Jodie Evans

Rising for a global feminist future with the movement to elect Bernie Sanders

We are a coalition of feminists contending with both our differences and our commonality in age, race, class, religion, labor, and sexual orientation. We meet at the intersection of our fluid identities. Though our experiences are different, we share a vision of a feminist future.

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We must dismantle the war machine to avoid the climate catastrophe

Here we are, a full three decades after NASA scientist James Hansen raised the specter of a looming climate crisis with Congress, looking at the first generation of severely impacted youth and telling them they’re right: We have completely squandered their future. For too long, our dominant culture has practiced unsustainable growth and consumption, ushering in the end of a habitable planet and with it civilization as we know it. Those most impacted are the communities who have contributed the least to climate change, a direct extension of the settler colonization project that has unfolded across the globe over hundreds of years.

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'You are lying': Why I confronted Trump’s destructive architect of sanctions against Iran

Last week I exposed the architect of the U.S.’s deadly ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions policy, Sigal Mandelker, in front of the United Against a Nuclear Iran conference in New York City.

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I was part of the Sanctuary Caravan — here's what I wish everyone knew about the victims of ICE

December was the month CODEPINK: Growing a Local Peace Economy was dedicating our outreach and organizing to being an ally for the asylum seekers who had just arrived in and around Tijuana below the U.S. San Diego border.

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Look Who's Making a Killing on Killing

Our investments are funding war, guns, and militarism at home and around the world. From our personal investments to state pension plans to university trusts, the money that individuals and communities are using for retirement, long-term planning, and even higher education is subsidizing violence in our backyards and other nations. The good news is we have the power to cut our ties to war, guns, and militarism by using a new web-based tool, Weapon Free Funds.

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Trump Is Turning the State Department into a Global Weapons Dealer

The Trump administration will soon announce its next move in the ongoing assault on diplomacy and human rights currently taking place in the United States. Through a plan dubbed “Buy American,” the administration is calling for U.S. attachés and diplomats to play a larger role in the sale of U.S. weapons, effectively solidifying their role as lobbyists for the arms industry rather than agents of diplomacy.

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People's Tribunal on the Iraq War Unifies Peace Movements

After 14 years of costly war based on lies, it’s time for truth and accountability. The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War will unify the global antiwar/peace movements with other justice movements by uplifting testimonies of the costs of this war. The Tribunal, organized by CodePink, will bring the lies that created the war on Iraq into public awareness, while demanding President Obama act on them. It will build and inspire the antiwar movement that we will need after the inauguration of the next administration in 2017. It will be a tool all groups can use to build, inspire and enliven their organizations and communities.

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Now More Than Ever, We Must Tell the Truth About the Iraq War

“The only silver lining of the Brexit vote is that it will reduce medium term attention on Chilcot – though it will not stop the day of publication being uncomfortable,” former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told the previous U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in a July 4th email obtained by the Intercept.

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10 Ingredients for a Local Peace Economy

This following essay appears as a chapter in the upcoming book, AfterBern (O/R Books).

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Eight Inspirations for Building a Local Peace Economy

The following is a collection of daily inspirations for building a Local Peace Economy written by Jodie Evans, CODEPINK co-founder. You can sign up for her daily inspirations here, and read her past inspirations here.

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After Over a Decade of Occupation and $1.5 Billion in US Aid, the Reality Facing Women in Afghanistan Has Barely Changed

The fate of women in Afghanistan has been the moral linchpin for the continued occupation by U.S. and NATO forces since the presidency of George W. Bush. But according to experts and women across the war-torn country, little has changed for women there despite upwards of $1.5 billion spent to empower women and girls.

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Stitching Korea Back Together After 60 Years of Military Divide

Thirty peace activists from 15 countries arrived in Beijing on May 17th.  I knew 11 of the women before arriving but most of the women knew maybe one or two others and a few knew no one.  Our work for peace and justice had taken very different paths and it was striking that many of those paths had not crossed. We spent the first day in the hotel conference room meeting each other and learning what we could about the Koreas. 

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It's the Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq. Where's the Accountability?

The first time we crossed the desert from Amman to Baghdad was 12 years ago last month. We had been holding a vigil outside the White House to say no to war on Iraq for five months. We decided we had to go for ourselves to bring back a glimpse of reality, as the White House was churning out lies the media and Congress were accepting without question. It felt like everyone had entered the fog before the war.

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The Cruelty of the American Empire Makes Mother's Day Impossible for Countless Moms Across the Planet

He disappeared more than a decade ago, just 18-years-old and teaching abroad, separated from  his family for the first time in life. His mother and father, sick with worry, heard nothing. For all they knew he was dead. Then, one day they opened a newspaper and learned their son was being held in a military prison run by the US of A, accused of – but never charged with – being an enemy of the state.

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Bush's Legacy of Atrocities Is Nowhere to Be Seen at His New Library -- and the Local Paper Won't Even Run One Ad That Tells the Truth

George W. Bush presided over an international network of torture chambers and, with the help of a compliant Congress and press, launched a war of aggression that killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. However, instead of the bloody details of his time in office being recounted at a war crimes tribunal, the former president has been able to bank on his imperial privilege – and a network of rich corporate donors that he made richer while in office – to tell his version of history at a library in Texas being opened in his name.

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Remembering the Build-up to the Iraq Invasion 10 Years Ago ... and Trying to Stop the Drone War in Pakistan Now

Update from Salon's Natasha Lennard on John Brennan's Senate hearing to be confirmed as CIA director: "Brennan had barely opened his mouth to begin his testimony when a protester interrupted him. The woman, who appears to be a member of antiwar group Code Pink, was swiftly escorted from the chamber by police at the request of Sen. Feinstein. Seconds later, a man in the chamber interrupted Brennan again, shouting against the U.S. drone program. Then another woman stood up to repeat the message. “Do your job” the protester shouted at Feinstein, decrying the death of civilians in Yemen and Pakistan. Feinstein has now asked to clear the chamber, calling a recess."

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Why Is CODEPINK Part of the Occupy Movement?

“Someday the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit!” – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones

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Blair Should Take a Journey to Jail

On Monday evening, Tony Blair was in conversation with Katie Couric at the 92nd St Y. I happened to be in town for a board meeting so headed over to a sold-out house to see if I could get in. Luck was with me as I got a ticket about 13 rows from his chair on the aisle. Blair has been traveling across the US and UK recently to promote his new memoir, A Journey. Peace activists from both countries have rightly been calling it "A Journey to Crime," and have even been taking it upon themselves to move copies of the book to the Crime section of their local bookstores.

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Why I Tried to Put the Cuffs on Karl Rove

Scroll down to the bottom for video of the event

"He wanted to do a book signing and she wanted to arrest him," was the lead on KCBS TV in Los Angeles. Dozens of activists attended the book signing in Beverly Hills of Karl Rove and his new book, Courage and Consequence. After almost an hour of his lies I leapt up with a set of handcuffs and my full page arrest complaint followed immediately by the event security. I managed to get very close to Rove, even tricking the security to let go of me, causing Rove to dash away while I reached for his wrist with the hand cuffs. My words followed him. But he only went a few steps and was greeted by Dede Miller, her nephew Casey Sheehan, son of Cindy Sheehan was killed in Iraq 6 years ago April 4th. She told him his lies killed her nephew while holding up a photo of Casey. Patricia Foulkrod, director of the Ground Truth stood by him with an Arrest the War Criminal banner as the event unraveled and he announced to the organizers it was over.

We at CODEPINK could not allow this war criminal to tout his book around the country and get away with describing anything tied to Bush as courageous. Not to mention that there has been no consequence for his constant lies. Serious lies. Lies that led the US to invade an innocent country at the cost of over 100,000 US casualties and an estimated million Iraqi lives and another 4 million displaced. Not to mention the two elections he shamelessly stole. We can't sit back and allow him to continue to spread more lies; we heard many more of them last night. Until these war criminals face justice, until they are held accountable for their crimes, the lies continue to spread creating an unreality that is at the root of the teabaggers' anger.

Everyone should treat these criminals the same, the courts may not try them, but the courts of public opinion must. Without the rule of law it is all darkness. We can't let these war criminals continue to collect $30,000 to $300,000 speaking fees while spreading more lies. This is CODEPINK's 6th attempt to arrest Rove and we invite you to join in as he continues with his book tour. Check to see when he will be near you, and can get helpful citizen arrest tips at codepinkalert.org/warcriminals. Or get a deck of our war criminal cards and find one of the 52 war criminals near you.

We at CODEPINK refuse to stop working for accountability, we cannot turn our back on Justice, by doing so we empower more liars. Government, politics, Wall Street, the media are flooded with them.

Leaving No Stone Unturned for the Freedom March to Get to Gaza

Before leaving the states, CODEPINK reached out to Mrs. Mubarak, wife of Egyptian premiere Hosni Mubarak about the Gaza Freedom March, and the government’s denial of our passage to Gaza. She had interceded on our behalf when we were having the same experience with the Egyptian Government in March, when they refused to let our buses take us to Al Arish, as they did this morning at 7 a.m. In March, we were all able to enter and deliver the thousands of pink baskets of aid to the women of Gaza for International Women’s Day.

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The Military Hides Under the Skirts of Women to Justify War in Afghanistan

For eight years, many Americans have justified the war in Afghanistan as a moral battle to "protect" Afghan women. But Afghan women tell another story: more U.S. war will bear them more suffering.

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No More Mistaken Fire

It sounds like a little boys' toy gun fight, a scuffle that, when the dust cleared, left six Afghan police and one civilian killed yesterday at the hands of shamed U.S. troops.

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Testimonials of Resistance

The hall is abuzz with the thrill of full-page spreads on the front page of every newspaper in Istanbul, and the woman next to me says with a smile that we are also on the BBC. The bank of cameras and the swarm of photographers have filled the room again this morning. Still absent at the World Tribunal on Iraq is any sign of the US media, except the cameras of Deep Dish TV.  The website got 15,000 hits from more than 100 countries.  

As the spokesperson for the Jury of Conscience, Arundhati Roy said earlier in the week, "This is what resistance looks like; if we don't show those who resort to violence alternative methods, it will be one of our failings."

For they have been forced to resist an illegal invasion of their country, what would we do if they didn't resist? Our joining together to witness the facts and the experience of those living in Iraq, and to see  this jury's evaluation within a void, where there is no rule of law -- this is our act of resistance. But it is yet another non-event in the USA.  

The mood quickly changed from the thrills of approval as Dahr Jamail began his stories of torture in Iraq by the US military. The hall was in deep grief within moments. He showed photo after photo of the tragedies in Iraq. Photographs of torture and of families that have been left without aid, and of the appalling conditions in the hospitals and the streets if Iraq.  

A group from Japan indicated their opposition against the use of overpowering weapons by listing the number of illegal weapons dropped on Iraq by the US/UK, and their anger with the Japanese government for agreeing to join Bush in invading Iraq. The act violated Article 9 of the Japanese constitution -- to never invade another country.  

Dr. Thomas Fasy of Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York led us through a report with charts and graphs describing the rise in cancer in Iraq since the use of depleted uranium during the first Gulf War, the new nuclear weapon of choice that has horrific consequences. Leukemia had risen 450 percent in children under the age of 5 since 1990.

Fasy's testimony reminded me of 5-year-old Atarid, whom we met in Iraq before the invasion. He had already lost all of his hair and had a very sweet smile, but couldn't get the care available to children in the US because cancer therapies were not allowed under sanctions in Iraq. He was sent home to die and to make room for those wounded from the shock and awe that was about to descend on Iraq.  

Denis Halliday, who had resigned his position as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq in protest of the Iraq sanctions, completed the morning's session. He enumerated all the ways in which the UN had failed at its job, both at the level of the UN Security Counsel, the Secretary General and the members. He had watched the US destroy Iraq's potential, simply because it was no longer a useful friend, and set a pattern of militaristic aggression toward the people of Iraq that continues today.

He spoke about the rights of Iraqi self-defense and resistance to foreign military occupation, as set out in UN Charter Article 51, but added there is nothing glorious about killing, "be it of the enemy, or of one's own country-men and women who decide, for whatever reason, to collaborate."  

The day continued with testimonial after testimonial from the many brave Iraqis who came to share their stories. By the late afternoon many of the jurors were in tears.    

We had sat yet again through nearly 12 hours of testimony. There was no question that the UK and US were guilty of an illegal, immoral and unjust war -- the case had been proven over and over. Nor was there the need to question the Iraqis' right to resist. Of course they had the right if the invasion was illegal. Now the question had become: what do we do about it?  

Were we as anti-war activists in the US really resisting? And if not, what would have to change? What do you do with an administration that has degraded the rule of law?

The Tribunal was just the beginning of filling a void. A void created because all the governing bodies that should be carrying out this task, or should have prevented the horror in the first place, have been rocked to sleep, or bound and gagged. We the people need to continue to stand up and not complain about what is lacking, but to fill the voids as citizens -- not just of the United States but of the world.

We must begin by really standing with the Iraqi people and defending their right to resist. I can remain myself against all forms of violence, and yet I cannot judge what someone has to do when pushed to the wall to protect all they love. The Iraqi people are fighting for their country, to protect their families and to preserve all they love. They are fighting for their lives, and we are fighting for lies. We must get out of Iraq now. They will rebuild their country, it will take time, a long time, but they cannot start until we are gone.  

I encourage you to visit www.worldtribunal.org, share it with everyone you know, read the testimonies and deepen your knowledge of the facts and the stories from Iraq. Then, join us in action on July 4 as we celebrate and remember the values of our country that are daily being trampled upon by the thugs in power. 

The Dow of Corporate Irresponsibility

Just outside the Dow Chemical Plant in Seadrift Texas, Diane Wilson is sitting in the flatbed of her rusty blue pickup truck, covered by a tarp and a big cowboy hat. She is on the 27th day of a hunger strike, undertaken in solidarity with the victims of the Bhopal, India disaster of 1984, which killed and injured thousands; hundreds continue to die every year.

Diane feels a strong connection with those who suffered the disaster of chemical pollution in Bhopal. A fourth-generation shrimpboater, along with many other fisherwomen and men she has been fighting for her economic survival. Pollution in the Alamo Bay and the Gulf of Mexico from chemical industries and oil refineries has dramatically reduced the shrimp and fish population, making it difficult for many in Seadrift and other communities along the Gulf to make a living. Diane has fought to get polluting companies to sign zero-discharge agreements and after four hunger strikes succeeded with Formosa and Alcoa. But Dow, which bought Union Carbide, has refused to sign.

In July two Indian activists were hospitalized after fasting to get Dow to clean up the mess left by the accident and provide medical care for the injured. When Diane learned this, she decided to take up the fast herself.

Diane is being supported by many organizations and communities, among them a group called UnReasonable Women for the Earth. At the Bioneers Conference last fall, Diane finished her plenary speech with the words: "Reasonable women conform to the world, unreasonable women make the world conform to it. Let us all be unreasonable women!"

With the help of Nina Simons, 34 women created a community of "unreasonable women" a few months ago. Every few days another UnReasonable woman comes to Seadrift to sit and fast with Diane. She has also been joined by Indian activists and gives interviews by cell phone to radio shows and newspapers across the country and sends out reports about the strike by email.

"There are no boundaries," writes Diane in one letter. "How they treat the people in India is how they are treating us -- the accident to expose it just hasn't happened yet."

On Aug. 6, Day 21 of her strike, Diane’s body is weaker; yet her determination is stronger than ever. Her Aunt June comes to take her vitals; her blood pressure is holding well and her pulse only a bit elevated. We are relieved and yet all continue to be concerned. The morning emails are full of love from Italy, India and England, as more than 500 hundred people around the world have joined Diane in her strike.

The day began with the rising of the bright orange-red sun over the aging factory in a ray haze, Diane's truck parked on the grass in front, she at the entrance handing out flyers or with her sandwich board carrying sayings we found in the conference room inside Dow: If you make a mess, please clean it up and No one should be a safety statistic.

Slowly (as the days without food slow you down), the tarp is raised, the banners hung and the signs placed and the daylong wait in the boiling Texas sun begins. At 8:30am sirens and whistles suddenly begin to scream loud and long, a more horrible sound than Diane has ever heard. A train deep inside the plant comes barreling out past the truck to the barge canal followed by 25 safety vehicles of all sizes, including a fire engine with lights flashing.

Diane picks up her cell phone and calls the citizen inquiry number. It is a local number but answers in Dow’s Michigan headquarters; they have no idea what is happening so they forward her call to someone in Seadrift.

"It's me, Diane. I am out front, what is going on?"

"It's a wheel alarm." Click. The operator has hung up on Diane. Now she puts a call into national headquarters: "I am a fisherwoman down here and I want to know what is going on, and why all the sirens?"

They keep her on the phone until Kathy Hunt, Dow’s local PR woman comes to "take care" of the situation. This is the woman who has stuck her foot in her mouth everyday since we started going over to ask Dow to sign a zero-discharge agreement. Hunt’s constant state is to vacillate from fierce control to hysteria. She is shaking, unclear what to do at this moment and full of apologies. We have heightened the situation to a fever pitch already with our questions.

Diane has been in dialogue with Ms. Hunt for several weeks now. Usually all she is given are justifications and PR, but she keeps hoping for a real exchange. "We're unsure of the exact chemical," Hunt says. "I think it was 12,000 pounds of an industrial solvent."

Diane remembers the last time this happened near Galveston Bay -- it wiped out the entire shrimp population that season. Now Kathy Hunt is asking about the zero-discharge agreement. There is some progress in their dialogue: Yesterday Diane was given a firm "No, we find no value in this," so the smokescreen, both metaphorical and real, continues. But later Kathy calls to say the chemical that spilled is Carbitol, which is "harmless." But in fact, Carbitol is an embryo-fetal toxin and a teratogen that is highly combustible.

Alone on this empty Texas highway except for the UnReasonable Woman sitting by her side, Diane is stirring many people around the world to join this cause and participate in the actions she has encouraged for August 15, India's Independence Day, a call for independence from corporate rule and for Dow to clean up its mess in Bhopal.

Though the global community is responding, there is not a word in the local paper. This morning, the day after the spill, there is nothing about that in the paper either. Actually, Diane has been sitting out here for 23 days and not a word from the local press, even though her hunger strike is the talk of the town and vicinities.

Today the two local papers have a full-page ad by Dow extolling its virtues and three articles: "First Aid Class Gets Test Run at Dow;" "Dow Donation Will Help with Weather Warnings;" "Dow Gets Commendation" (from Texas Chemical Council).

The article on the commendation ends with "Dow is committed to the principles of Sustainable Development, they seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibility."

Dow controls more in this community than just its employees who, when Diane is handing out the flyers keep their windows up and look the other way, lest they be fired for associating with the enemy. The smell from the plant is strong this morning. The tension is building, as is the heat.

The response from the world expands, as offers from organizations to broadcast Diane's invitation flow in. Feeling the power of the spark of her commitment, we cannot let Dow and the Indian government sweep their responsibilities to the people of Bhopal under the rug. We must shout out NO and at least let them know we are watching and tell them yes, we see through the smokescreen, and no -- we do not like what we see.

Jodie Evans is a member of Bad Babes with Bucks and their Buddies. She is one of the UnReasonable Woman for the Earth supporting Diane Wilson’s hunger strike in Seadrift, Texas. Read the latest entry in the Dow Action Diary .



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