11 Of CODEPINK's Most Unforgettable Protests


In a world where scandals are the only news items that seem to grab headlines, notable protest groups have been forced to get creative. At its high-profile protests, CODEPINK never ceases to amaze. The old saying goes, "The punishment must fit the crime" — and in CODEPINK's case, so must the protest.

1. At Wednesday's Syria Hearing

The latest CODEPINK protest was staged by Co-Founder Medea Benjamin at the Senate hearing considering military action in Syria. Benjamin made forceful statements such as, "Launching cruise missiles means another war" and "the American people do not want this."

2. The First CODEPINK Protest

The original CODEPINK protest earns a prime spot on this list. Starting in November 2002, the then-fledgling NGO organized a four-month vigil in front of the White House. Timed perfectly, it ended with a 10,000 person march on March 8, which was International Women's Day.

3. Against the Use Of Drones

Just this past August, outfitted in pink drone costumes, CODEPINK staged a protest outside of the Unmanned Systems 2012 exhibition in Washington, D.C. Protesters from several noted groups convened to demonstrate against the U.S. government's use of military drones.

4. The Valentine's Day Kiss-In

Every February 14, CODEPINK holds public kiss-ins in front of military recruiting centers to raise awareness about the realities of joining the military. They recommend we all get involved in this style of protest. Banner suggestions include: "Don't Enlist, Stay and Kiss," and "Make Out, Not War."

5. The Halloween Protest

CODEPINK hosted an "Anti-War Halloween Party" in front of the White House in 2009. It called for swift action to wind down the war in Afghanistan and recommended that participants dress as zombie soldiers, ghosts of war victims, and of course, Obama's Afghani-stein.

6. Demonstrations On Mother's Day

Like the Valentine's Day Kiss-In, the Mother's Day protests are a staple of the CODEPINK protest manual. While less standard, past Mother's Day demonstrations have covered a wide range of issues such as a call for peace, military interventions, and 24-hour vigils.

7. "Bust Up Big Banks"

CODEPINK and other activist groups gathered for a massive call for economic reform and to separate money and politics at the world headquarters of Bank of America and the major East Coast Wells Fargo branch last September. And yes, bras were hurled.

8. A Naval Blockade On the Potomac

To protest the actual naval blockade proposed by Gary Ackerman in Iran in 2008, CODEPINK decided to create a small-scale blockade of his houseboat. Reportedly, Ackerman was so amused by the situation, that he came out and engaged the protesters in a lively debate.

9. Fighting the War On Women

Last August, CODEPINK protesters costumed themselves as vaginas to take a stance against the so-called "War on Women" and more specifically birth control and abortion legislation being pushed by Republicans.

10. Bush's Memoir Gets a New Location in the Bookstore

Never underestimate the power of a subtle protest. Since President George Bush's memoir hit the shelves three years ago, CODEPINK members (and presumably others) began re-organizing the bookshelves. Now, Bush's Decision Points can often be found in the "crime" or "horror" section.

11. Citizen's Arrest Of Karl Rove

CODEPINK showed up at one of Karl Rove's public engagements back in 2008, and attempted to make a citizen's arrest on the grounds of treason and lying to the American people about Iraq. Members of the organization actually managed to put handcuffs on Rove, before he quickly shrugged them off.