yellow” day while awaiting their pat-downs down.
But DHS forgot to include a color for peace. So, in 2002, Code Pink: Women for Peace was born with the mission to use creative ways to call for peace as a replacement for terror in our lives. We recognize violence will not be stopped by color codes, and we have ideas to share with those decision-makers who think color codes are helpful.
Code Pink’s goal is to redirect military spending into life-affirming endeavors; consider for a moment whether spending $1,121,000,000,000 that Congress has approved for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care since the 9/11 attacks has benefitted our people. The Washington Post reported in 1993 there were 500 Taliban fighters, but in 2010 there were 25,000, or a 50 fold increase in less than a decade. Our massive military spending has not made us safer.
Also born on 9/11 was Christina-Taylor Green, the 9 year old student council representative who was one of those killed in Saturday’s Tucson massacre that targeted Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Six people died, and fourteen more were injured. The gunman suffers and his family is in pain. Everyone who witnessed the shootings and all who heard about it are deeply affected. Please, let us all take a moment of silence to feel a connection to these fellow humans and send them all healing thoughts or prayers of support.
- Silence -
Code Pink’s Tucson Chapter extends loving and supportive thoughts to all the lives touched by this violent action. Citing contempt for the shooter and seeking retribution are not the ways to heal the wounds and to address the root concerns of this tragedy, however. Our wish is that everyone affected by Saturday’s massacre will finds ways to transition from pain to healing. To move from suffering to strength.
It is with that intention that calls went out to many of Tucson’s peaceable groups to gather today to offer their voices in support of alternatives to a culture of violence. We will hear from some of them today.
The young man who is accused of pulling the trigger and causing death, pain, fear, and terror is symptomatic of mounting societal problems. Whatever punishment is meted out to him individually, if/when he is found guilty, will do nothing to address the same pressures many of his young peers face. It will do nothing to change Arizona laws that don’t provide adequate mental health services or to fix Arizonans’ easy access to lethal weapons that will never be used for hunting food.
Thank you again for coming together today to give faces and voices to Tucson’s deep well of compassion and love. There is a powerful desire for peace that coexists, like yin and yang, next to the heart of America’s military industrial complex here in Tucson. Today’s press conference is dedicated to spreading the word that it is time to give peace a chance. A reminder to incorporate more love, healing, and civility into the fabric of our lives.