The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jodie Evans, CODEPINK co-founder, 310-621-5635
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK national media coordinator, 508-769-2138
Nancy Mancias, CODEPINK event coordinator, 415-342-6409

CODEPINK Hosts 24-hour Vigil This Mother's Day Across from White House

Will Honor Mothers, Children Worldwide with Speakers, Workshops, Children's Fair and More


This Mother's Day weekend, in an inspiring, empowering vigil to hear
the voices of women living under occupation, CODEPINK Women for Peace invites all
women, men and children to spend 24 hours
outside the White House in a family-friendly gathering of feminine
energy, sister and motherhood, a self-reflective reclamation of the
original purpose behind Mother's Day: a mother's call for peace.

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)

From 1 p.m. May 9 through 1 p.m. March 10 in D.C.'s Lafayette Park,
CODEPINK and others will host a full schedule of events, including a
children's fair, a "Mothers Say No to War" march around the White
House, presentations from women of war-torn countries, teach-ins and
workshops Saturday afternoon and a concert by independent rocker
Melissa Ivey that evening. On Sunday, CODEPINK will host a powerful
interfaith service, creative actions and more. Invited speakers include
feminist leader Gloria Steinem, Nobel-winning Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi and
retired state official Col. Ann Wright.

"We are witness to the expanding violence around the world, women's
voices are missing, yet they 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, they are not at the negotiating table. We must shed light on this and change it, beginning with this
incredibly powerful vigil to honor the call of Mother's

The vigil, with co-sponsors including The National Organization of Women (NOW), MADRE, and the Feminist Peace Network, will also include a radical act of knitting,
or "knittivism." Women all over the country submitting knitted
squares to be stitched into a banner to stretch over the White House
fence that will read, "We will not raise our children to kill another
mother's child." (See more events in the calendar listed below).

"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 of New York, whose son is serving in
Iraq. "To speak truth to power, I'll join CODEPINK for Mother's Day
to work toward a more just and peaceful planet."

All festival events are inspired by the original purpose of Mother's Day, born in 1870 out of 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." Some events will address the
affect of war and occupation on women, specifically that of women in
Iraq and Afghanistan, due to U.S. war.

The event will be filmed and broadcast live by The Real News
network. Many CODEPINK groups nationwide will host solidarity Mother's
Day events to honor women living within occupation worldwide.

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

We'll 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
story-telling sessions.

7:30 pm to 10 pm : "Women's Voices From War Zones" and Singer-Songwriter Melissa Ivey

Afghan, 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

Sunday, May 10
2 to 4 a.m. - Activist Training Workshops and Hula-Hooping with Co-founder Medea Benjamin

Guests 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!
All are invited to stay energized (and awake) with a pink scavenger hunt, hula-hooping, yoga, singing, and more!

7 a.m. to 8 a.m. : Walter Reed Peace Delegation flower delivery

A delegation of women will deliver hundreds of roses to mothers at
Walter Reed Hospital visiting their children, demonstrating their

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 a.m. : Children Peace Wishes
Little Friends for
Peace, a non-profit peace education program for children, will lead the
children in sharing their wishes for peace.

12:30 to 1 p.m. : Closing Ceremony of Roses to the White House
All participants will deliver roses to the White House.

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

(818) 275-7232