CODEPINK Hits Future Site of Republican National Convention

Just two days after group members were arrested for trying to hang a protest banner outside a Manhattan hotel, the women of CODEPINK were back on the street protesting.

At noon on Thursday, Danielle Feris and Andrea Buffa stood outside Madison Square Garden—where the Republican National Convention is to start August 30—with seven other members of CODEPINK, all dressed as pink Statues of Liberty. They held up letters spelling out "Dissent Is Patriotic" and "Women Say No to War."

One man walking by asked, "What about the men?" So Buffa took away her cards with the W and the O in "Women" and said, "Men, too!" While one person snidely remarked to a friend, "They'll say in the Times tomorrow that it was a huge demonstration," most onlookers were supportive, asking for flyers and wishing the women good luck. Feris expected no trouble today, as CODEPINK had met with a lawyer from the National Lawyers Guild and learned they would be in the clear as long as they took up less than half the sidewalk and kept doorways clear.

"We are trying to say we have a voice, too," Feris said. "And if they're saying we're allowed to be here, then we'll be here."

With its feminist perspective, CODEPINK has been tirelessly protesting the Bush administration. Four members were arrested this week for their response to Mayor Mike Bloomberg's welcome to RNC protesters—a plan to offer discounts at hotels, Broadway shows, and restaurants to anyone registering as a peaceful dissenter.

Joining the continued call for permission to hold a mass gathering in Central Park, the CODEPINK women attempted to unfurl this message from the window of the Sheraton Hotel: "They Say Welcome, We Say Where? 8/29 Central Park?"

Danielle Feris and Andrea Buffa were charged for reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, and what Feris called "wrongful hanging of banner." Their court date is set for October 6.

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(photos: Janet Kim)
 
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