Tag: Code Pink

The Business of War

GRITtv with Laura Flanders

Nassau D.A. Kathleen Rice to dismiss charges against the Hempstead 15

Thanks are due to Docudharma for putting the Hempstead 15 action alert up on their front page, but that alert will now need to be modified slightly. 🙂

It is with joy that I pass on the following announcement from Matthis Chiroux:

Action Alert update: Court dates and petition to support the Hempstead 15

The following just went out this morning via the Veterans for Peace list:

…and then, I took off my coat.

I’ve worked with and around CodePink for about two and a half years now. I’ve never been arrested for participation in any political actions but I have been present when others were arrested, and done back-end court support (relaying phone messages at the house and once, since I’d driven down, I was asked to wait for the call to pick some of those arrested up when they were released). I’ve been there for the 1am call, the 3am call, the bleary-eyed women shuffling through the front parlor with their coffee or tea at 7am: “Was Lori released yet?” “Laurie Arbeiter?” “No, Lori Purdue.” My own courtroom exposure has been limited to some car-related foo and a potential juror selection.

A very strange merging of those two worlds occurred this morning as I found myself travelling to “Criminal 2” in the Hempstead Courthouse to show support for Iraq Veterans Against The War member Adam Kokesh. It felt very odd, doing this show of political solidarity for a national-level peace activist where I live.

I have a lot of respect for Adam Kokesh. He’s very, very smart. (He’s also quite the hysterically funny wiseass.) Unlike myself, he’s an effective public speaker. When I’m pissed off, my speech centers are the first thing to shut down. Not him – he’s so well spoken he could easily pull off being a statesman should he ever decide to go down that road. Most importantly about Adam Kokesh, his head and heart are both in the right place, he’s courageous, and he scares the sweet jumping bejesus out of a set of people in this country who the Gods only know could stand to be a little scared right now of an angry American people. In my book, Adam Kokesh is a hero, and I was going to be there to show support for him.

The courtroom was tiny. Adam was sitting in the front row with his lawyer. I patted him on the shoulder to let him know he had a supporter and he looked up. As we smiled grimly at each other, the baliffs in the room reacted nervously. My hair is really really long and wild these days, even after I brush it. I look pretty scary and scruffy to people who don’t know me (and perhaps to some who do). I am not sure how much my 2002 oath to not cut my hair while Bush remains “President” of the United States is common knowledge – those who don’t know about it probably think I’m just a weirdo. The Java jacket looks like a motorcycle jacket, and I had the ever-present Victory ball cap on and black sweats.

Most of the people who showed up to support him were middle aged or elderly women, two might have been with him and two others were activists from other LI peace activist organizations. Unlike myself, they were dressed respectably, “acting their age”. Adam himself was wearing a jacket with the USMC seal on the back, a Vets for Peace patch on the shoulder and a couple of other little blingblings on it. I dunno, maybe this whole “look like a biker” thing has something to do with being ex-military, but whatever.

Another thing that usually makes me a lightning rod for attention in a courtroom is that there’s something about being in one of those places that sets off my “pay attention to every damn thing in the room” alarm, and when I start doing that the baliffs, whose job it is to do the exact same thing, tend to notice me noticing. Then we sit there and notice each other noticing the noticing. It’s real fun.

So, smirking a bit more because I knew what I was going to do next was going to kick the whole “hypervigilance” thing in the room up to the next level, I sat down… and then I took off my coat. Slowly, ritually, like Superman, I pulled the edges of my coat until the snaps released and what I had on underneath came into view like the full moon from behind a cloud.

The Hempstead 15: Arraignment protest photo diary

Today about 50-75 people came out to protest the arraignment of the Hempstead 15.

(This is the courthouse side of the street, more people were initially on the other side.)


While this does not promise to be as hilarity generating as either a “We Will Not Be Silent” party invitation or the prospect of an accidentally transgendered Hi-Carb Barb in a towel, it will still be as loud and joyous as only CodePink can make it. Come on down to Times Square next Wednesday and share some pink lemonade and some party vibes with CodePink NYC!

I’ll be there, will you?

We’re all still recovering from Election Night Fever. (Did you know that 85% of voters in New York City pulled the lever for peace and diplomacy?) But we are planning a rocking NEW ERA party for next Wednesday and joining a HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE march and rally for universal healthcare next Thursday.


WHEN: Wednesday, November 12, noon

WHERE: Times Square

Meet us at Military Island, at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets. We’ll bring the confetti, the pink crowns, the party hats, the noisemakers and the good news. Wear lots of pink and festive attire. Sign up through our CREDO Mobile page and pass along to your friends! You can also sign up here if you want to get further updates and help out on the day!

lf you belong to an organization and you want to co-sponsor this action please contact [email protected] or call the NYC office at 646.723.1781.

Please note: this is a positive, pro-peace, fun, creative, high-energy, celebratory, non-arrestable action in which everyone can participate!

So come on down, because NOBODY parties like CODEPINK!

The incident at Hofstra was a SET UP!

With more time to process what happened at Hofstra, and with what I already know about the relative motivations and effectiveness of the Nassau County Executive, I have come to the realization that the incident between the local police and Iraq Veterans Against the War was a setup. The objective was to put veteran anti-war groups like IVAW and Veterans For Peace at odds with local DEMOCRATIC politicians who must bear the brunt of the bad PR and possibly (at the County level) punitive damages.

So I got a reply from the Nassau County Executive…

Because I am lazy I didn’t feel like typing it all in, so here it is in all it’s quasi-original glory instead, with my address covered up to protect what shreds of privacy I may still have.

Letter to Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi

It has taken me some time to process my emotional reaction to the events of October 15th. On that day, a complete atrocity occurred. American blood was shed on American soil once more – not by foreign terrorists but by the soulless, brainwashed agents of Bush’s police state, acting against the very veterans who define this country’s freedom and swore to defend the US Constitution with their lives. US combat veterans returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan came to petition their presidential candidates with legitimate and valid questions concerning the ending of the Iraq war and the treatment of veterans at home, only to experience disrespect and physical injury at the hands of Nassau County police officers and their shadowy, unidentified, badgeless Department of Hopeless Insecurity supporters.

Jocelyn’s House Saved From Mortgage Auction

Now she has the time to Grieve for her Son, Killed in Iraq only a short time ago, Her Reality!!

I was just sent the following:

Ay Berlusconi! Dig my Tronolone!

I’ll bet you thought I was gonna be spending another one of those boring suburban Mondays at home.

Well you’re wrong. I’m in DC right now. Surprise. 🙂

Here’s Desiree, myself and Liz of CodePink protesting outside the White House while Bush and Italian President Berlusconi were having a press conference. We brought megaphones and my “Yessongs” drum to protest the building of a US military base at Dal Molin. Over 25,000 people – 95% of the people living in Vincenza – do not want the base.

We were told that they could hear our protests in the Rose Garden. I was yelling funny stuff like “AY PAESAN, WHADDAYA DOIN’ IN THERE WITH THAT STUNARD BUSH!” Some of our chants were in Italian: “BASTA LA GUERRA!” and “NO ALLA BASE, SI ALLA PACE!” Eventually the Italian version of the Associated Press, ANSA, came out and interviewed us. We are also now frontpaged on the “No Dal Molin” web site.

One of the things I was yelling for my own amusement was “Ay Berlusconi! Dig my Tronolone!” My maiden name, Tronolone, means “thunder”. The family name is not exactly as common as “Smith” on this side of the pond, but it is a prominent one in northern Italy where they are trying to build the base. I mentioned to the ANSA people what my maiden name is and snarked that I come from a proud family tradition of fighting against Emperors. (In the 1110 AD, the Tronolone family stood with three other Milanese baronies against a forced assimilation into the Holy Roman Empire by Frederick Barbarossa.) The ANSA reporters were amused.

Wise Up and Rise Up – or Kiss It All Goodbye

I find myself, on some level, torn between my highly strained faith in American democracy and a perception that it no longer exists.  I applaud and encourage political activism and cherish the activists that I know, but for all their heroism, commitment and hard work, I see us sliding steadily backwards.  This has been my observation for the past 40 years.  We progressives have faced unremitting defeat at the hands of the ultra-conservative ‘system’, which clearly serves our super-wealthy overlords – not us.  


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