March 14, 2007
On Sunday, CODEPINK women in San Francisco, frustrated after two months of unsuccessfully trying to meet with their Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi about the war in Iraq, started camping out at her doorstep. "It might seem like an extreme measure," said Bay Area CODEPINK er Toby Blome, "but these are extreme times. We are pleading with her to stop funding Bush's war." Click here to read the New York Times piece about the growing encampment outside her home.
When Nancy Pelosi was named Speaker of the House, we were all excited to have a woman—a progressive one at that!—in this seat of power. But instead of using her leadership position to end the war by cutting the funds, she has become mired in inside-the-beltway compromises that would allow the war to drag into 2008. To make matters worse, she just removed an amendment to the supplemental spending bill that would have forced Bush to get authorization from Congress before attacking Iran. So the supplemental bill proposed by Speaker Pelosi will give Bush another $100 billion for the war in Iraq, and will keep open the door to an attack on Iran!
We can't let this stand! That's why we'll continue to camp out at Pelosi's home, and occupy her offices, until Congress votes on the supplemental war budget. And that's why we need you to call her office today. Call 202-225-0100 for her office in DC.and ask for Mike Sheehy, or call (415)-556-4862 for her San Francisco office and ask for Dan Bernal. Tell them that the Speaker should cut off all funds for the war, or at the very least allow a vote on Cong. Barbara Lee's amendment to only use the funds for a safe withdrawal of the U.S. troops by the end of the year. And don't allow Bush to attack Iran! Don't forget to also call your own Representative to tell him or her to Vote NO on the supplemental appropriations. The Congressional switchboard can be reached at 888.851.1879.
Our message has to be loud and clear: Don't Buy Bush's War For more info and inspiration, visit our new website www.dontbuybushswar.org.
From San Francisco with love,
Dana, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janet, Jodie, Leslie, Liz, Medea, Midge, Nancy, Patricia, Rae, Renay, Samantha, Sonia, Toby and Vicki
Home in San Francisco, Pelosi Gets the Crawford Treatment
SAN FRANCISCO, March 12 — San Francisco, meet Crawford, Tex.
Using a tactic usually trained on the home turf of President Bush, a group of protesters from Code Pink, a women’s antiwar group, have camped in front of the home of Speaker Nancy Pelosi here, bringing their message — and mattresses — to the doorstep of the nation’s highest-ranking Democrat.
The protest, which began Sunday afternoon with dozens of demonstrators, is just Code Pink’s latest effort to engage Ms. Pelosi, who the group feels has not gone far enough or fast enough to get the troops home from Iraq.
“The point is to keep showing our dissatisfaction,” said Toby Blome, 51, a protest organizer who sported a frilly pink apron and pink skirt. “It’s hard to do on our own, but I know I speak for millions of people.”
By Monday afternoon, however, Ms. Blome was speaking for exactly three people: herself and two other tired-looking protesters. One of those was Leslie Angeline, 50, who said she had slept till about 4 a.m. outside Ms. Pelosi’s three-story red-brick home.
“It was O.K.,” Ms. Angeline said, “till the sprinkler system went off.”
Code Pink organizers said that reinforcements were on the way and that protesters would maintain “Camp Pelosi” until a coming Congressional vote on supplemental financing for the Iraq war. Similar camp-outs, used during previous antiwar protests near the president’s Crawford ranch, are planned for Ms. Pelosi’s Washington home and office, the organizers said.
Ms. Pelosi, in her 11th term as a congresswoman from San Francisco, mostly ignored her hometown protesters, brushing past them early Monday morning on her way to the airport to return to Washington.
“Every time we say, ‘Will you speak with us,’ she says, ‘Not at my home,’ ” Ms. Blome said.
In a statement, Ms. Pelosi said she shared “the concerns of the protesters about the disastrous war in Iraq” and had put the House on the course of “a new direction for the American people.”
The protest brought out more than a few curiosity seekers to the upscale neighborhood of Pacific Heights, which features multimillion-dollar Victorian homes and sweeping views of San Francisco Bay.
Several people dropped by to offer support — and water — for the Code Pinkers, while another brought a giant papier-mâché statue of Gandhi.
Not everyone was thrilled, of course. Sandra Wilder, one of Ms. Pelosi’s neighbors, said the protesters had gone too far. “To be sleeping on the sidewalk, camping out, littering,” Ms. Wilder said as she drove by in a black sedan. “I’m just fed up. It’s just aggravating the neighbors.”
Ms. Blome said she understood that the protest might be an invasion of privacy but believed it was the only way to make herself heard. Her group has also paid several unannounced visits to Ms. Pelosi’s office here, with similar results.
“It’s uncomfortable for us to take this action in some ways,” she said, just steps from a thin mattress that served as her bed. “But she won’t give us her time, so here we are.”
Below is an email that a friend from my Peace Coalition sent to Representative Grace Napolitano and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein: