divas night in venice


Last night was the CODE PINK Divas of Venice celebration!

It went well, despite worries that it wouldn’t. I was worried because we just hadn’t been able to really plan until forty-eight hours before the event. Crawford has drastically drained the ranks of CODEPINK L.A., as many of the women are with Cindy at Camp Casey.

The fashion show was my primary focus in the show. I’d had visions of sending girls out in pink slips, pink slips with slogans written on them, with glitter and rhinestones and ribbons to turn them from shapeless dyed secondhand slips into vivid, memorable garments. The vision became reality just in time, as I handed a bag of trimmings, glue and ribbons to the younger girls, and let them loose. I coordinated the music and the speaking segments, instructed the girls on timing, and hoped like hell it would work.

I, of course, was IN the fashion show. One of the concept costumes – the soldier girl – was made for me to wear, because I had the boots to go with it. That’s what the photo is at right. I’m wearing a pink camouflage miniskirt, a pink wife beater shirt, a soldier’s cap and dogtags. And, of course, the boots I bought to go to Bar Sinister with on my birthday.

But first, I walked down that runway in a pink slip. I was the first girl out, because I had to be back out in less than three minutes in a different outfit. And I really hadn’t thought ahead as to what it would be like to sashay down a runway. So, of course, when I got on stage, and started walking (in a pink slip reading “WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER (PEACE CAN BE)”, black fishnets and open-toed shoes), I was immediately more nervous than I’d expected to be. But I got to the edge of the runway, turned around, and, with my back to the audience, held up the CODE PINK: WOMEN FOR PEACE” banner I’d been carrying out wrapped around my shoulders.

The audience cheered, and the women I work with all whistled, and suddenly, I felt much better. Better enough that I was able to go through with walking down the runway in the second outfit, turning around for full effect, and then, just as the narrator finished her statement, flipping up the miniskirt to show the “DETAIN THIS!” statement written on the seat of the panties I wore over the fishnets.

Cheers and whistles abounded – but the next costume up got far more applause. That was our intern, dressed as the Spirit of Justice, with a blue cloak wrapped around her shoulders. She got to the end of the runway, and, at a cue of “Expose the lies!”, opened her arms to show her gown flowing over only one breast – and the other bare except for a peace sign pasty.

“Hey,” she’d said, when we were planning, “I’ll totally show my tits for peace!”

It was a fantastic evening. I also realized – I am very much following in my mother’s footsteps. Mom was in a couple of fashion shows in her day as well, back in the sixties, in between going to her friends’ concerts and protesting Vietnam. And to add to the synchronicity, Joan Baez, whom my mother saw many times when she was my age in San Francisco, is out at Camp Casey in Crawford playing for the hundreds of people supporting Cindy Sheehan.

Definitely a positive experience for me. This is what I love about Code Pink. We did educate people, putting on a play on election reform and the need for auditing, and we had our co-founder, the Political Diva honoree, speak for fifteen minutes about what’s happening in Crawford, but we did it in high spirits, and we did it in style, and we did it with attitude. And that’s exactly what we’ll do when we get to Washington in four weeks as well.

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