A Day of Peace Work in DC: An Activist’s Diary

October 5th, 2023 - by Marcy Winograd / CODEPINK

The Urgency of Pursuing Peace in Ukraine
With Cornel West, Claudia De La Cruz, & More!
Marcy Winograd / CODEPINK

WASHINGTON, DC (October 3, 2023) — Fabulous night in DC to kick off our Global Days of Action! Listen: Live Stream with Dr. Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Eugene Puryear, Lee Camp and Claudia De La Cruz.

Earlier in the day, I met with staffers for three lawmakers: Barragan (D-CA), Tokuda (D-HI) and Johnson (R-WI) and tomorrow we will visit Bernie’s office (a few dozen of us), then the Squad to demand they stop voting for more weapons for endless war and speak out for a mutual ceasefire, and peace negotiations without preconditions.

Barragan’s foreign policy staffer listened intently and agreed we need a diplomatic solution; Tokuda’s foreign policy supported negotiations provided Russia leaves Ukraine first and Johnson’s staffer was for a negotiated settlement now but said it’s an uphill banner with a bipartisan consensus for more war.

Vote Vets (pro-war) was holding a press conference at 3 PM to back another $24 billion in weapons, etc., for the war in Ukraine. I heard that my own congressman, Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara, CA) would be speaking.

So who do I run into in the cafeteria? Carbajal walking while on the phone.

I said, “Congressman Carbajal, please don’t speak at that press conference.”

He smiled and kept walking.

At the press conference, before he spoke, he shook my hand and smiled — said he hadn’t recognized me. After his speech, I shouted, “I am his constituent and I don’t agree with him. We are setting up Ukraine for more slaughter. We need diplomacy now to end this war.”

The second time I shouted, a police officer came up to me and said, “You need to stop this now.”

“Okay,” I said with a smile.

Before the press conference, CODEPINK led a march around the East Lawn to a recording of “War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” blaring over the loudspeaker. Some of the Vote Vets people were shouting at us [as] we distributed an anti-war flyer from Veterans for Peace.

Later, I ran into Senator Angus King from Maine while in the lobby.

“You look familiar,” I said, knowing he was the senator from Maine but his name escaped me.

He smiled at me. “I am a Senator,. (beat), the Senator from Maine.”

I followed him to the elevator.

“We need diplomacy, not more weapons,” I said.

“Who do you work for? Putin!” said King as he walked into the elevator.

“I work for peace. Who do you work for? You’re supposed to work for the people of this country who want peace.”

The elevator doors closed.

In solidarity, Marcy Winograd, co-chair, Peace in Ukraine Coalition; coordinator, CODEPINK Congress

•  Learn more about our days of action for #PeaceInUkraine: https://www.codepink.org/urgentpeace
• Get more involved with CODEPINK & become an organizer: https://www.codepink.org/peacemaker
• Support our work for peace: https://www.codepink.org/support2023