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Code Pink Clamors For War Funding Halt

By Judith Scherr
Friday September 14, 2007

They sang, they spoke, they demanded, they were funny, serious—the group of some 100 people assembled by Code Pink at the Oakland Federal Building on Tuesday were doing whatever they could to tell the powers-that-be to stop funding the war in Iraq. 

They had to yell out their message above the traffic and downtown noontime buzz. “Our constitution doesn’t cover sound permits in Oakland,” Zanne Joi of Code Pink told the gathering, after police disallowed the group’s portable sound system. 

While most participants were in an oppositional mode, condemning George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and others, Joi reserved praise for Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee. “We need to give a shout-out to the one congresswoman who has voted from the outset against the war,” she said to the cheering crowd. 

Those gathered also took time to honor the war dead and praise the earth. “This is the ground that we hold for peace; no one will take it away from us,” they chanted. 

Sporting a “Fuck Bush” T-shirt, a woman identifying herself as Soul, spoke to the crowd. Soul identified herself as an anarchist from Berkeley Liberation Radio and said she had hung over the pedestrian bridge in Berkeley on Monday to make people aware of the high rate of suicide among troops in Iraq and those returning home.  

“We are the fertilizer, sowing seeds of dissent,” she told the crowd.  

East Bay Municipal Utility District worker Charles Smith, of AFSCME 444 (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) held a banner proclaiming the “Spirit of ’76” and calling for impeachment for Bush and Cheney. Smith said he hoped people would “kick King George [presumably Bush] out of the colonies.”  

Other groups supporting the rally included Grandmothers for Peace, Singing for Peace and United for Peace and Justice.  

Dana Dillworth was standing off to the side of the crowd, a huge cigar between her teeth and calling out: “Buy war bonds—or stock in Lockheed, Halliburton or Procter and Gamble.”  

When the Daily Planet approached, she said. “God Bless America. Thank God my stocks keep going up.” Dillworth said she had come from her home in Brisbane to mock those who get rich on the war effort.