For Immediate Release
Women Nationwide to Join Inspiring 24-hour Peace Vigil This Mother's Day in DC
WASHINGTON - From Toronto, Tuscon, Schenectady, NY and dozens more cities and
towns around the world, mothers, veterans, nurses, students, lawyers
and businesswomen will flock this Mother's Day weekend to Lafayette
Park here for a 24-hour vigil to honor women living under occupation worldwide, hosted by CODEPINK and co-sponsored by the National Organization of Women, MADRE, the Feminist Peace Network and nearly 34 other human rights organizations.
WHAT: CODEPINK to host 24 hours of Mother's Day workshops, entertainment and actions for women and children
WHEN: 1 p.m. to 1 p.m. May 9 to May 10
WHERE: Lafayette Park (1608 H Street NW), Washington, D.C. (across the street from White House)
The women and their families, who from 1 p.m. May 9 to 1 p.m. May
10 will participate in workshops, a children's fair, discussions with
women who've lived in war-torn countries, a colorful march around the
White House and a radical act of knitting using 6,000 squares knitted
by women worldwide (read more about that here) will reflect on the original purpose of Mother's Day, a Civil War plea to mothers to peace.
"I truly believe women, organized and mobilized, can be a
formidable, powerful force in the movement toward a world free of war,"
said Cynthia Benjamin, a nurse from rural New York whose son is
currently serving in Iraq. "To speak truth to power, I will join
CODEPINK for Mother's Day to work toward a more just and peaceful
Saturday's events will also include a concert by independent rocker Melissa Ivey,
and on Sunday, CODEPINK will host a powerful interfaith service,
creative actions and more. All events are inspired by abolitionist
Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Peace Proclamation.
Howe, horrified by the devastation of the Civil War and the death of
America's men, wrote the Proclamation to call on America's women to
gather together to "promote the alliance of the different
nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the
great and general interests of peace.”
“In war, women pay the biggest prices," said Jodie Evans, CODEPINK
co-founder. "They lose their children, their home, their family, are
abused and left to put it all back together. Still they are not in the
decision-making process, they are not at the negotiating table. We need
to shed light on this fact and change it, beginning with this
incredibly powerful vigil in honor of the original call to Mother's
Many CODEPINK groups across America will host solidarity Mother's
Day events to honor women living within occupation worldwide. To find
an event, please visit the CODEPINK action calendar here.
24-hour vigil schedule (tentative, more details to come)
Saturday, May 9
1 to 2:30 pm: Event Kick-off and Scavenger Hunt!
2:30 to 5 pm : Quilting Bee/Radical Knitting, Singing and Circling the White House in Pink
bind knitted squares, knitted by women across the country, to form a
quilt with the message “We will not raise our children to kill another
mother’s child" to string on the White House fence. Then we'll circle
the White House in a children's march for peace!
5 to 6:30 p.m. : Learning Circles and Story-telling
are invited to participate in teach-ins that will educate and inspire
us to create the world we want to live in. Meanwhile, kids can enjoy
7:30 pm to 10 pm : "Women’s Voices From War Zones" and Singer-Songwriter Melissa Ivey
Iraqi and Pakistani women will share their perspective as women living
under occupation and offer ideas for change. Indie singer-songrwriter
Melissa Ivey will then take the stage to rev up the crowd.
Sunday, May 10
2 to 4 a.m. – Activist Training Workshops and Hula-Hooping with co-founder Medea Benjamin
will learn valuable skills for creative protest, media outreach, local
group coordinating, strategizing to end war, and more. Renowned clown
Patch Adams will lead “What is your love strategy?” and co-founder
Medea Benjamin will host a hula-hooping session.
4 to 7 a.m. : Pink Pajama Party!
Join in the fun! We'll have a pink scavenger hunt, hula-hooping, yoga, singing, and more!
7 a.m. to 8 a.m. : Walter Reed Peace Delegation flower delivery
delegation of women will deliver hundreds of roses to mothers at Walter
Reed Hospital visiting their children, demonstrating their support.
9 to 10 a.m. : Interfaith Service
To honor all the
mothers that have been victimized by the war in Iraq, we will sing,
chant, dance and listen to women from Goddess, Buddhist, Jewish,
Christian, Muslim and Unitarian traditions.
10 to 11:30 am : Children Peace Wishes
for Peace, a non-profit peace education program for children, will lead
the children in sharing their wishes for peace.
12:30 to 1 pm : Closing Ceremony of Roses to the White House
All participants will deliver roses to the White House.
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.