Congressional Races Heating UP!


Congressman Ric Keller (R), Orlando has recently taken to smearing CODEPINK via an attack ad on Alan Grayson who is running against him. See the http://www.codepinkorlando.blogspot.com/ for the links to his tv spot, truth test on his tv and radio ads, PINK mailers that he has sent as well as the latest updates!

WOUNDS OF WAR ACTION at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, Florida on Saturday 8/9/8






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cchkQFYhqGk



See the entire recap with video, pics and links at the following site:
http://www.5yearsofwar.com/militaryfair.html

In the meantime, here are even more pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anitastewart

This Military and Veterans Fair is held every year and sponsored by Congressman Bilirakis. What we saw on school grounds was military hardware, equipment and armament that children were PLAYING with or climbing into. The local Veterans for Peace Chapter was not allowed to vend at this event. War was glorified to the masses including children at this event which was on a SCHOOL CAMPUS. I find that extremely offensive as there is zero tolerance policies in place for children who bring any kind of "weapon" to school, even if it is a butter knife, they are expelled FOREVER. I and Major Deb (both of us are USAF veterans) were told by Bilirakis aids and a Pinellas County Sheriff that we were not allowed to walk on to the campus or participate in the event. When Debra asked for a directive on this, they changed their decision quickly and allowed us to walk on without signs. ARE YOU OUTRAGED YET? Be sure to watch the video and make it viral by passing it along to everyone you know. And be sure to write to your representatives and media outlets to let them know that this kind of activity cannot be promoted to CHILDREN on SCHOOL CAMPUSES.

If you are in the Tampa Bay area, see us at the following sites:
http://www.5yearsofwar.com
and
http://codepink.meetup.com/42
http://blog.myspace.com/codepinktampabay
http://www.myspace.com/codepinktampabay
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/codepinktampabay

Fire Breathing Liberal!

Wexler’s ‘Fire-Breathing Liberal’ is hot seller
By George Bennett Wednesday, June 4, 2008, Palm Beach Post
Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler’s Fire-Breathing Liberal: How I Learned To Survive (And Thrive) In The Contact Sport Of Congress is the No. 15 seller on amazon.com this afternoon.
That’s 14 spots below former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s What Happened and eight notches above Barack Obama’s Audacity Of Hope.
Wexler’s publication date is June 24. The Amazon sales are pre-orders. link to story
His book schedule is at the bottom.

Colbert Report
Boca Raton's Congressman Robert Wexler makes a repeat visit to the Colbert Report to promote his new book, Fire Breathing Liberal!


Colbert Report ~ June 26, 2008
The full episode which includes the gas crisis, a new DC gun law, fireworks are patriotic & Congressman Wexler found here:
<http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=174852>

Wexler going back to Colbert, despite previous controversy
By Kris Kitto
Posted: 06/23/08
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) can’t get enough of Stephen Colbert.
The lawmaker returns Thursday to the television studio where a few cocaine-and-hooker jokes the comedian coaxed out of him in July 2006 earned Wexler a level of notoriety that reached far beyond the satirical news show’s late-night time slot.
“Many people have asked me exactly what I was thinking when I said these things,” Wexler writes in his new book, Fire-Breathing Liberal: How I Learned to Survive (and Thrive) in the Contact Sport of Congress.
“The answer’s simple. This is a comedy show. What separated me from a lot of journalists is that I realized it was a joke.”
Wexler, who is going on “The Colbert Report” to promote his book, is making his first solo appearance on the program since the cocaine-prostitute segment. rest of the story

<http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/wexler-going-back-to-colbert-despite-previous-controversy-2008-06-23.html>

Robert Wexler breathes fire at GOP with new book
By JOHN THOMASON Forum Publishing Group
From the Sun-Sentinel
June 26, 2008
From promoting diplomacy in the Middle East to delivering a thousand soccer balls to tsunami-ravaged children in Indonesia to making sure Jewish military officers received their deserved war medals decades after the conflict, Rep. Robert Wexler has accomplished a great deal in his 18 years of public service.But it wasn't until Wexler good-naturedly joked about the joys of combining cocaine and prostitutes on a now legendary appearance on "The Colbert Report" – running unopposed for the 2006 midterms, he was egged on by host Stephen Colbert to say something that would otherwise lose him the election – that the congressman's actions became the stuff of national news. rest of the story:

<http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/news/bocaraton/forum/sfl-flt2wexler0625cspfjun26,0,837284.story>


Congressman Robert Wexler's Schedule
[will be updated weekly]

West Palm Beach: July 1 ~ 2 to 3 p.m. Wexler set to appear at West Palm LibraryU.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Fire-Breathing Liberal, from 2 to 3 p.m. July 1 at the West Palm Beach Public Library.Books will be on sale during the free event. The library is at 100 Clematis St.The event is free; no reservations are required. For information, visit www.mycitylibrary.org or call 561-868-7700.

Please send any known schedule additions to codepinkorlando@gmail.com with WEXLER in the subject line. thanks!

US Mayors Conference Miami

LATEST NEWS!
Senator Barack Obama to Address the Nation's Mayors on Saturday June 21st! See SCHEDULE below.



Warm Up for Miami!
No one has as much fun in a parade as CODEPINK does! Listen to this great music from our New Orleans parade and a message on V-Day about why we wear pink from CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans. Let's March together in Miami!

June 20-23
700 Mayors from throughout the country will descend on Miami for the U.S. Mayors Conference! Local, state, and national activists are working together on a series of actions to welcome these mayors with the message
“Fund Our Cities, Not the War in Iraq.”

We’ll have a parade, a reception, a Food Not Bombs food drive and lots more. Please mark your calendars and start making plans to join us in Miami! This page will be updated regularly but for now, some of the exciting things in the works:

Inside: We are excited to report that two peace related resolutions are on the agenda!

  • CODEPINK proposed resolution against military force on Iran
  • Mayors for Peace about Nuclear disarmament

Mayor Robert Kiss of VT has sponsored it and many more co-sponsors are still needed. Have a mayor you think might cosponsor?? Contact codepinkorlando@gmail.com and nancy@globalexchange.org for information on how to approach your mayor!

Thursday June 19
5:00 to 9:00pm Right to the City Alliance: Peoples Summit
Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus
Volunteers needed to staff CODEPINK booth, to sign up email Hillary spiderhill@usa.net

Friday June 20
10:00am ~ Breakfast for Homeless and "Money for Cities, Not War! press conference outside the Mayors Conference at the InterContinental Hotel with veternas, peace activists and local leaders who represent communities hurt by skewed economic prioritites. Biscayne Blvd and Chopin Plaza

2:00pm ~ CODEPINK participates in Right To The City ~ March on the Mayors dressed as pink Lady Liberties with sashes. NW 2nd Avenue and 7th Street. The march will be lead by "To Be Continued..." a New Orleans 2nd-line brass band. We will carry giant skeleton puppets representing all of the bad things happening in our cities like gentrification, racism, environmental injustice. We will also be carrying coffins so when we finish our march we can bury the skeletons. And following in the tradition of Jazz funerals we will be partying the whole way, dancing and singing.

We are asking all participants to bring umbrellas (to keep in the tradition of the New Orleans). Use your umbrella as a sign! For more info on march: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=nW%2B0QB8Fi1R2a9GoIWKmNlYR7B7vLZ%2BP

5:30 pm ~ Rally outside of Mayor's evening event at Viscaya Museum and boat demonstration on the bay side of the museum. South Miami Avenue and SE 32nd Road. Money for People, Not for War!

Saturday June 21
9:00 - 11:00am Senator Bill Nelson to Address the Nation's Mayors

12:00 - 2:00 pm Senator Barack Obama to Address the Nation's Mayors

7:00pm CODEPINK attends Mayor's evening event on Calle Ocho to continue thier campaign for the extradition of Miami resident and terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

Sunday June 22
12:00 - 2:00 pm President Bill Clinton to Address the Nation's Mayors

1:00pm ~ 5:00pm ~ US Peace Movement Salutes US Mayors Peace Reception at the Wall Flower Gallery 10 NE 3rd Street.
Special guest Mayor Joy Cooper of Hallendale Beach and No War on Iran resolution cosponsor, Mayor Rita Mullins of Village Palatine, IL., Jackie Cabasso US representative of Mayors for Peace, Medea Benajmin with CODEPINK and Global Exchange and Colonel Ann Wright (ret. Army). To RSVP email Nancy Mancias at nancy@globalexchange.org

Monday June 22
9:00 - 11:00 am Gloria & Emilio Estefan receive National Award for Lifetime Achievement from the US Mayors

Don't forget your PINK!
For more information on this action or to add your group to endorsers, call
Linda @ 305-801-0245 lindaannie@gmail.com or
Ray @ 754-423-0051 mrrratpp@aol.com

Agenda http://usmayors.org/76thAnnualMeeting/agenda.pdf

Peg McIntire Oct 2, 1910 ~ May 29, 2008

Peg’s memorial celebration
Monday, June 30, from 6 to 9 PM
St. Augustine Beach pavilion ~ All are welcome to this potluck, musical, reminiscent evening of tribute to a true global heroine.

In Memory of Peg McIntire ~ Florida's Oldest Activist

Grandmother for Peace ~ Oct 27, 2007
The peace community mourns the passing of activist for peace and justice. A dear friend has passed on...Peg McIntire, peacefully passed away on the night of May 29. Peg was (is!) a free spirit who was an inspiration to everyone who met her. The word obstacle was not part of her vocabulary. Peg will be greatly missed by the peace and justice community and the St. Augustine & Florida community at large. Marilyn Marstan


I met Peg in 2002 at the farm in north Florida. We went up to help out with the teen camp and had a wonderful time. I was blessed to return several times for pick-ins and each time, Peg was a beacon of light for me. To say that I was honored for this 97 year old to travel down to Orlando on Oct 27 this year would be an understatement.

I was always amazed and enchanted by this woman and to be honest with you, didn't even know why until after her death. After reading a recap of Peg's life that was written by her son, I was surprised to learn of all the forks in the road that Peg had made during her life time. She went to Vassar and Columbia University, lived in Spain with a writer, did Union work in New Orleans, a DC stint with the National Youth Administration and was a speech writer for the NEA [National Education Association].

Peg then moved to Italy and landed the personal assistant to the producer of Ben Hur, saw her family lose the rights to their US passports and though her husband was eventually vindicated and compensated, Peg and family remained in Italy to run an empire.
A decade after her husband's death, her children brought her to Florida where she spent the rest of her life actively pursuing social justice issues. A pillar of Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice, Grannies for Peace, NOW, St. Augustine Youth Hostel, Toys for Tots and the St. Augustine Unitarian Universalists, Peg spent more than twenty years trying to make the world right. She participated in eight marches at School of the Americas, numerous Die-Ins, Sit-Ins and anti-nuclear demonstrations. If it was happening, she was there. I am now even prouder to now say I knew and loved her.

The last email I received from Peg, encouraged me to come up soon with my daughter and stay at her house for a little vacation. I promised I would as soon as school was out. I teased her about being the oldest peace activist in Florida and about my then upcoming trip to DC for the Fifth Year anniversary of the war. Her last words to me were, "How I envy you going to DC! Oh to be young again. " After reading her story, I can only say, "How I envy you Peg, the life you led! Amazing." This is a MUST READ HERstory! http://pegmcintire.blogspot.com/
peace,
deidra

Her son's final words speak volumes:
Peg had many friends and an incredible intergenerational support base. She will be missed for her blue eyes, her smile, her jokes, her vitality, her dedication to causes, her love for Chinese food, music, and red wine.

Peg will be sorely missed but has inspired with her heart.
Peg last year in St. Augustine


Also touching is GOOD BYE DEAR PEG by Bruce Gagnon http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2008/05/good-bye-dear-peg.html


ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
If you would like to have yours posted here, send to codepinkorlandogmail.com

Added June 13, 2008
In January of 2008, 97-year old Peg McIntire was hospitalized. It was touch and go for a while, but after a couple weeks she pulled through. Peg left the hospital and came directly downtown to a St. Augustine People For Peace and Justice (PPJ) antiwar demonstration. She didn’t go home to rest. She didn’t go shopping. She didn’t use her difficult situation as an excuse to not participate, in her own inimitable way, in the process of democracy. As recently as a few days before she drew her final breath, Peg attended a PPJ Memorial Day vigil to honor our Iraq/Afghanistan war dead and to decry the wars. This is how Peg lived her life. Her energy for and dedication to social and economic justice were boundless.

I met and began working with Peg in 1983 when a group of St. Augustinians, aware of the continuing madness of the escalating global nuclear arms race, decided to form St. Augustine Seeds For Peace. Over the next year we educated, vigiled, demonstrated, petitioned, and managed to place a nuclear weapons freeze referendum on the St. Augustine city election ballot. Living in a conservative town in a conservative state in a conservative region of the country we hoped that our efforts would at least reach a few. On election night, however, as we gathered around Peg’s TV to watch the returns come in, our expectations were far surpassed. The citizenry of our town voted 2 to 1 in favor of the freeze. We subsequently notified our mayor, town council, county commission, governor and Presidents Reagan and Gorbochov of the will of the people of St. Augustine.

Peg was instrumental as one of the founding members of Seeds For Peace. A sprightly 72-years old at the time, her passion helped propel us forward despite many obstacles. We frequently met in her simple but comfortable home to decide tactics and strategy, and her hospitality abounded. We always felt at home at Peg’s place. Her door was always open and the food and wine flowed.

She was then and continued to be a strong advocate for using consensus as our decision-making process in order to keep the playing field level for all involved. She was not afraid to speak her mind, and she was often the lone dissenting voice when a group was leaning toward a decision that may have been too aggressive or disrespectful. Peg operated from a center of committed activism, but that activism was always to be civil, non-violent and educative. She was arrested several times for standing up in the face of the corporate/ military machine, civilly and disobediently, for her beliefs.

Over the decades I grew to love and respect Peg even more for the way she handled our disagreements. She had her own way of doing things, but she was also open to persuasion and new information and she never let our tiffs get in the way of our ultimate goals.

Since 2002 Peg and I worked together with many others in St. Augustine People For Peace and Justice, a group formed six months prior to the illegal US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Without Peg this group would probably not have come together, at least as soon and as powerfully as it did. Her long-term standing in the local and regional peace and justice communities and her call to action were heard loud and clear by those of us who knew that the US was headed toward a colossal mistake and felt the need to act. Now, after 5 years, millions of deaths and displacements and trillions of dollars, we can thank Peg for galvanizing an active, committed group that still stands strong against the Bush Corporation’s Iraq War. Our regular demonstrations have witnessed this country turn from a misguided and blindly vengeful warmongering to a nation that now sees clearly through the lies and is more than ready for change.

Peg had irons in too many political fires to recount here, but I’ll mention a few in which she participated during the last quarter of her life when I knew her. She founded and coordinated the local chapter of Grandparents For Peace and sent out regular newsletters. She unwaveringly supported Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, the St. Augustine - Baracoa Friendship Association, and numerous national labor and antiwar organizations including the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power In Space. She was a regular attendee at the annual demonstrations against the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, GA, where the US trains and supplies international terrorists. She attended and spoke at countless demonstrations all over the southeastern US. She was an integral member of the Florida Coalition For Peace and Justice and co-founded their ongoing summer Peace Camp for kids. She and Paul Archetko organized the annual St. Augustine Earth Day celebration. She actively supported women’s and gay rights. And it was Peg McIntire who spearheaded the People For Peace and Justice Peace Scholarship, now renamed the Peg McIntire Peace Scholarship, an award given annually to a local, peace-minded high school graduate. She did all this and more while working at a local candle shop and enjoying many other social activities.

Peg thought globally, acted locally, and in her century gave inspiration and hope for a more just world to tens of thousands of people across generations. She was a true patriot and an engaged citizen of the world. She loved to sing and dance and to celebrate life, not averse to telling the occasional off-color joke. Well into her 90’s Peg enjoyed the beach, nature, and wading in her pool with friends. She was an avid supporter of local artists, musicians, writers and the now banned street performers. She regularly volunteered at the annual Gamble Rogers Folk Festival and attended many other local music and arts events. Peg loved being a part of our creative, dynamic, progressive community.

It’ll take at least ten full-time, committed activists to fill Peg’s shoes. Her presence is sorely missed by those who knew and worked with her. Just a few hours before her passing it was my privilege to hold her hand, thank her for all the work she’d done and for the strength she’d given me, and to tell her that I loved her.

Peg’s memorial celebration will attempt to reflect and honor the many aspects of her full and productive life. It will take place on Monday, June 30, from 6 to 9 PM at the St. Augustine Beach pavilion. All are welcome to this potluck, musical, reminiscent evening of tribute to a true global heroine.

Tom Santoni

May 24-26, 2008 Memorial Day Weekend


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, and there is evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War.

The first official Memorial Day was commemorated in 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves by over 5,000 volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery. This Memorial Day, we ask you to take time to remember and honor those who gave their lives, take time to reflect upon the sacrifices they and their families made in our name.

Last year, Cindy Sheehan left the Democratic Party on Memorial Day stating that "I do not have any hope in them... but I have a lot of hope in the American people".
Cynthia McKinney said in her speech, Dreaming of a True Memorial Day, "We, the American people, have been lied to. Our young men and women are dying in a far-off land; those of us who dissent are spied upon by an Administration that violates the Constitution. Our economy has been wrecked by massive theft occurring in the guise of war and disaster profiteering. Our tax money has been used to fly people to places around the world so they can be tortured-whether they're guilty of anything or not. And innocent people all over the planet die as a result of policies carried out in our name that include subversion, sabotage, terrorism, torture, death squads, and drug trafficking. " [http://www.counterpunch.org/mckinney05292007.html]


Even John Edwards, in his 2007 Memorial Day Video challenged us:
This Memorial Day Weekend,
Don't stand quietly,
Don't just go to picnics,
Don't just gather with your friends.
Engage in an act of Patriotism,
Show how much you love this country
and speak out in support of our troops and bring an end to this war.


This Memorial Day Weekend, a national call has been heard to not just decorate the tombs of the fallen but to decorate the highways of America! All across the country, CODEPINK and impeachment groups will hang banners calling for impeachment on highway overpasses during the Memorial Day weekend of May 24 through May 26.
In the Bay Area, CODEPINK and an alliance of impeachment groups will join forces to banner on Memorial Day in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Palo Alto. With thousands of motorists on the highways for this long weekend, it's a perfect time to get the message across with freeway blogging.

Freeway Blogger Video: Bright sun shiny day IMPEACH



Here's some great videos of the freeway blogger [http://www.freewayblogger.com] if you need some inspiration! 300,000 cars go by every 24 hours in one location of this video, how many cars go by your closest freeway? Prepare and Get your banners ready! The Revolution Starts Now.
Freeway Blogger Video: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND A HOW TO


SLOGANS FOR SIGNS
Honor our Veterans/No More WAR
Honor our Veterans/IMPEACH the War Criminals
Honor our Veterans/IMPEACH NOW!
No more Memorial Days!

HOW TO for Highway Signs
From AustinImpeach.org
1. Find cardboard (any old box will do).
2. Cut it to the size you want.
3. Paint it white (cheap gallon of white paint - $4-$8)
4. Paint your message in large black letters (at least 9 inches tall to read from freeway). I use an overhead projector to make it look professional - no need to do this.
5. Attach to visible overpasses, telephone/electrical poles, guardrails, parking garages - BE CREATIVE... but remember safety first always!!
6. REPEAT!! And don't forget to take lots of photos!

From Beachblogger http://www.beachblogger.net/bwtm/index.php?title=Freewayblogging_workshop#classic:_cardboard_mining.2C_white_paint.2C_black_paint.2C_brushes.2C_projector
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
Some highway bloggers prefer to make a permanent banner and hold it instead of attaching and leaving the scene. Here's a how to make a fabric banner but remember to sew sand into the bottom if it's going to be windy. There are also some good tips here if the police arrive: <http://codepinkalert.org/downloads/L.A.BannerDropping.pdf>


  • Be respectful, but unafraid. We pay the police to protect us. We are patriotic Americans giving up our free time to defend the Constitution, which is under attack by this band of corporate thugs who have been stealing our money to pay for their wars for profit, causing us to be hated around the world, and putting us in danger of further terrorist attack at home.
  • If the police order you to remove the attachments you must do so. The law says you are allowed to hold the banner with your hands.
  • If they decide your banner is a traffic hazard, you will have to remove it.
  • Try to negotiate, citing the huge billboard ads and use of cell phones by drivers. Ask if it would be ok to stay a few minutes longer... just ten or fifteen minutes, and then do as they say. This way you maintain good rapport and they might even look the other way the next time they see you.

MORE POLICE TIPS:

  • Is it Legal? NO & YES! http://freewayblogger.com/legal.htm
  • Think carefully about your words, movement, body language, and emotions.
  • Don't get into an argument with the police.
  • Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you.
  • Keep your hands where the police can see them.
  • Don't run. Don't touch any police officer.
  • Don't resist even if you believe you are innocent.
  • Don't complain on the scene or tell the police they're wrong or that you're going to file a complaint.
  • Do not make any statements regarding the incident.
  • Ask for a lawyer immediately upon your arrest.
  • Remember officers' badge and patrol car numbers.
  • Write down everything you remember ASAP.
  • Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers.
  • If you are injured, take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible, but make sure you seek medical attention first.
  • If you feel your rights have been violated, file a written complaint with police department's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board.

OTHER Memorial Day IDEAS

  • Impeachment Barbecue! Serve Cheney & Bush Shiskabobs with M-Peach-Mint Pie.
  • March in your local Memorial Day parade.
  • Decorate your local Memorials for Veterans and hold a silent vigil at 3pm on Monday.
  • Honor the women who have died in Iraq serving our country
    For those who want to read the names, see List of Casualties by STATE:
  • Have a Teach In for IMPEACHMENT
  • Collect signatures for IMPEACHMENT
  • FLY your US flag upside down as a sign that our country in is distress

OTHER RESOURCES:

IMPEACHMENT
Charges and Evidence: Impeachment of George W. Bush from http://www.impeachforpeace.org/evidence/

  • 1. Illegal War
  • 2. Illegal Spying *Update - Recently Found Guilty by District Court
  • 3. Geneva Convention Violations *Update -Found Guilty by the Federal Supreme Court
  • 4. Illegal Detention *Update - Found Guilty by District Court
  • 5. Illegal Release of Classified Information
  • 6. Illegal Freezing of accounts and restriction to freedom of assembly *Update - Found Guilty by District Court
  • 7. Illegal use of signing statements

Bush Iran Mobile touring thru Florida!

Keep an eye out for it!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 6:30 PM
Iraq Veterans Against the War UF Winter Soldier Forum
Presbyterian Disciples of Christ Church
1402 West University, Gainesville, adjacent to UF


Iran Mobile in Lake Worth, FL Sunday, April 4, 2008

We had a great last minute HiGH NOON missile sighting on Lake Worth Beach today! Three of us diehard Pinks plus a couple of women from Lake Worth Dem Club and Beverley's sister and aunt joined us spur of the moment after she called them at ten to twelve!
Beautiful sunny day and we got quite a few signers on their way to the beach and lots of attention. ~ Hillary [Not Clinton]

By the way, anybody got a smoke machine? Aaron has burned out two of them.

In St. Augustine Friday, April 4, 2008

Iran Mobile Launches Bush Bomb to Stop Attack on Iran

If you get the chance to see this, you will love it! I helped to stop traffic so it could park in front of Bus Boys & Poets in DC on Sunday March 16 during the CODEPINK party and boy did it draw a crowd! We got lots of signatures and some good street discussion.
Aaron still has some available time slots open if you want him to show up at your action so email him your requests. He's soon heading northwest to Tampa, over to Orlando, north to Gainesville and then to Tallahassee. Email Aaron: aaron@truemajority.org or 917-273-0406 Keep checking http://www.codepinkalert.org/florida for the latest updates for the rest of the Bush Iran Mobile Florida tour.
video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKBlz_6Y-U4

5 Years Too Many


Several members of CODEPINK Orlando and CODEPINK UCF travelled to DC for the 5th Anniversary of the Iraq War. On 3/18/08, we marched down the National Mall with a 14 x 30 foot long replica of the Constitution to visualize the restoration of this document and what peace would like if we were able to stop the war.


Dressed in Colonial clothing, our students did a great job of carrying this symbolic paper and rang the bell loudly for Democracy!


They also participated in the STOP-LOSS congress action, Winter Soldier, the CODEPINK party at Bus Boys & Poets for our vets and the St. Patricks Day parade.

see http://www.codepinkorlando.blogspot.com for more photos.

4000 Deaths ~ 170 in Florida

Last year on this day, we all had hoped that we would not be gathering again. After 5 years of the War in Iraq, we have now arrived at the sad milestone of 4000 American soldiers killed in Iraq. Regretfully, the time has now come to mourn and share our heartfelt sorrow at this agonizing loss to our nation and our people once again.

Many CODEPINK chapters will host memorial vigilS this Monday, March 24.
For more information about vigils in your area, contact these coordinators:
GAINESVILLE ~ jacque@codepinkalert.org

ORLANDO ~ www.codepinkorlando.blogspot.com or email codepinkorlando@gmail.com

SARASOTA ~ bellaespana@verizon.net and/or lcmitch78@yahoo.com

SOUTH FL WPB ~ spiderhill@usa.net
The vigil will be at the Mall at Wellington Green, 7:00pm Corner of West Forest Hill Blvd and 441, Wellington, FL the evening after the PB Post announces the 4000th death

SW FL Ft MYERS ~ hrauen@comcast.net
TALLAHASSEE ~ codepinktally@yahoo.com
TAMPA BAY ~ codepinktampabay@yahoo.com and/or tarotlaydee@gmail.com
UCF University of Central Florida ~ xofashionkillaxo@aol.com
VOLUSIA/FLAGLER ~ RSVP: cassydoan@aol.com

Please bring flowers, candles and signs. You are also welcome to bring any other items or props to this vigil. Some cities are doing chalkings of the bodies with the numbers of the US and Iraqi casualties on the sidewalks outside their congressional offices. Some women are dressing in black and wailing in the streets. Some are wearing black armbands with the number 4000, some will be wearing pink tape with the number 4000, some are marching and closing down intersections to draw attention to this travesty and some will be reliving the day they were informed that their loved one was dead.

Regretfully, 4,000 is just the tip of the iceberg. According to CBS, we currently have 120 veterans committing suicide every week or an average of 17 every day. One third of our soldiers have reported to being raped or had an attempted rape during their service. Over 40,000 Iraq veterans have returned home with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, loss of limbs and/or severe head trauma. Their families now bear a heavy burden and are suffering from physical and mental abuse, loss of their homes, jobs and loved ones.

Nobel Laureate Stephen Stiglitz of Columbia and Harvard University public finance Professor Laura Bilmes estimate War costs to be 3 trillion now and the service (interest) on the debt alone will amount to $900 billion. Gas, Bread, Milk and eggs have risen to all time highs in our country and the dollar is pitiful in the world markets. It is not going to get any better, any time soon. In fact, most experts are predicting even worse economic times to come.

Yet the national media has all but ignored the peace movement and entirely ignored testimonies last week of the Iraq veterans who spoke at Winter Soldier. The Washington Post only covered this event in the local section of their paper and none of the major television stations even bothered to show up to hear OUR veterans speak! Testimony by Vets at WINTER SOLDIER: http://ivaw.org/wintersoldier/testimony/video

We do not know accurately how many lives have been devastated in Iraq but the chaos and constant trauma has left no one untouched or unaffected. It's possible that over a million have now died and we know that millions more have been displaced and/or had their daily lives destroyed. I hope that YOU will hear this call to action and let your voices be heard.

5YearsofWar.com Event in Tampa 3/19

http://www.5yearsofwar.com
(PICS ARE COMING!)

Tampa streets right around the Federal Courthouse Building came alive this afternoon with the people that the US and our government controlled media can no longer consider "fringe." The majority of American people don't support the war, but they support the troops by insisting that our government bring them home from Iraq. After 5 years of war, it was again, time for this message had to be heard by our leaders since we are not seeing the real cost of this war on our TVs during the evening news and the War is largely ignored by our printed mainstream media.

This event began at 315PM this afternoon with several of the protesters who were veterans gathering together early to meet with the representative from Senator Bill Nelson's office. The meeting was scheduled to let the Senator know that his decisions and his votes do not represent the will of the people. The Senator's assistant was fully engaged in the conversation, took notes, asked questions and assured us that she would make sure that the Senator would know what we discussed and that the questions we had for him would be followed up.

People started to gather on the corner of Florida and Cass Streets, people from many peace groups, faiths, old, young, college aged, kids, families, even doggies for peace (one had a sweater embellished with ALL WE NEED IS LOVE!). "V" was there, a Bush-masked protestor with blood on his hands, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, members of CAIR and the Bhuddist Peace Fellowship, Pax Christi, USF students, WMNF people, interviewers from the network affiliates, interviewees, and peaceful children, a few with signs they made themselves.

Some of the young people had sidewalk chalk and started drawing on the sidewalk in front of the federal courthouse, then moved across the street to chalk up a huge wall, the length of the city block with some very cool graffitti. There were singers and guitarists, chanting, drumming and people just communing with one another in peace, love and fellowship. Photographers dashed in and out of the crowd trying to get their perfect shots. Organizers chanted on the bullhorns and got the others chanting back and forth. At one count there were 350 people lined up on both sides of the street. The Federal Courthouse security officials watched from the top steps of the building and the police were on the corner observing everyone. As the offices in the downtown area closed for the day, the traffic increased to the rush hour surge, and many people waved and honked their approval of what we were doing as they drove by.

Some of the older children, covered in fake blood, laid down as if dead on the makeshift memorial of shoes that had been displayed on the sidewalk in front of the Courthouse to demonstrate the human cost of war, the death of the innocents. The real numbers of the dead and the real cost of war needs to be noted on this 5th year of the war! Citizens for a Legitimate Government states the following today in their latest report: "...no one knows how many Iraqis have been killed in the five years since the invasion. Estimates put the toll at between 100,000 and one million. 19 Mar 2008 The British polling firm Opinion Research Business (ORB) asked 1,720 Iraqi adults last summer if they had lost family members by violence since 2003; 16% had lost one, and 5% two. Using the 2005 census total of 4,050,597 households in Iraq, this suggests 1,220,580 deaths since the invasion."

That is not even counting the almost 4,000 American soldiers as of this writing and that is the count of those that died in battle, not the numbers of the wounded who died later, at hospitals in Germany or the US, and others that committed suicide later as a result of the emotional and mental trauma they suffered from or those that have suffered and later died from Depleted Uranium and it's disastrous effects. The numbers of the dead the mainstream media give us are skewed!

You and your family are paying dearly for this war! As of right now, this war has cost EACH AMERICAN $16,000! This is as if you opened your checkbook and wrote the check yourself! It is time that the truth about this war is told to the American people. If the media will not do it, WE WILL by becoming the media ourselves. Get up off of the couch, find a local peace group, get active, be engaged, write, call, email, your representatives, ask questions, find out their take on the issues, ask them why they are not representing YOU, after all YOU are paying them with your tax dollars. Spread the word about this unjust war to your family, friends, colleagues, and blog, email, join online forums and stay busy expressing your views to anyone that will listen. Never give up! We can DO THIS!

Florida State Wide Actions in March


Upcoming Events:
Bartow, FL
5 Years Peace Vgil- 03/19
Big Pine Key, FL
5th Anniversary of the Iraq War Vigil- 03/19
Boca Raton, FL
Eyes Wide Open Exhibit - 3/18/08- 03/18
Brooksville, FL
5 Year Iraq War Action- 03/19
Daytona Beach, FL
5 Year Anti-War Demonstration Against the Iraq Occupation- 03/19
Deerfield Beach, FL
Deerfield Vigil- 03/15
Delray Beach, FL
Stand Where You Are- 03/19
Delray Beach, FL
"5 Years Too Many" Vigil Against the War- 03/19
Doral, FL
Witness to Human Cost of US Occupation- 03/19
Gainesville, FL
5th Anniversary of the War- 03/19
Jacksonville, FL
Walk Through the Parks- 03/16
Melbourne, FL
5 Years Too Long- 03/19
Miami Beach, FL
Arlington South Beach: Honor the Fallen- 03/19
Miami Beach, FL
Arlington South Beach: Honor the Fallen- 03/15
Naples, FL
5th anniversary invasion of Iraq- 03/19
Ocala, FL
Vigil to mourn 5 years of war- 03/19
Sunset Vigil- 03/19
Orlando, FL
All out against the War- 03/20
Orlando, FL
CODEPINK "Walk in their shoes" Exhibit- 03/20
Pensacola, FL
Protest 5 Years of War- 03/19
Port Charlotte, FL
OUT OF IRAQ- 03/19
Sanibel., FL
Silent Peace Vigil- 03/19
Sarasota, FL
5 Years Too Many- 03/19
Satellite Beach, FL
EYES WIDE OPEN FLORIDA- 03/15
South, FL
Stand where you are- 03/19
St. Augustine, FL
Anti-War Protest and Street Theater- 03/15
St. Augustine, FL
5 Years Too Many Protest & Vigil- 03/19
Tallahassee, FL
Reading of the Names and Candle Light Vigil- 03/19
Tallahassee, FL
5 Years TOO Many- 03/19 Hosted By CodePINK Tallahassee & Tallahassee Network for Justice and Peace
Tampa, FL
5 Year Iraq War Action- 03/19
Wellington, FL
5 Years Too Many, No More Wars- 03/19
Your Town!, FL
Stand where you are- 03/19

Nelson for Vice President?


Vice President Bill Nelson?
Sen. Nelson says that decision
would have to come this summer.
Watch the interview

Bill Nelson a vice president candidate?
Saturday, February 23, 2008

Vice President Bill Nelson? Sen. Nelson says that decision would have to come this summer.
(AP) -- Florida Senator Bill Nelson says he would consider the Number two job in Washington. The two-term Democratic lawmaker is traveling the state while the Senate is on a short recess. He fielded questions from about 65 people in DeLand Thursday, including one about whether he would consider being a vice presidential candidate. Nelson laughed and noted that decision would have to come after the Democratic National Convention in August.

Nelson also spoke to Bay News 9's Al Ruechel and Howard Troxler from the St. Petersburg Times about the VP possibility. That interview will be broadcast Sunday at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Political Connections. He noted the importance of winning Florida if a candidate is going to win the presidency. Watch the interview

Counter-Protesters 101

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster." ~ Nietzsche

1. BE PEACE KEEPERS
If we want our leaders to be ambassadors of peace then we must take the lead and be role models. Role Model Peaceful behavior prior to, during and after the action! On September 15th 2007 the Iraq Veterans Against the War led a 100,000 strong march of anti-war protesters from the White House to the Capitol building. They were supported by the Veterans for Peace. Along the way the marchers were harassed by a pro-war gathering. "Their own actions speak louder than words", watch this video and see if you don't agree: http://youtube.com/watch?v=YlbU5ubDy30 A classic CODEPINK video showing how we truly model peaceful behavior and encourage all to do the same!

And Words from Medea Benjamin:
Be nice. Take the high road. Give peace signs. Blow kisses. Don’t yell.

2. KNOW THY ENEMY
The Gathering of Eagles [GOE], Rolling Thunder and other groups can and will do many things to try and upset a peaceful action but they look like total fools with their bulging eyeballs and their mouths screaming obscenities at beautiful smiling [pink] women and men who are emitting love, peace and tolerance.

So who are these counter-protester people? Well, I suspect that many of them are white supremacists. In this video the guy actually says "like one guy at OUR Nazi's march" so This video is only 3 minutes and it is very weird listening to a KKK talk about how to handle the hippies at a march. The Nazi comment is at the 1:45 mark. http://youtube.com/watch?v=mUD9RTtmkyM&mode=related&search

3. ORGANIZE TRAININGS
Prior to Oct 27, 2007 in Orlando*, we held three trainings regarding non-violent action and peace-keeping, one conference call, one meeting centrally located and one meeting at the University of Central Florida for the many students who were planning on attending our rally and march. We also sent emails to all 85 groups involved and hardly any one on our side of the barricades acted out or was aggressive. We also had Peace-Keepers walking throughout the march. These trainings proved to be very important and effective.

4. PUBLICIZE AND DISTRIBUTE WIDELY!
Are you expecting counter-protesters at your event? Let the media know that many of these Pro-War folks are very nasty and have specifically targeted CODEPINK and FRIENDS (Quakers) in recent months in many cities around the country. They have screamed and cursed at us, ripped up peace signs and photos of our loved ones who have died in Iraq, even spit on the Veterans for Peace. Let them and everyone know that you intend to show the world a different way to protest! Let the media know that you will not engage these people in argument or word-slinging, that you respect their right to be there and will only act in a peaceful and powerful way to lift up your voices and Stop the War NOW. It's imperative for you to encourage the media to be responsible and get this message out BEFORE your event!

5. BRING IN THE CLOWNS

Invite everyone to join your group including the Clowns (especially the clowns!), artists, anarchist, activists and green groups to creatively and nonviolently confront these Pro-War supporters. Invite Artists to bring chalk and fill the sidewalks with Peace talk and to be part of your banner making, costumes and any other creative visuals you plan on relating to the war.

And don't forget street theater groups! Below is a part of an article about the "Bride Power" clowns that performed at the Nazi rally in Tennessee. Take a look and see if your group has any inspirations for a similar type of public response to the "Gathering of Eagles" or whoever is planning on crashing your party. From http://asheville./indymedia.org/article/107Clowns:

  • White Power! the Nazi's shouted, White Flour? the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt White Flour
  • White Power! the Nazi's angrily shouted once more, White flowers? the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
  • White Power! the Nazi's tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, ohhhhhh! the clowns yelled Tight Shower! and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.
  • At this point several of the Nazi's and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed White Power!
  • The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. Ohhhhh... the women clowns said. Now we understand...
  • WIFE POWER! they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!

6. BE PEACE KEEPERS**
On Friday September 14th, the evening before a mass anti-war mobilization in Washington DC, the Rolling Thunder pro-war motorcycle veterans showed up at the CODEPINK house IN DC. What began as threatening posturing, turned into an engaging dialog between the two groups who are political polar opposites. See Video below ~ CODEPINK DC ROCKS!

"Rolling Thunder" Pro-War Vets Group Visits CODEPINK at Home! http://codepinkdc.blogspot.com/2007/09/rolling-thunder-pro-war-vets-group.html



*For the Oct27 rally here in Orlando, the GEO announced that they would be coming out strong. Since we have so many retired and x military here in Florida, we were expecting 1,000 to 2,000 of them. On the day of the event, the 25 to 35 GOEs hung out on their corner but by the time the march reached that location, it was pouring down rain and they all looked like a bunch of drowned rats. We ignored them, literally and smiled at the cops in full riot gear, waiving our peace signs and telling them "thank you" for keeping the peace. It was almost a let down for some but not for me. A beautiful march it was!

**It's doubley important!

For Tampa Pinks--check out the new MySpace page..

...for St. Pete for Peace.
http://www.myspace.com/stpeteforpeace
On it there is a flyer for March 19 PEACE ACTIONS in Tampa and Brooksville!
For more info and/or details, contact me here:
codepinktampabay@yahoo.com
You can find us Tampa Pinks at the following listserv and MySpace profile page:
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/codepinktampabay
or
http://www.myspace.com/codepinktampabay
C U in the streets!

Peace Ribbon Project

If you have never seen the Peace Ribbon Project...


This panel was made for Cindy's son.

No More War for Oil!

No more murder of innocent human beings
Bring the Troops Home Now!
As we near 4,000 troops dead, consider making the trip to
see this beautiful and inspirational installation.

Ann Wright Book Tour in Florida by Lydia


CODEPINK Florida women Monica, Leslie, Deidra, Sheri, Lydia and 6 UCF women joined forces in putting together the most fantastic and fun book signing tour ever for the beloved Col. Ann Wright and her book "DISSENT - Voices of Conscience". Tons of Kudos also to Mike Fox, Jeannie Toth and Samm Simpson in the Tampa/Clearwater/ St. Petersburg area, Faith Fippenger in Sarasota, Michael Heaney for his contacts, Dr. Dennis Jett and Mabel at UF and John Bersia and Stephanie at UCF. Finally, a special thanks to Scott and Sherrie Camil, Veterans For Peace in Gainesville.


Here's what we did: Ann touched down in Sarasota on Thursday, Jan 24th. Ann remarked that it was the "geriatric flight" - cracked her up. Faith Fippenger, Monica Spain and I met her and headed home to meet Marco Bell of Marco and Monica/CODEPINK Sarasota. Monica was the point person for the Sarasota News and Books event later that evening. Ann was introduced by Arnie Schmidz from the Southwest Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice. She gave the most wonderful talk. She autographed books at every event which was really special for all who attended. After a great talk we headed up the street to a wonderful Two Senoritas Restaurant, compliments of the CODEPINK Sarasota women (there were, by the way, a number of them at the event - you know who you are :-D)

We were up early, had a wonderful breakfast and Ann started her radio interviews. There were many, many radio interviews. Some in the car, some at homes, one in a fancy pancy resort parking lot in South Florida area and even in offices outside of speaking engagements. It was amazing to see how she juggled all of those calls. Early Friday, Marco got us packed, ready and off we went to meet Deidra and her daughter in Orlando.

Our housing host was the amazing Leslie Klein, also CODEPINK Orlando. Deidra was the point person for Friday's events in Orlando. We landed at Leslie's awesome place first where we rested and got ready for a wonderful dinner at the Thai House Restaurant and the meal was just delicious. Deidra, her daughter and Sheri Heitker joined us along with retired military men and women from the Unitarian church. The Vietnam veterans shared lots of stories. Joseph R. DuRocher and his wife Rosemary related their experiences and feelings when Joe sent his Naval Aviator Wings and his shoulder boards to President Bush with his letter protesting the war in Iraq. Check Ann's web page at http://www.voicesofconscience/ for his letter. We were all glad to hear that the White House returned his honors intact with a letter of regret.

CODEPINK Orlando had also made arrangements for Ann to speak at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Orlando. We were met there by a new college CODEPINK group of women from the University of Central Florida. They supported the Friday night event at the church and also the following Tuesday afternoon event at UCF. This totally awesome group of young women will be at the CODEPINK House during the March actions. Ann's talk was great and she signed lots and lots of books there also.

We left Leslie's on Saturday morning to head back down south to meet Mike Fox and his awesome gang in the Tampa/Clearwater/ St. Pete area. We started with a well attended event on the University of South Florida campus. After about an hour of speaking and signing books Mike took us to their weekly protest across the street from the Veterans Hospital in Tampa. Lots of South Florida peacemaker activists were holding IMPEACH and Troops Out Now signs and banners. Mike had also arranged for a television interview with FOX NEWS and Ann was able to put the word out about her book at that action. We stayed for a while at the action, then headed to Jeannie Toth's home for a 2 night stay. Jeannie has completely remodeled this place, practically on her own, Ann and I couldn't believe it. Wonderful. Mike stayed close by and things ran smooth as silk.


We ate some chilli, washed up and headed to the First Unitarian Church to meet the amazing Samm Simpson. Samm introduced Ann but first the most amazing singer (he sang "Abraham, Martin and John") brought the mood of freedom into the room. Ann gave the most amazing talk that night. She talked about herself a little more on this talk - she is a true patriot and a real rabble rouser! Saturday was a really great day.Sunday we were up early for a event at The Beach Theater, an alternative movie theater in a funky part of town.

It was the weekend of the arts fair and the weather was fantastic, even a little cool, always breezy. We watched part of "Why We Fight" and then Ann spoke to a moderate crowd of really interested activists. Mostly older women this day. Ann signed books and met new admirers. We headed right out to a luncheon/fund raising event at Ferg's Restaurant. Again, Mike, Jeannie and Samm got a great group of heros and activists together. We had burgers, chicken, salad and drinks. Ann spoke for a short time and also got to do a newspaper interview with "Military Times" - a magazine that makes it to veterans everywhere.

"DISSENT - Voices of Conscience" will now be on the "reading list" in that paper - a major step toward getting to those folks who aren't "in the choir". Ann wants to get her message to everyone. Our day wasn't over then. Our next stop was a wonderful meal at Leo's Restaurant where Samm was able to join with supporters and once again introduce Ann to those who attended. It was a long day and a very busy weekend but we sold tons of books. Mike Fox and company put together a fantastic weekend and we had a wonderful time. It was a long day - the food was wonderful.

After hot showers and a good night's sleep we had a little time to just hang out with Jeannie on Monday morning. Ann started radio interviews, we had a good breakfast and then headed back up to Orlando to our hotel at the University of Central Florida. Ann did a couple of radio interviews on the way. My brain is so full of the most awesome talks and answers to questions. The University of Central Florida arranged for a beautiful room at the Raddison Hotel. We checked in, got organized and took off to meet the UCF CODEPINK women for dinner at Miss Saigon. Ann had wanted Vietnamese food and it was really good. It was great fun to get to know the UCF women better and talk more about their March `08 trip to the CODEPINK house in DC. We would see them again the next day on campus and cannot say enough good stuff about these awesome young women.

Ann had one more radio interview that evening and then we watch the final, last, end of it, finis, over, been there/done that, hasta la vista, don't let the door hit you in the ass State of the Union address by George W. Bush. Early Tuesday, the next morning, Ann met Dr. David Houghton downstairs in the Raddison restaurant for an extensive interview. Dr. Houghton also introduced Ann to the group at the UCF event later that afternoon. After the interview we went over to UCF to meet John Bersia and his office. Ann was introduced to Harriet L. Elam-Thomas who was Diplomat/Ambassador -in-Residence at UCF (2003-2005). Harriet was truly looking forward to meeting Ann and they had much to share with one another. It was really an honor to see these fantastic women who've paved the way years ahead of my time.

Soon after arriving John and his staff took us into downtown Orlando for a luncheon/forum with the Global Connections Foundation. They had their meeting, we had a nice lunch and Ann spoke briefly. After chatting and signing some books we were off once more for a talk at the University of Central Florida. We had a large student crowd and one very concerned war supporter. Ann spoke truth to power to his questions (we did have to finally say "Sir, do you have a question?" -he was going on and on and on.....) Ann mentioned she loves the conversations with those debaters and wished she had more time to talk with him. CODEPINK UCF was on the scene and Ann's talk was perfect for the student crowd.

After just over an hour we were out the door headed to the University of Florida in Gainesville. Thanks to Michael Heaney from UF who is currently working in DC, we were able to get Ann into The University of Florida. The event was sponsored by Dr. Dennis Jett and his staff at the School of International Studies . The event was well attended, mostly older activists and lots of Veterans For Peace/Gainesville. It was a wonderful talk followed by snacks and drinks. A great crowd gathered for the book signing. We took some great pictures and I will post a small slide show of the entire trip asap. We have some really fantastic pictures to share.

Next we began what was for me the most amazing and truly life affirming time of this trip. Scott and Sherrie Camil met us just outside of the University of Florida event and guided us onto the campus for Ann's talk. Scott Camil has written books, done numerous interviews and shares his story about being a Marine in Vietnam in "Winter Soldier". After the event at UF we followed Scott (at break speed by the way :-D) out to Scott and Sherrie's place. Our final night in Florida was truly activist affirming. We were welcomed with open arms by local VFP and IVAW members and their spouses. The house rambles on and on and each room is a testament to the history of the anti-war movement beginning back in the 1970's. From that time to this day they are an organized "family" of people who, combined, are doing it all. Scott and Ann spent a lot of very personal time together. Scott loaded her up with books he'd written, gave us both copies of "Winter Soldier" and VFP t-shirts and he shared a new video in progress that really shows what was happening during the Vietnam war.
I believe this effort/movie will travel our country to open the eyes of many who have no idea about what happened THEN and don't really have a clue of what is happening (to our military and to civilians in Iraq) NOW either. Ann also signed tons of books. One woman we met is an attorney who is supporting soldiers whose PTSD claims have been denied as "pre-existing conditions", PRO BONO. She bought a copy of the book for all of her employees (and she has a lot of employees) and VFP Gainesville bought a stack for their area. It was not only a great way to end the tour financially, it was probably one of the most amazing nights of my entire activist life. It was the anti-war movement past, present and future. But, for me, most importantly it was the focus of "love" and the importance of that energy in Scott and Sherrie Camil's house..

Love and communication are the fabric of the work they are doing in Gainesville, Florida. Scott told me they have been playing volley ball every single Sunday afternoon since 1979, rain, lightening, freezing cold....they play. Then they all shower up, eat a big meal and sit down to decide what they will do next week for peace. They share ideas, hammer out plans and do it as a family...... ......... .sound like any place you know :-D?

Our last night in Florida was authentic and energizing. We should all have a house like this in our own cities and towns. It was such an honor to represent CODEPINK Women For Peace all over Florida. The CODEPINK Florida women helped in a huge way with rooms, food, event locations and preparations, press, setting up tables and awesome food (CODEPINK Orlando had this fantastic sheet cake with the front of Ann's book on it- and it was edible). This trip could not have happened without them. Thanks again to Mike Fox and his unwavering dedication to peace and justice here in Florida. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone who helped, lots of people helped. Anyone who gets a chance to see Ann and get her book shouldn't hesitate one second. A night you will remember and a book you can't forget.

Peace,
Lydia

Col Ann Wright Book Readings in Florida


Retired Colonel Ann Wright
DISSENT: Voices of Conscience, Government Insiders Speal Out Against the War in Iraq.

During the run-up to war in Iraq, Ann Wright resigned her State Department post in protest. She had served in the U.S. military and diplomatic corps for 29 and 16 years respectfully, and she was among dozens of government insiders and active-duty military who spoke out, resigned, leaked documents, or refused to deploy. In Dissent: Voices of Conscience, she and coauthor Susan Dixon tell the stories of these men and women, who risked careers, reputations, and even freedom out of loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law. Join us to celebrate the publication of Ann's new book.

[TOUR Schedule below] More about Ann: http://www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/speakers/206.html


VIDEO LINKS

Shut Down Guantanamo!
Colonel (Ret.) Ann Wright speaking at the meeting the night before the demonstration at the US Southern Command in Miami, Florida.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=pV4go_QU3n8

International Human Rights Day
At a White House rally, on Dec. 10, 2007, Col. (Ret) Ann Wright sharply criticized the Bush-Cheney Gang for condoning torture around the world; and for its use of rendition (kidnapping) to send detainees to other countries that torture.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXqDdg02S14

BOOK SIGNING TOUR SCHEDULE ~ In Florida Jan 24 - 29, 2008
Thursday, Jan 24, 2008
6:00 PM ~ Sarasota News and Books 1341 Main Street Sarasota, Florida 34236
http://www.sarasotanewsandbooks.com/ Andrew Foley 941-323-2310

Friday, Jan 25, 2008
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm ~ The First Unitarian Church of Orlando
1901 East Robinson Street Orlando, Florida 32803 codepinkorlando@gmail.com

Saturday, Jan 26, 2008
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm ~ Peace Forum: Ann Keynote
USF Campus (Specific Rm TBA. Call Mike)
4202 E. Fowler Ave., ADM241 Tampa, Fl 33620 Contact Mike Fox, 727-320-4502

7:30 pm-9:00 pm ~ Unitarian Universalist Church
2470 Nursery Rd Clearwater, FL 33764 Contact Mike Fox, 727-320-4502

Sunday, Jan 27, 2008
10:00 am - 12:00 pm ~ Free Peace Film/Ann Speaks/
Mingler Beach Theater, 315 Corey Ave. St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
Contact: Mike Fox, 727-320-4502

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm ~ Ann Speaks At Samm Simpson Fundraising Lunch
Ferg's 1320 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33705 Contact Mike Fox, 727-320-4502

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm ~ Ann Speaks At Samm Simpson Fundraising Dinner
Leo's Italian Restaurant, 2900 Alt 19 Palm Harbor Contact Mike Fox, 727-320-4502

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008
11:45 am - 1:30 pm (Ann will speak for 10-15 minutes)
Regional Round Table Luncheon Orlando, Florida

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ~ University of Central Florida Student Union Bldg.
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816-0003 E-mail contact: global@mail.ucf.edu

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM ~ University of Florida
Arredondo Room (Reitz Union) Gainesville, FL E-mail MCardec@ufic.ufl.edu

"When the actions of government become dangerous to the security of the nation, it takes a special courage for men and women inside the government to speak out. If we care about keeping democracy alive, we must welcome this book." —Howard Zinn"

Ann Wright is not one to be silenced." —Ms. Magazine

For more information, contact 850-241-3191, or visit http://www.voicesofconscience.com/

Dissent: Voices of Conscience, by Colonel (Ret.) Ann Wright and Susan Dixon • Foreword by Daniel EllsbergTrade Paperback Original • 296 pages • $17.95 • ISBN 9780977333844Published by Koa Books • www.koabooks.comDistributed to the trade by SCB Distributors, www.scbdistributors.com

Miami January 2008 Press Links


PRESS

"A political protest in the streets of Miami boiled over on Saturday, when several hundred people from the Cuban community clashed with a group of activists. "

Here's the link that takes you to the clip directly. http://cbs4.com/video/?id=46104@wfor.dayport.com
Some GREAT quotes from the day!

  • "The US Government is harboring a terrorist. And George Bush has said that any country that harbors terrorists is guilty of terrorism." Medea Benjamin
  • Tighe Barry speaking to a police officer:
    " They do not have permits to carry ten foot polls and with points on the end. That I know is a fact. Now why you don't, you do not follow the rule of law. When the rule of law breaks down, Democracy breaks down. When Democracy breaks down, Anarchy takes place. And what we saw in the streets of Miami was Anarchy! "

Another article from the MIAMI HERALD: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_dade/story/376973.html
Cuban exile militant stirs up foes, fans By David Quinones dquinones@MiamiHerald.com


Photos by Ricardo Lopez/ Miami Herald Staff

Awesome Slide Show of the Shut Down Guantanamo Rally:
http://www.miamiherald.com/multimedia/miami/shutgitmo/

Guantanamo Prison Protests at SouthCom in Doral
http://cbs4.com/local/Guantanamo.prison.camps.2.627676.html

DORAL (CBS4) ―
Demonstrators, joined by the national anti-war Code Pink movement, were protesting near the Pentagon's Southern Command headquarters in Doral Friday morning calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison camps in Cuba.
It was coordinated worldwide by Amnesty International, marking the sixth anniversary of the opening of the camps.
Six years ago, the first 20 detainees arrived at the remote U.S. Navy base to open the offshore detention and interrogation center.
The Defense Department, which had no official comment on the anniversary, calls the prison camps a war-on-terror necessity and says captives are treated humanely.
The Southern Command overseas the Pentagon's operations in Latin America and the Caribbean and supervises the prison camps, where the United States currently holds 275 men as ``enemy combatants.''
Some of the Doral demonstrators wore orange jumpsuits synonymous with what the prisoners are clothed in.

URGENT ALERT & CALL OUT FROM MIAMI!!!
Dear Friends,
As you probably know from previous emails, our guests from CodePINK have planned to launch their Terrorist Watch Campaign focusing on Luis Posada Carriles , today, Saturday, by meeting in front of the Versailles Restaurant (3555 SW 8th St) at 11am to begin to pass out flyers calling for the arrest of this known terrorist.

The CodePINK activists have come to Miami to lead the successful protest that occurred on Friday in front of the Southern Command in Doral to demand the closing of the Guantanamo Detention Center.

After the protest on Friday members of CodePINK went to a Miami Cuban Radio station to participate in a talk show on Posada Carriles case. When they arrived they encountered a very hostile agitated audience and they debated some equally hostile radio commentators. During the show they were told that if they showed up at the Versailles they would receive a hostile response which would lead to one of them having their " head split open" by a "Castro agent posing as a Cuban right winger". Tonight Medea Benjamin, a national leader of CodePINK, received of phone call from a report from El Nuevo Herald, informing her that the Vigilancia Mambisa, Alpha 66 and other right wing Cuban groups would be holding a counter protest beginning at 10AM at the same location as the Code Pink action.

Over the past year these organizations have physically attacked 3 peaceful protests against the Bush administrations policies regarding Cuba and Venezuela. In all 3 cases First Amendment Rights were trampled upon as the protests were violently broken up with none of the violent attackers being arrested.

Today this must not be allowed to happen again. This morning we will be meeting with the City of Miami Police to facilitate their ability to enforce the law and protect our First Amendment Rights. We cannot allow a small group of right wingers to turn back the clock to a time when people in Miami lived in fear if they expressed opposition to the US policies on Cuba and Latin America. Please join us in supporting CodePINK'S right to free speech by joining them across the street from the Versailles Restaurant at 11 AM this morning. For more information please call me at 305-582-4846 or Media Benjamin at 415-235-6517
Best Regards,
Jack Lieberman
South Florida Peace & Justice Network


Doral protesters target Guantánamo
BY CAROL ROSENBERG Miami Herald Posted on Fri, Jan. 11, 2008
crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/375414.html

About 60 protesters -- many wearing trademark orange jumpsuits -- staged a street demonstration near the Pentagon's outpost in Doral Friday -- protesting the sixth anniversary of the opening of the prison camps at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Morning rush-hour motorists mostly whizzed by the demonstrators, who were chanting, ''Hey-hey, ho-ho, U.S. out of Guantánamo'' and ''Stop torture now,'' at a busy intersection at Northwest 87th Avenue and Doral Boulevard.
A few drivers honked their car and truck horns as protester Rae Newman of Miami waved a sign declaring, ``Honk 4 Peace.''
''People are somewhat complacent,'' she said, adding that the horn-honking ``goes in waves, actually. When one person honks, it gives others the courage to honk.''
The local demonstrators, joined by the national anti-war movement called Code Pink, were protesting near the U.S. Southern Command as part of a coordinated series of demonstrations called by Amnesty International.
Six years ago Friday, the first 20 detainees arrived at the remote U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba to open the offshore detention and interrogation center. Since then, nearly 800 detainees have been held there -- 275 of whom remain behind barbed wire enclosures as ``enemy combatants.''
Only two are now formally charged with crimes; two more await charges and a Pentagon official has said, in the end, the Bush administration expects to put 90 of the 275 on trial.
The Defense Department, which had no official comment on the anniversary, calls the prison camps a war-on-terror necessity and says captives are treated humanely.
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink founder, said the coordinated demonstrations across the globe were designed to send a message. ``We want the world to see another face of the American people -- one that believes in human rights and justice for all.''
Last year, for the fifth anniversary, she led a dozen people to the Cuban side of the minefield separating the isolated U.S. Navy base from Cuba proper -- and staged a vigil there. Among them were the mother and brother of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes, who was released to the British government last month and is in London awaiting a court decision on whether he will be extradited to Spain.
The Doral demonstrators fanned out on a sidewalk with banners that also declared, ''Torture is terror'' and ''Close Guantánamo.'' About a third wore the jumpsuits and held photos of war-on-terror detainees, both men since freed and some still in the prison camps.
The protesters marched up a sidewalk toward Southcom, the jumpsuits and banners serving as quirky street theater in generally businesslike Doral.
One protester brought a pet rooster, saying it symbolized ``a wake-up call for America.''
Most of the demonstrators were locals, among them Florida National Guard soldier Camilo Mejia, 32, a former staff sergeant who was busted down to private after he was convicted of desertion for refusing to serve a second tour in Iraq in 2004.
Mejia, now of Sunny Isles, served nine months in an Army prison and is now appealing his conviction.
Meantime, he said he came to protest for a ''due process'' at Guantánamo but not in support of the detainees.
``It's not about the people who are there. It's about us. Everybody's entitled to their day in court. Give them an attorney and charge them with something.''
Southcom is the Pentagon's outpost for operations in Latin America and the Caribbean and has supervised the prison camps since before they opened on Jan. 11, 2002.