September 6, 2011


Personal note from Janet:

As we approach the 10th anniversaries of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US and the US war in Afghanistan, it can be easy to be disheartened by both the ongoing but geographically faraway horrors of wars and militarism, and by the local impacts on our home communities. But two developments this summer really lifted my spirits.

One was hosting a house meeting for Rebuild the American Dream in July, and having an in-depth, structured conversation with new folks in my community; then giving a report to the district director of my local congressman, George Miller; then hearing about house meetings all over the Bay Area from my colleagues Rae, Nancy M, Olivia and Sharon in the SF office; then reading/hearing about other RTAD meetings around the country, 1500 in all 435 congressional districts in the US. Thanks to CODEPINK's participation before and during these meetings, a strong antiwar statement is now item #8 in the RTAD Contract and, while some of us are skeptical about aspects of this project, we can continue to use this as a vehicle to link our antiwar, propeace messaging to the urgent jobs and economic justice issues now in the forefront. In the searing heat of south Texas, Madeleine and other Houston codepinkers in coalition with MoveOn and the Sierra Club, did 6 actions at congressional offices as part of the Rebuild the American Dream project. See one report back here.

The other was attending the Veterans for Peace convention in Portland, Oregon, along with Dallas area local coordinator Leslie Harris and Colonel Ann Wright. I enjoyed spending time and ideas with Leslie and Ann. I learned a great deal in the workshops I attended on "How's the War Economy Working for You?", nonviolent direct action training, and Afghanistan. Especially memorable were my talks with Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Tarak Kauff, one of the main organizers of October 2011.

Right now I am reading "Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World" edited by Karin Lofthus Carrington and Susan Griffin, an anthology that includes writings by Rebecca Solnit, CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans and many others. I recommend it, as I also recommend watching a stunning documentary I saw at the VFP convention, "The Welcome" about returning veterans and the power of art and ritual to heal.

This Roseroots Report follows a new format: the national campaign coordinators have each sent in a report on their (our) respective campaigns. To keep this long bimonthly report from being too long, I have highlighted just one local spotlight per month below. However, to see all the local spotlights posted for July and August 2011, please go here. To see many delightful photos from actions and from our new Create, Not Hate project, please check out our flickr sets and to read blog posts, please go to Pink Tank.

Codepinkers and allies showed up with creative messaging to counter Islamophobic hysteria at a speech by al-Jazeera's DC bureau chief in Rockland, Maine. My favorite sign: "It takes courage to be gentle and kind."

Local coordinators and eco-heroines Eliz Barger and Diane Wilson brought together 18 activists for the Southeast Planning Conference, and 3 new projects, including connecting with the October 2011 mobilization, came out of their gathering at The Farm outside of Nashville, Tennesse! Photos here.

New groups:
We welcome Darla Lilley, of Daingerfield, Texas who has been having local group meetings, advertised for new members in the football program of her local high school, and is planning to go to DC for the October mobilization! We also welcome Priti Gulani Cox of Kansas, whose work in support of Bradley Manning and the Truth Set Free campaign in highlighted below. Both have already been posting to our Roseroots listserv!

To see all our local groups, now on one easy-to-read webpage, go here. To start a new CODEPINK local, please read this.

In remembrance and determination,
Janet and the CODEPINK Team

P.S. I'm often asked if CODEPINK includes men. The answer is Yes!

Here's a fun photo of one of our LA-area male pinkers, who gets into the spirit with his headgear.

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Campaign Reports:

Accountability/Expose War Criminals by Nancy Mancias:
Activists held a protest outside the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York City where Henry Kissinger was giving a talk about his new book, Prescription on China. Groups at the protest included members of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and CODEPINK.

While CODEPINK was making its presence known in Washington, DC, cofounder Medea Benjamin found herself face-to-face with former ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

CODEPINK has launched War Addicts Anonymous, a project whose primary purpose is to support elected officials and corporations end their addiction to war. Watch our intervention team engage President Obama outside the White House:

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 just around the corner, NYC will be the destination of choice for major US war criminals, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo. Accountability activists, including CODEPINK, are gearing up to protest the former Bush administration officials who brought us torture, indefinite detention, and trillion-dollar wars that have claimed countless Afghani, Iraqi and US lives.

CODEPINK Dallas continues to hold war criminals accountable throughout Texas. In August, outside of the Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference at the Dallas Convention Center. Keynote speaker Bush Senior Advisor Karl Rove was no doubt paid big bucks to be there - but CODEPINK activists came for free!

In preparation for the release of former Vice President Dick Cheney's new book, "In My Time", CODEPINK activists are taking action at local bookstores and moving his book to where it really belongs - the Crime section. It's legal. It's fun. And it will make a difference in how people look at Cheney's book and our history. A Facebook group has been created, along with bookmarks to insert inside the book.
Read Medea's Benjamin's Ten Reasons to Move Cheney's Book to the Crime Section.

Bring Our War $$ Home by C.J. Minster:
We're gathering our neighbors for cultural responses to ten years of war through our Create, Not Hate project. Have you taken a "Make [ ] Not War" photo yet? Will you join us in folding cranes for peace? Make sure to add your calendar listings between now and October 6 to the Create, Not Hate calendar. And please take the time to look through the site - we're testing out a new back-end platform and we think it might be a great way to more deeply engage with each other as a community.

We recently welcomed Nina Boe to our team, as the 10 Years & Counting - Create, Not Hate Coordinator. Nina is helping us outreach to cultural and social justice organizations across the country and will be supporting the NYC local's participation in events on 9/11 and around the Palestinian recognition of statehood request at the UN. Our successful mayoral campaign was featured in an article written by Dana Balicki in In These Times.

In addition to the cultural events of Create, Not Hate, we want to continue supporting your local organizing efforts - whether that be city council resolutions or vigils at military bases. Please connect with C.J. at to discuss your activities and the ways we can help you expand your reach and bring your successful organizing tips to the larger CODEPINK community. We welcome help in adding content to the anti-war portion of the CODEPINK websites! Also remember that we'd love to hear your reflections on these tenth anniversaries - submit your reflections today.

Ground the Drones by Nancy Mancias:
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International held its annual conference in Washington DC along with a press conference at the National Press Club. In an ongoing attempt to educate the public about the use of unmanned drones and tax payer money purchasing these deadly machines, CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin hijacked the press conference to tell the truth about armed drones and question the experts on civilian casualties. CODEPINK continues to hold drone manufacturers accountable for civilian deaths. Protests against these merchants of death have included General Atomics, Northrop Grumman and AeroVironment.

Middle East by Rae Abileah:
CODEPINK had a delegation of seven women aboard the US Boat to Gaza, which attempted to sail to Gaza on July 1st. Chicago PINK coordinator Pat Hunt was part of the local coordinating team and helped plan events to support the US Boat, and in San Francisco, LA and elsewhere, local CODEPINK activists delivered petitions to the Greek Consulate asking that the boat be able to sail, and thousands of pinks submitted petitions online. In DC pinkers held a 24-hour vigil outside the Greek Embassy. Though the boat was unable to leave Greece due to tremendous pressure from Israel and the US, the action made a big impact in the media and highlighted the need to lift the siege of Gaza. Read news and blogs here. Medea summarized the success of the flotilla in her article, "By Torpedoing the Gaza Flotilla, Israel Sunk its Own Ship."

In late July CODEPINK signed onto the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation's coalition statement opposing a probable US veto of the expected Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN and gathered petition signatures online. CODEPINK NYC will be joining Adalah-NY and other groups outside the UN at a demonstration on September 15, and other demos for Palestinian self-determination are in the works for September around the country. The pursuit for statehood recognition is being heavily debated by Palestinian organizers, academics and leaders because of the possible political and legal consequences. We educated ourselves by reading Ali Abunimah's critical analysis of the political implications and the legal opinion of Oxford professor of International Law, Guy Goodwin-Gill. Although there is no clear consensus on the statehood bid at the United Nations, Palestinian civil society has unanimously called for global citizens to join their nonviolent movement for justice, which we continue to follow through our boycott campaigns.

In Los Angeles CODEPINK organizer Kristen planned a fab flashmob wedding party inside of Bed Bath & Beyond to protest sales of Ahava and Sodastream, both made in illegal Israeli settlements. Don't miss watching this sensational and short video of the action and read all about it here. You too can commit to peace by sending Bed Bath & Beyond a message online here.

CODEPINK led a twitter campaign to counter PETA's certification of Ahava as "cruelty-free" (say what?!) and to ask Lonely Planet to remove the illegal Ahava factory as a tourist destination. Check out our newly revamped Stolen Beauty website at to find more campaign updates and news coverage. CODEPINK locals in DC, SF, LA and NYC joined with Jewish Voice for Peace's actions and flashmobs asking TIAA-CREF, a large retirement fund, to divest from the Israeli occupation.

As the Arab Spring continued into the summer months, CODEPINK has continued to support uprisings for freedom and justice by participating in local solidarity actions. DC pinks led an emergency demonstration outside the Syrian Embassy to protest the Syrian government's brutal massacre of over 2,000 of its own citizens.

CODEPINK organizer Rae disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Congress in May with a message for justice and equality for Palestinians, and was brutally assaulted by members of the audience for doing so. In August her legal team submitted an assault complaint and subpoena for info from Capital Police. Read more here. Meanwhile, 81 Congresspeople took an AIPAC-affiliate trip to Israel during the Congressional Recess, instead of heading home to deal with urgent economic issues. CODEPINKers made calls to identify who was going on these trips and then organized local office visits, online petitions, and worked with the Institute for Middle East Understanding and the US Campaign on a PR campaign to expose these representatives. CODEPINK also filed a complaint to the Congressional Ethics Committee.

Middle East Report by Elsa Rassbach:
More than 500 internationals from several European countries purchased flight tickets to Ben Gurion airport on July 8th and announced their intention to accept an invitation by more than 40 Palestinian society organizations to join in week of peaceful activities in the program "Welcome to Palestine." The Israeli media dubbed the initiative the "flytilla" and warned of hooligans. The Israeli Ministry of the Interior sent a blacklist of more than 300 names to commercial airlines such as Lufthansa, Swissair, and Easyjet, which denied boarding to more than half of those who had purchased flight tickets. Those who did arrive in Ben Gurion were immediately detained by Israeli authorities, held for several days, and then deported. From Berlin CODEPINK's Elsa Rassbach was the International Media Coordinator, working closely with Bethlehem Media Center, Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh in Beit Sahour, and media liaisons in several countries. Thousands of positive articles were generated in the international media, including in New York Times and Time Magazine, that highlighted Israeli government control of all access to Palestine, whether by sea, by land, or by air.

Truth Set Free/Hands Off Wikileaks by Melanie Butler:
CODEPINKers across the country - and world - are gearing up to support Bradley Manning when he goes to trial. The date of Bradley's pre-trial hearing has yet to be announced, but is now expected to take place in Fort Meade, Maryland, sometime in October. The hearing could last 2-3 weeks and CODEPINK locals are mobilizing around the hearing and even on the day it is announced. CODEPINK has been at the forefront of supporting Bradley and protesting his inhumane treatment - now we need to keep the pressure on to ensure that Bradley's pre-trial hearing is fair, legal, and open to the press and public! One fun and easy way to build awareness: leave a few of our new Free Bradley/Arrest Cheney bookmarks in Dick Cheney's new book to let people know who's the one that should REALLY be doing time. For more ways to take action and daily news updates on Bradley, WikiLeaks, and other truth-tellers, be sure to check out the Truth Set Free Daily and our redesigned Hands Off WikiLeaks website. Please don't hesitate to contact with ideas and feedback, or for help organizing and publicizing actions in your area!

A particularly exciting new development in our Hands Off WikiLeaks/Truth Set Free campaign is the emergence of a CODEPINK chapter in Kansas - the state in which Bradley Manning is currently being held. Our local coordinator, Priti, is spearheading efforts to mobilize around Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing announcement and urges her neighbors to "…make it clear both to him and to the war machine that he is not lost and alone out here in the plains, and that we will not give up until he is free!"

National staff news:

  • As mentioned above, Nina Boe has joined the team in the NYC office on the Create, Not Hate project.
  • Also in the DC office, staffer Alli McCracken reports: "I just want to give a shout out to our new DC intern Mia, who is a fourth year student at Howard University studying journalism and communications!"
  • In the San Francisco office, we say "thanks and best wishes" to intern Olivia Evans, who did a tremendous job organizing two successful fundraisers to cover our expenses for the next several months, one in San Francisco and one in Berkeley.
  • We say hello to new intern Rosalie Platzer from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
  • Jodie Evans represented CODEPINK at the Democracy Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Jodie and Medea Benjamin were both arrested (separate days) during the protests of the proposed XL Keystone pipeline at the White House fence, two of hundreds of citizens determined to stop global-warming-worsening Canadian tar sands oil being piped underground through huge aquifers in the middle of the US. Pink goes great with green!


  • CODEPINK is involved with 10 Years and Counting in preparation for the October mobilizations in Washington, DC. Please contact C.J. at to get involved.
  • September 10 - October 10: Maine Bring Our War $$ Home Care-A-Van, inspired by SF Bay Area locals' "Peace Pilgrimage" in May; for details go here and scroll down.
  • September 11: Join or host a cultural or service project in your town on this 10th anniversary, which can be a turning point away from war and militarism. See our Create, Not Hate calendar for events, or post your own .
  • October 6 and beyond: The October 2011 mobilization on the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan begins at Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House! Medea, Alli, Joan and other DC/MD/VA codepinkers will be eager to meet and greet codepinkers from around the country. For housing needs in the District, see here. To post your local solidarity actions, use our Action Calendar.
  • October in the Nevada Desert for Ground the Drones: October 9th, CODEPINK to join the Nevada Desert Experience and Las Vegas Catholic Workers in a protest at the Nevada Test Site and Creech AFB, home of the Predator and Reaper drones, in southern Nevada (one hour north of Las Vegas). The CODEPINK contingent will be in Nevada October 8th-13th and staying at the Goddess Temple Guest House to explore the beautiful desert between acts of activism.

The Roseroots Report is a bimonthly bouquet of CODEPINK local actions and news. Why roseroots? Because we're cultivating a vibrant pink flowering garden with a hearty stemming history and strong roots, not just little "grassroots." The 1912 Lawrence textile workers on strike had it right when they said, "We Want Bread, But Roses Too!" Our pink hearts are moved by CODEPINK's approach to peacemaking: we aren't just about getting out a talking point or ensuring a basic right, we're about bringing our money back to our beloved resources - schools, health, parks, libraries and more, disarming our defenses, opening our minds to new narratives and possibilities, and creating beauty.

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