Posted by CODEPINK Staff
by Toby Blome
One life experience that has kindled my soul to be a more committed peace activist was a connection to a Muslim culture via a ten year marriage to a Turkish man. Living in Istanbul for a year and raising two beautiful children from that relationship enabled me to discover and appreciate the richness and depth of a culture and religion that was so unfamiliar. It helped me to recognize with a greater understanding the commonalities that people
of all nationalities share: the desire for joy, friendship, human connectedness and the need for basic necessities of life, such as food, comfort, and shelter.
When the knee jerk invasion of Afghanistan quickly spread to an unwarranted and violent attack on the people of Iraq, a fire of outrage was burning inside of me. Thinking of the beautiful, dark eyed children of Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan who were and are suffering so terribly from these U.S. initiated conflicts, the nurturing mother in me could
not and will not lay quiet. CODEPINK provided a vehicle upon which I could put my outrage into constructive work for peace and justice with passionate women of kindred spirit.
I will be forever grateful for the incredible women of CODEPINK and other peace activists who have modeled for me another, more meaningful way. Without their love and support I could never have stepped forward to do the daring and unusual things that I have done. It is these very activists that have given me the strength and inspiration to fast for peace for 19 days in front of the White House; get arrested on Donald Rumsfeld's front yard while protesting torture; camp out in front of Speaker Pelosi's San Francisco home for two weeks to stop war funding and later again 2 weeks more while fasting; organize three consecutive years of monthly peace marches on the Golden Gate bridge; get arrested in the Congressional U.S. House Gallery for speaking out against the unconstitutional Military Commissions Act; wail for 2 hours with 3 others inside the Berkeley Marine Recruiting Station to bring the suffering of war to the Marines; travel three times to Creech AFB to protest brutal drone warfare; return numerous times to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress for peace and to bring truth to Congressional hearings while staying at the CODEPINK house.
A thousand thanks to all of the brave and sensitive spirits who nurture and support my own activism.