Video by Catherine Reid
WASHINGTON — Wind and rain didn’t deter CODEPINK from staging a White House protest Tuesday against the Obama administration’s drone warfare policy and the president’s nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.
CODEPINK is a women’s grassroots organization that opposes U.S.-funded wars and military occupations and instead favors focusing government’s resources into what it calls “life-affirming” activities, such as health care and green jobs.
The group of about ten protestors railed against Brennan’s work as chief counterterrorism advisor to the president and alleged that he has violated core tenets of the Constitution, such as due process. Despite challenges from various groups, Brennan has said that the administration’s overseas drone strikes are “conducted in full compliance with the law.”
CODEPINK scheduled its demonstration to reflect the White House’s weekly counterterrorism briefing, which has been nicknamed “Terror Tuesday,” according to Noor Mir, the organization’s anti-drone campaign coordinator.
“If you don’t know what ‘Terror Tuesday’ is, it’s the day that President Obama and John Brennan get together like good old pals and decide who they’re going to kill today,” Mir said to bystanders at the protest.
Despite the nasty weather, activists assembled in Washington for the start of a week of anti-drone activism. On Thursday, CODEPINK plans to protest outside the Department of Justice and demand that Attorney General Eric Holder release legal opinions on the constitutionality of drone warfare. Members will then join on Friday with Pakistani nationals outside the Embassy of Pakistan for a vigil to remember those who have lost their lives to U.S. drone attacks in that country.
The organization’s primary objective is exposing what it sees as the destructive nature of Obama’s drone policy and remembering the victims of these military actions all over the world, said Alli McCracken, a CODEPINK national organizer.
“CODEPINK believes that the rapid proliferation of drones is the new face of war, and it’s incredibly dangerous,” said McCracken. “We’re here to commemorate … the people who have lost their lives and specifically the children who have lost their lives because of our drone policies, which John Brennan and President Obama have constructed.”