CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. Won't you join us? Below are photos, videos and reports from all our beautiful trouble!
Pat Beetle: 89, is a Castleton woman who has focused on peace activism for years, recently received the 2013 Woman of Peace Award from Women Against War, a Capital District-based organization. She was cited for creating “Grannies for Peace,” which unites grandparents to work for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for adequate services for veterans, and for an end to gun violence.
1 What three figures in history do you admire the most — and why?: John Woolman, an 18th-century Quaker, [made] several trips south by horse and on foot to persuade Quaker plantation owners to free their slaves. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke and acted bravely for the civil rights of African Americans, against the war in Vietnam and for economic opportunity for all, especially lifting up the poor. Eleanor Roosevelt was the “eyes and ears” of her husband during the Depression and the war, reporting to him how people really lived.
2 What led you to focus your attention on peace activism?: As a Quaker, I believe in the message of our Peace Testimony against war and violence, and tried to find ways to put that into action, first with a group called Mediation Matters; as a facilitator with the Alternative to Violence Program, which does workshops in prisons and the community; and through action against nuclear weapons, starting in the early 1980s. That concern continues with Peace Action and my work with Women against War and Grannies for Peace.
3 Why should people care what happens in countries halfway around the globe?: The West has been exploiting their natural resources, their land, in some cases their people for centuries. The colonial powers had no compunction about carving up Africa as they chose. This has led to many of the problems that exist today. We have responsibility for our part.
4 How can ordinary people have an impact on peace?: A They can live nonviolent lives and pray for peace. They can join church bodies or peace and justice organizations. They can contact their Congress people and the President, write letters to the editor, and keep learning about the issues through books, lectures, TV and social media.
5 What skills do senior citizens possess to influence society?: They have a long history of experiences and witness to unfolding events of their lifetime. They care about their families and their futures, their grandchildren and those of future generations. They may have connections through work and church social networks that they can energize on causes. They vote. They may have more free time. They sometimes inspire others by hanging on to their beliefs and acting on them.