Lydia Vickers's blog

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on February 2, 2008 - 7:02pm.

Central Florida Tour with Col. Ann Wright Jan 24 - Jan 29, 2008

CODEPINK Florida women Monica, Leslie, Deidra, Sheri, Lydia and 6 UCF women joined forces in putting together the most fantastic and fun book signing tour ever for the beloved Col. Ann Wright and her book “DISSENT - Voices of Conscience”. Tons of Kudos also to Mike Fox, Jeannie Toth and Samm Simpson in the Tampa/Clearwater/St. Petersburg area, Faith Fippenger in Sarasota, Michael Heaney for his contacts, Dr. Dennis Jett and Mabel at UF and John Bersia and Stephanie at UCF. Finally, a special thanks to Scott and Sherrie Camil, Veterans For Peace in Gainesville.

Here’s what we did:
Ann touched down in Sarasota on Thursday, Jan 24th. Ann remarked that it was the “geriatric flight” - cracked her up. Faith Fippenger, Monica Spain and I met her and headed home to meet Marco Bell of Marco and Monica/CODEPINK Sarasota. Monica was the point person for the Sarasota News and Books event later that evening. Ann was introduced by Arnie Schmidz from the Southwest Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice. She gave the most wonderful talk. She autographed books at every event which was really special for all who attended. After a great talk we headed up the street to a wonderful Two Senoritas Restaurant, compliments of the CODEPINK Sarasota women (there were, by the way, a number of them at the event - you know who you are :-D)...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 19, 2007 - 1:18pm.

C. Rosenberg's latest story about Adel Hamad #940 with a picture & paragraph about Lydia participating in last year's protest at SouthCom:

YouTube-aided detainee released, sent home to Sudan
Posted on Thu, Dec. 13, 2007 BY CAROL ROSENBERG
The military has sent home from Guantánamo Bay a Sudanese hospital worker whose lawyers campaigned in cyberspace for his freedom, in part by enlisting television's West Wing president to make a YouTube video.

Adel Hamad, 49, was among 15 long-held detainees whose release was announced by the Defense Department Wednesday night. Thirteen captives went to lockups in Afghanistan and two were set free in Sudan.

The transfer lowered the prison camp population at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba to ''approximately 290,'' or below 300 for the first time since an airlift filled the crude open-air compound called Camp X-Ray on Feb. 15, 2002.

Hamad, a charity worker in Peshawar, Pakistan, claims he was wrongly captured by Pakistani security forces and handed over to U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2002. Thursday, he took part in a government-sponsored news conference in Khartoum, Sudan, to protest his five-year confinement....

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 16, 2007 - 1:02pm.

Dear All,
We face many challenges in our push for peace. One of them should not be harassment for how we fly our flag (or if we chose NOT to fly our flag). Recently a CODEPINK coordinator has been hassled for NOT flying the flag in a peace march - so I thought I check it out.

The link below will take you the best information on flag etiquette:
http://www.lifescript.com/channels/healthy_living/Life_Tips/the_flag_cod...

Some interesting notes:

1. Even the President himself has been associated with several flag code violations. After September 11th, a carpet with the image of the flag was placed at the Ground Zero memorial. Not only did the President and the First Lady have their picture taken while standing on the flag carpet, the small carpet was also in direct violation of Section 8b of the Flag Code that states: “The flag should never touch anything beneath it, including the ground.”...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 15, 2007 - 9:35pm.

Dear all,
Sometimes we wonder if what we do is helping. Is dressing up and street theater going to make a difference? Are we wasting our time in thinking we can change things?
I'm here to say that EVERYTHING we do is helping. I've been standing in orange jumpsuit and hood/chains for a Guantanamo detainee named Adel Hamad, #940, for some time now. After 5 years in GITMO he still had never been charged, never been tried and was going blind from looking thru chain link fence for so long.
He was released from GITMO last Thursday. He is home with his family.

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 10, 2007 - 3:06pm.

It appears that Congress is going to give Bush another $70 billion for the war in Iraq. They will probably vote late tonight (in the midnight hours) or early tomorrow. It's moving very quickly.

Bush's "red shirts" are up here standing in front of the House office buildings and playing patriotic songs (like they own them) and holding "support the war, support the president" signs.

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 9, 2007 - 7:02pm.

Ya'll, check out www.heifer.org for a great idea for Christmas (or anytime). The e-cards are the cutest - we will do both.

Dave and I are doing this for our grands, Tatler and Mac. Tatler just started knitting so she will get the "knitting basket" of course. You can buy all or part of different animals and baskets for families all over the world.

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 7, 2007 - 8:03pm.

Dear All,
Col. Ann Wright is out of jail - they gave her credit for her 1st court date and for yesterday and today was 3 days - we all cried (seriously).

Medea is on the way to the house and we are all going to the Pakistan hearing - NO MONEY FOR PAKISTAN (just in case you want something to call about :-D)

Lastly, check out Democracy NOW today - Sally Newman, our new CP law student was interviewed and she was eloquent. I'm in the black hood (too funny, we're alllll in black hoods) but I have a sign that says Adel Hamad. His lawyer sent me a thank you note today...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 7, 2007 - 8:02pm.

Dear All,
What an amazing day. Got settled in last night and up and at 'em at 6:15 am.

One bummmmmmmmmer! Col. Ann Wright was sentenced to 6 months probation (the strictest kind you've ever heard of - she can't even raise her voice near the Hill) - it was a jury trial and just blew everyone's' mind in the room. Check out the video interview with Bill O'Reilly that Deidra posted for the group not too long ago.

When Gen Petraeus spoke in the Senate in September (not the House where I stood on a chair), Ann said "I am a diplomat for peace". She knows Crocker, didn't interrupt anyone..... it was profiling for sure.

The jury was selected in the morning. They found her guilty! (the judge was the same one who recently let Midge off with a $500 fine - Midge was back on the Hill the next day and the judge (a woman) mentioned that when sentencing Ann. "I gave your friend some leniency and she was back here the next day" (Midge didn't do anything but go up there, don't even know how the judge knew that????)

WORST OF ALL, she also got 3 days in jail and they took her away, right there. She looked freaked out, had tears in her eyes. Her sciatic nerve has been so painful it's hard to walk at times. I wasn't there but the group that was came home bummed, bummed, bummed...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on November 16, 2007 - 2:57pm.

FLORIDA FOR PEACE CONFERENCE CALL
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Attendees:
Cactus Pat
Carol S.
Hillary (not Clinton)
Lydia V.

Lydia gave a report on the legislative call with UFPJ last week. Basically the plan is to continue the effort to get democrats in the House to sign the “showdown letter” - 90 members have signed. The goal is 117 (half of the dems in the house).

The “showdown letter” and those who have signed it can be found here... (thank you Hillary for that). For a more detailed report on the UFPJ call please contact Lydia at codepinktally(at)yahoo.com.

The main purpose of this conference call was to decide what, if anything, Florida For Peace can do during the months of November (which is almost over) and December...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on October 1, 2007 - 6:34pm.

Florida For Peace will have an "organizational" conference call on:
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Start Time: 7:30PM (EDT)
End Time: 8:30PM (EDT)
Dial 1-605-725-1900
Then dial 22730# to enter the call
You can use *6 to mute or un mute your voice/phone

Agenda Items Include:
1. Approving a Florida For Peace Mission Statement - suggestions needed
2. Building our membership statewide
3. Focus on Nelson tactics for October, 2007
4. The NEW Florida For Peace logo

You should be a FFP member if you want to join this call. Please take this opportunity to join at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/FloridaForPeace...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on September 12, 2007 - 2:08am.

Report on Monday CodePink disruption of the Petraeus hearing in the House. Led by Tallahassee's own Lydia Vickers (that's her standing on the chair shouting down the 'good' general...

What a fabulous start in D.C. CODEPINK (Desiree, Barbara, Lelsie A., Medea B., Mona, Arizona Liz, and myself), IVAW, Col. Wright, David Swanson and others waited almost four hours this morning to go into the Petreaus Report hearing. CODEPINK co-founder Gael Murphy was refused entrance and tried in vane to get in the room. One of the Capitol officers had his panties in a wad and decided only 7 of us could go in. Even Medea couldn't change his sorry mind. Cindy Sheehan and her sister DeDe arrived about 30 minutes before the hearing started and were refused entrance. The up-tight cop actually gave us little blue pieces of paper with numbers on them 1-7. CPer Debby gave up her number so Col. Wright could get in. In the mean time, The Honorable Rev. Yearwood had been in line with us for about 2 hours. Just as we started to go in he was pulled from the line for "cutting in" - it's sooooooooooo high school.


Full report below the fold....

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on August 29, 2007 - 10:38pm.

Click Pic for info on FOCUS ON NELSONFOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY TO THE SENATOR'S DESK

August 28, 2007

FAX TO: Senator Bill Nelson
All District Offices and
Washington, D. C.

FAX FROM: Lydia Vickers, CODEPINK
Florida For Peace/Focus on Nelson
Phone: 850-385-5322

Dear Senator Nelson,

Thank you again for welcoming Pat, Mary and I to your Lafayette County town halls August 22nd.. We met some very nice people, lots of true "Nelson" supporters. Unfortunately it wasn't easy finding where you would be.

Senator Nelson, we believe that it's important for you to hear what Floridians are thinking and talking about regarding the war in Iraq. Staff in 3 of your district offices refused to give Florida For Peace members any information about where you were going to be and told us to call your Washington, D.C. office. The D.C. office was completely surprised and we were told that we should, indeed, be getting the
local meeting schedules from the district offices....

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on August 29, 2007 - 10:20pm.

Click Pic for info on FOCUS ON NELSONFFP member conference call - Thursday, August 30th, 8:30 PM (EDT)

Please join FFP members on the call Thursday night. Lydia Vickers, Cactus Pat, Mystic Mary and Beverley Wiscow and many others will be in Washington, D.C. in September. Could we take your personal message to your district representative? (details below the fold)...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on August 8, 2007 - 9:34pm.

Click Pic for full-sized viewFOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY TO THE SENATOR’S DESK
August 8, 2007

FAX TO; Senator Bill Nelson
All District Offices and
Washington, D. C.

FAX FROM: Lydia Vickers, CODEPINK
Florida For Peace/Focus on Nelson
Phone: 850-385-5322

Dear Senator Nelson,

I would like to thank you for attending the meeting with Florida For Peace members in Kissimmee, Florida yesterday, August 7, 2007. Many of us traveled a very long way to share our concerns about your support of the war in Iraq, funding torture, terrorism, Iraqi civilian atrocities, our 1st and 4th Amendment Rights, support for our troops and their families, Florida’s financial deficits, homeless and veteran issues, your responsibilities to your Florida constituents, permanent bases in Iraq and your voting record on these issues.

For me, personally, I was disappointed that you tried to put me in the uncomfortable position of arguing with you, or even worse, being lectured to about your recent yes vote on S. 1927 (to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978). It was totally unnecessary and a little unkind. None of us at the table were swayed with your lengthy discourse regarding your vote. And is was disturbing that you might use most of the little time we had with you talking rather than listening. Senator, we desperately need you to listen to us....

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on August 1, 2007 - 9:16pm.

Click Pic for full-sized viewAugust 1, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Lydia Vickers
850-241-3191 or 850-385-5322

Deidra Lynch
407-385-3183

FLORIDA FOR PEACE MEMBER GROUPS Scheduled to meet with Florida’s Senior Senator

11:00AM – August 7, 2007 – Kissimmee, Florida

A coalition of Florida peace and social action groups joined forces in May, 2007 to begin a state-wide campaign. Their goal was to ask for meetings with Senator Bill Nelson, Florida’s senior senator, in every district where he has an office.

Senator Nelson has agreed to meet with 10 Florida For Peace members in Kissimmee, Florida at 11:00AM on August 7, 2007. Request for meetings in additional Florida locations will be made at this meeting. “We feel that it is his responsibility to meet with us rather than having his constituents drive all over the state to meet him” said Florida For Peace co-founder Deidra Lynch. Request for Town Hall meeting dates around the state will also be requested.

Florida For Peace member groups include: CODEPINK, Military Families Speak Out/Florida, Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Veterans for Peace, Environmental and Peace Education Center, Tallahassee Network for Justice and Peace, Food Not Bombs, Democracy For America and others...

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