CODEPINK holds activist training ahead of several RNC demonstrations listen08/27/12 Josh Holton
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CODEPINK, the womenâ€™s peace group, is in Tampa this week -taking part in protester against the Republican convention.
About a dozen women singing protest tunes only blocks away from the Republican Convention in downtown Tampa Sunday.
The organizationâ€™s founder Medea Benjamin has been working to keep budding protesters on their toes.
â€We actually started two days ago, we protested and weâ€™ve been making a lot of our props and now weâ€™re here teaching people chants, trying out some of the different props that we have, talking about the issues, and giving people a chance to practice talking to the media.â€
Anne Chastain started the website greenliberation.org, and said that she chose to work with CODEPINK instead of Occupy Tampa, with whom she also identifies.
â€œI went with the vaginas of CODEPINK. I thought it was appropriate, I really identify with vaginas and wanted to be here today. They offer great training which Iâ€™m really enjoying and networking opportunities so itâ€™s going well.â€
Using an assortment of glitter, pink fabrics, and carefully placed neck holes, Benjamin led the women in fashioning costumes in the shapes of vaginas.
â€œWe had a great time making our vaginas I must say. We mostly focus on the issues of war but when we saw that this issue was just imploding and as a woman focused and women initiated peace group we obliged that we have to talk about this one. So we got creative and we had a good time.â€
Back in June Michigan representative Lisa Brown was temporarily banned from speaking in State House for using the word â€œVaginaâ€ in debate over a bill that would restrict abortions. Wade Fulmer is a Veteranâ€™s for Peace member, and also a Code Pink member. He held up a sign that said Vagina, if you canâ€™t say it, donâ€™t legislate it.
â€œWell we have some legislators who canâ€™t even say the word. It shows a little bit with their words as to how prejudice they are against women. Well there should be that equality that weâ€™re working for, equality for women in the workplace and out on the street and activism so women for peace and women for equal rights.â€
Edwina Vogan was holding the same sign with Fulmer, and says that more men need to stand side by side with women when it comes to protecting their rights.
â€œWomen need to have a choice and the republican agenda doesnâ€™t include women and choices and so thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m here. Any men that are out there who want to support womenâ€™s right for equality we welcome it. In fact, weâ€™re trying to do this with everybody. Itâ€™s not just about women itâ€™s about equality for everybody. Men know that women are interested in their health too and in there choices. We need to work on this together.â€
One of the most prominent protest movements in recent months has been the worldwide Occupy movement, which Medea Benjamin said shares many of the same values with CODEPINK.
â€œWe agree with the whole occupy movement. Itâ€™s the whole 1% thatâ€™s running this country and the benefits that the 1% whether thatâ€™s the 1% that profit from war while the rest of us are seeing billions of dollars that we need here at home go for continuous wars overseas or itâ€™s the 1% that really like the system of money and politics cause they can buy our political system. I would say turning around the corporate control of our government is the number one issue.â€
Monday night at New World Brewery in Tampa CODEPINK perfomed the song, â€œTake your Vaginaâ€™s to the RNC.â€ They danced in their Vagina costumes all night through Ybor City.