Thanksgiving week brings many contradictions, we want to connect with people, but the history of these days comes from the opposite – genocide, colonization, and disconnection. Just transition is about navigating contradictions, and we are committed to doing what we can to create justice and peace. We believe we need to decolonize our minds and hearts while we navigate contradictions and build spaces for local peace economies to grow. Today we offer some ideas on how to decolonize our minds and hearts, and to challenge current ideologies, re-imagine ways to relate with people and the earth, and take action.
In the hills behind South Korean village of Seongju, U.S. military helicopters have airlifted THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), a U.S. missile defense system designed to shoot down North Korean missiles, onto the local golf course, without notice or consultation with local residents. Seongju,a Buddhist pilgrimage site for those seeking peace and enlightenment, now has become a center of protest, with people coming from all over South Korea to demand the removal of THAAD. CodePink as part of a U.S. delegation traveled to Seongju to add their voices in calling for the removal of THAAD. The delegation also called for an end to the U.S.-South Korea War Games in exchange for a freeze of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, the replacement of the Korean War Armistice with a peace treaty, and the peaceful reunification of Korea. Many South Koreans are in favor of dialogue with North Korea, and believe the presence of U.S. troops and weapons are putting South Koreans in danger. Tensions between the Trump administration and the North Korean government have reached a boiling point. We must avoid, at all costs, a direct military confrontation with North Korea. Any military action by the United States, even limited, could instantly kill millions on the Korean peninsula and threaten nuclear and regional war that could draw in Japan, China and Russia. The ONLY solution is dialogue, starting with a freeze for a freeze!
By Medea Benjamin
On Wednesday, November 8, just as President Trump was clinching new business deals with the repressive Communist government of China, the Trump administration announced its new rules rolling back President Obama’s opening with Cuba. The new regulations restricting travel and trade with the Caribbean island will make it once again illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba without a special license from the Treasury Department and will dramatically reduce the number of Americans traveling there.
By Annie Windholz
On October 21st CODEPINK launched a #DivestFromWar campaign in Washington D.C. at the Divest from the War Machine Summit. CODEPINK, a women-led grassroots organization started 15 years ago, works to end U.S. wars and militarism as well as support peace and human rights initiatives. CODEPINK aims to redirect U.S. tax dollars from the war economy and into the peace economy- healthcare, education, green jobs and focusing on quality of human life.
The summit began with CODEPINK founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans taking the floor. Benjamin spoke about the hidden war taking place in Yemen which is currently the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, and how U.S. weapons industry along with the other “great democracies of the world” a direct link to the deaths taking place. She also spoke about how the same weapons that are being shipped abroad are also being used in our own American streets: the same teargas canisters that police throw at protesters are also used by Israeli forces to throw at Palestinians on the Westbank trying to reclaim their rights.
“I’m sick and tired of having our companies inflicting so much suffering on people of the world and making a profit off of it,” Benjamin stated simply.
CODEPINK and a coalition of 67 supporting organizations are pleased to announce the launch of a new national campaign to reel in U.S. wars and militarism: Divest from the War Machine. This campaign is designed to pressure financial institutions and individual investors to divest from the arms merchants that are making billions of dollars from the spread of militarism at home and abroad.