American women who wanted to stop the United States from invading Iraq founded the organization CODEPINK on November 17th 2002. CODEPINK originated from the Bush’s Administration color-coded homeland security alerts. CODEPINK was designed to be an alert to call upon people to “Wage Peace” unlike the colorful threats of red, orange, and yellow that symbolized the justification of violence.
According to the website CODEPINK is a women initiated peace and social justice movement to end United States funded wars and occupations. They are challenging militarism globally and they redirect their resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-inspiring functions. CODEPINK isn’t just for women they also extend a welcoming hand to men as well. But they’re focus and target members are women because they want women to rise up and oppose the global militarism.
They have a statement to welcoming members on the website:
Our Call to You: “We call on women around the world to rise up and oppose the war in Iraq. We call on mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters, on workers, students, teachers, healers, artists, writers, singers, poets, and every ordinary outraged woman willing to be outrageous for peace. Women have been the guardians of life-not because we are better or purer or more innately nurturing than men, but because the men have busied themselves making war. Because of our responsibility to the next generation, because of our own love for our families and communities and this country that we are a part of, we understand the love of a mother in Iraq for her children, and the driving desire of that child for life.”—Starhawk
The organization also has ten guidelines that their members try to follow just a few of them:
1. Nonviolence: We are committed to peace, which means both when executing our action(s) AND within our internal structure and relationships.
2. 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.
3. Communication, Respect, and Integrity: We avow to not let disagreements, hurt feelings, or disappointments, get in the way of our important peace work, and will instead view these challenges as opportunities to practice peaceful and productive communication with each other. We will keep our criticisms concise, specific, constructive and focused on future improvement.
4. Responsibility and Teamwork: We work as a team, with activists willing to bottom-line, coordinate, and facilitate actions. We won’t let all the responsibility repeatedly fall on one person, and we will not allow ourselves to assume all the responsibility for an action—instead we’ll delegate tasks, take on organizing roles, and rotate our leadership positions. We agree to be responsible for something only when we’re 100% sure we are going to do it.
5. 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”
6. Long Term Vision: We are in this for the long haul—we know that the US occupation of Iraq will not end until all the troops come home and successful rebuilding of Iraq has begun, as well as the healing of the returning soldiers and the Iraqi people. In the words of CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin, “Activism is good for our health and spirits—it keeps us engaged, active, upbeat, and passionate. It’s no fun being depressed alone. 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!”For some of their advocating they have been getting some backlash and harassment everything from email and messages insulting the staff and members. Things suggesting that they all should be run over by trucks, forced to wear burkas, or shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan where they will get what they rightfully deserve. They also keep coming across photoshopped banners slandering their organization stating that they support the murder of American Troops.