Protesters from the group Code Pink (motto: “Make out, not war”) prevented House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from starting her discussion at the “Unconventional Women” forum on Monday.
Rep. Pelosi, California Democrat, was the among the speakers for the nonpartisan symposium urging women to use their political power, whether it was registering to vote or running for local office.
Code Pink is apparently doing just that. More than 100 women from around the country have organized here in Denver to interrupt various social and political engagements and express their anger over the war in Iraq.
“Tell the truth, Nancy!” Code Pink members shouted. “You lied to us!” they yelled, holding up a pink banner calling for the impeachment of President Bush.
“We are very disappointed in Speaker Pelosi,” Toby Blome, a Code Pink organizer from San Francisco, said. “There are 35 reasons to impeach the president, and she is not allowing any of them to move forward.”
Mrs. Pelosi handled the outburst deftly.
“We are all a country and a party that honors freedom of expression,” she said.
The Unconventional Women event brought together several thousand politically active women — from Girl Scout troops to senior citizens — at the Denver Performing Arts Center. The main focus of the event was to encourage political activism; however, there was very little mention of the highest-profile political woman these days, former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“We come together at a convention that is historic,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “Aren’t we proud of the effective and historic race run by Hillary Rodham Clinton? If a woman can run for president and the American people are ready for a woman to run for president, we desperately need many more women in politics.”
That said, she gave the shout out to Sen. Barack Obama in retort to the Code Pink protesters.
“I agree we should end the war,” Mrs. Pelosi said, “and that is why we must elect Barack Obama president. We have been there two years longer than we were in World War II, and of course we are diverting our real attention from the war on terror in Afghanistan. It has really been a grotesque mistake.”
Replied a Code Pink member: “Then fix it!”