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Jodie is vilified by the right, stands up, face to face to Obama, and leads her crew of pink clad merry activist pranksters with creative theatricality. We talk about her work, her vision of activism and the world.
Jodie, in pink in the middle of the front row, with Debra Sweet of World Can't Wait to her right.
is a political activist, author, and documentary film producer. She characterizes her activism as working for peace and justice, environmental causes and women's rights. She has traveled extensively promoting what she terms the conflict resolution by peaceful means--including leading "citizen diplomacy" delegations to Iran, the Gaza Strip, and Afghanistan. She served in California Governor Jerry Brown's cabinet and managed his 1992 campaign for the presidency. She also became a co-founder of the women's activist organization, CODEPINK. Evans currently serves as the chairperson of the board of the Women's Media Center, an organization that describes its goals as working to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and creation of original content.
Very rough, incomplete sentence, raw, raw notes from the interview.
list of orgs Jodie is associated with (from wikipedia)
- CODEPINK: Women for Peace (Co-founder) 
- Drug Policy Alliance 
- Rainforest Action Network 
- Institute for Policy Studies 
- World Festival of Sacred Music 
- 826LA 
- Office of the Americas 
- Sisterhood is Global Institute 
- Women's Media Center 
- Global Girl Media 
What's at the top of your agenda lately.
Code Pink is where I start my day from--- working with women on leadership, activism, engagement". a woman led org aimed at ending war and bringing money home to aid our community.
Produced Ground Truth about returning wounded vets.
Working with women soldiers, learning about the rapes and telling their stories.
What works is the intersection of what I have.
Women's media Center, Code Pink, Women from IVAW-- created SWAN.
Rape issue was known but military has refused to deal with it,
Invisible war, made because of article from Women's media center. -- not just about women.
Code was one of the groups at the beginning at occupy wall street-- from day one I was inside occupy spaces-- NY, LA Denver, Boston, New Haven--- saw frustration of women in Occupy spaces
Melanie and Occupy Wall street-- Melanie, saw that there were 9 men and one woman talking to the media. She brought it up at the GA.
There was this frustration that the realization that the patterns of our culture were showing up in the occupy spaces.
International Women's day, Women Occupy in 50 occupies across america will be taking on BofA. We might do it in superhero costumes.
We continue our drone campaign-- try to bring attention to these horrible drones. Creech AFB is where the drones are manned. There's a soldier there deploying the drones in Pakistan.
Today, my partner, Medea Benjamin is in Bahrain. Six American observers have been arrested. They've been massively tear-gassed. Medea has been collecting the tear gas canisters, made in America. Obama is about to do an arms deal with Bahrain.
At Code Pink we see ourselves as first responders. We're the first ones there.
We were the first group to go to Gaza, did the Gaza freedom march first with 700, then 1400 people around the world.
There's injustice and violence and we show up and say no to help give voice.
Rob: How's that working.
You've written about this a lot. We're really building a coalition of committed people who have been learning together, teaching people,
What gets in the way of turning it into political will and movement"
Is what we're up against.
The powers that be at the same thime that we're telling the truth, they create the fear and resistance and power.
It's like you're seeing the dying empire. Those in power in the empire stealing as much as possible as fast as possible.
When started code Pink it was to stop the war in Iraq. Presidential election suck the air out of everything". wrote a book" Stop the Next War Now. which was Iran.
We did an action, must be 4 years ago now. Congressman ackerman, had a resolution to do a blockade in the persian Gulf. We'd reached the end of our rope.
Nancy Pelosi said it would go through like a knife through hot butter" because it had AIPAC support. We had dinghies and cute little hats with peace signs-- and we created a blockade of the congressman's boat, which he lives in in Washington. He looks and smiles and waves, and he's totally disarmed. he'd never seen anything so creative. He came out and listened and spoke. He tabled the legislation.
826LA after school writing program. David Eggers had created one 826 Valencia. When congress started the war with Iraq--
I don't know how citizens of America will ever Grok or feel what they've done to this country.
I need to create something when I'm feeling depression (in response to things like the war in Iraq. )
So now, we have 8000 kids in our program.
200 volunteers came to help kids to help them with their college entrance essay.
We also publisho books for them.
In other area I have to balance it with another.
World festival of sacred music. I have to feed my soul
Told Obama, I supported you until you said there was such a thing as a good war.
He said, When I said it, I was thinking the Civil war.
And i said, shame on you. That was a war based on economics.
That we live in a world that people can say such a thing as there's a good war-- there's heartbreak after heartbreak. And that we can still do this. It reflect the inhumanity that permeates the societies that built on free markets, greed and
Role of Hierarchy, patriarchy in what she is trying to change.
I started as a maid in a hotel" I got to see how power violates our lives. Then as an activist in the viet nam war, then being in Jerry Brown's administration and not being able to do anything until we marched". and made me see how I wanted to work outside of power.
The structure, the patriarchy, draws people in and then they become part of the power.
When people join code pink I tell people I want to make sure that you don't have any desire for power.
CP has to always be reflecting back the stupidity and madness of the world that calls itself the world. The decisions made like war, because they live inside this structure" the democracy is dead. Washington is a toxic waste dump. yet everyone bows and genuflects to it and it is disgusting and depression. To get people from seeing that is rational to seeing it as toxic is a conundrum.
When was the last time that you changed your mind about something you felt really passionate about something you are in an arguement about.
At occupy-- you totally kick them out.
Kids had done everything right-- had gone to school, no jobs, saddled with loan to a criminal bank and government. Other people are on the treadmill. I talk to members of the media "why did you lie" Why did you do that?
They say I needed my insurance and to put my kid through school.
It's wrong that it costs $50,000 to put a kid through school.
The young women in occupy are becoming radicalized feminists. The money comes and they want to own you.
The struggle inside the OWS movement to stay separate from the power that they are trying to shift is fascinating. The power is so seductive.
So soulularly destructive of the soul--- how the soul " in the machine.. that's been written about for millennia. Plato's cave, Engels and Marx.
As someone who works hard on ending the drug war--- it's racist. It's a form of genocide. I've tried to look, even as a child. How does Germany happen. Then we have Rwanda, and the war with Iraq". how easy it is for a mass to become lemmings. You talk to the president of Rwanda and he says I know the eight steps to genocide and I won't let it get past step two.
What are the steps..
Where you separate a part of your society and make them evil and bad.
When someone is addicted to drugs, that's an issue of health, of poverty. We haven't created a society that takes care of them, that creates opportunity for them. We put them in jail and most of them are people of a different color. 80% of people in jail for drugs are blacks, but white people take drugs as much as black people.
We're getting to put our shadow on them and feel good about ourselves
America is the road to hello". create total devastation in their paths.
Every place where we put our army bases, the surrounding area is raped by American servicemen. it is so devastating to see that we could undermine the communities in America. transporting
In the wanting, needing to be good, the desire for righteousness that seems to be American culture, to feel good about ourselves, we project wrong on others. We make choices about their lives and their livelihoods.
Culture is so important, a fabric that holds us". in the cacophony of life, culture is what holds the space" there's a way that we don't recognize, appreciate of value it. it's been that way since the finding of this land by people of European descent.
How does the financial, globalization world of finance tie into your work?
Somebody is looking at a situation and saying that looks crazy to me, but accepting it.
I feel that my standing up and saying something to someone lets a person not feel crazy for thinking that there's something wrong.
The structures that are in place of money and power will take a lot to tear down.
How do live a life that is in the world but not of the world.
I know globally people who have separated and created small orgs.
in Brazil, instead of people letting disempowerment close them down, they find little holes, where the can make progress.
The american progressives tend to cannibalize"
As i watch the Occupy movement, the monsters of greed and power tends to lurk at the edges to tempt people.
The Occupy movement comes out of South America where they were able to break down the power structure and create possibilities for new sy stems to arise.
here we are amidst the greatest abundance ever and we live in the greatest fear.
Got a friend to ask Obama about allowing superPACS. Once you allow such a system you lose.
My choices are creating the world you want to live in.
I'm a farmer. On my farmer there are a lot of young farmers who want to live with integrity.
They give up meaning-- what they world wants them".
What do they give up?
i can get a piece of land, feed my self,
I go back to Gregory Bateson, after he finished a 4 hour discussion with Jerry at the governor's office. He said "I don't have a lot of hope."
Watching him and his passion to make a difference gave me life . i could be drowned by that or create beauty. he remained a curious, inspiring witnesser of truth, that was a very creative place.
If someone's not attacking me, I'm not doing my job.
Attacks from the left. Code pink pushes hard, people who have bought in to the 1%
Obama was allowing choice in the attack on the health care bill.
We tend to cannibalize our own to much.
In the governor's office we'd work with each other. We'd work with labor unions and the like and they'd attack each other. " because they were fighting over a very small pie.
When you are in abundance you make different decisions and don't cannibalize their own.
we try to work out of love and not anger. ANger is a really powerful mover and force, and we work hard to harness, but if you stay in the anger you spread it everywhere.
It's hard to play with. There's a lot to be angry at. how do we focus and make it effective.
Anger makes people be disempowered. Being in action is a way to work through our anger and feelings of disempowerment. ".
Working out of love"
a lot of what drives the anger is that you love something"
I'm trying to figure out how do we pull down these structures. It's not about the persons. They're entangled in the structure. It's still driving the violence.
Its around going from anger to love because it's about going to essence".
California-- it's not educating anyone anymore. How do we get back to the essence of education.
The world that calls itself the world.
The occupy movement cannot change the system that is a patriarchy with a patriarchy.
To be able to see what you are living in takes pulling back and getting used to and having the sun in your eyes.
We've created women occupy, to create a feminist lens for the occupy movement.
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