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Group waiting for action on Code Pink digs
Kristinn Taylor, co-leader of the D.C. chapter of FreeRepublic.com, is hoping that the city eventually addresses the de-facto hotel/lobbying operation run by the group Code Pink from a residentially zoned five-bedroom row house at 712 Fifth St. NE.
Mr. Taylor’s puzzlement is understandable, for the Code Pink provocateurs advertise the apparent zoning violations on their Web site, www.codepink4peace.org.
“The bedrooms vary in size and can house two to four activists in each,” the far-left group writes in the D.C. section of the site.
The Code Pinkies say the brownstone can handle as many as 20 activists at a time, which is an apparent violation of the District’s zoning laws regarding residential properties.
Mr. Taylor says he and his band of freedom-loving patriots descend on the Code Pink headquarters each Wednesday night to point out the egregious housing violation of a group that has an affinity for Hugo Chavez and Marxist ideology.
“I don’t like Code Pink personally,” Mr. Taylor said yesterday. “But this housing situation has been so blatant on their part that we felt we should be out there to raise the issue.”
Mr. Taylor says Judicial Watch filed a complaint against Code Pink with the D.C. Zoning Administrator in May.
The bureaucracy sometimes moves in mysterious ways, as we learned in the matter of the laughably absurd Apostles of Peace and Unity in Georgetown last year.
The nine Georgetown students who lived in the five-bedroom row house in the 1600 block of 35th Street Northwest employed the religious maneuver to circumvent city zoning law that permits no more than six unrelated persons to a residence.
The city eventually ordered the students into compliance, although perhaps not as quickly as neighbors would have liked.
The seeming flouting of a zoning law has been the sustenance driving Mr. Taylor and his supporters.
Mr. Taylor, 44, a resident of Silver Spring, says Code Pink also brings a slogan-ridden tour bus into the neighborhood, which stresses parking availability there.
Mr. Taylor’s cause is supported by neighbors who find the Code Pink living arrangements to be a bane on their quality of life. They have complained of trash problems, noise issues and strangers passing through the Code Pink front door at all hours of the day.
Residents thought they were living in a quiet neighborhood until one day they woke up next to a flophouse, the so-called D.C. Activist Home, as it is billed on the Code Pink Web site.
“The news media is generally willing to give them a free pass,” Mr. Taylor said. “They thrive on attention and attracting lost souls to their group.”
Many of the full-time rabble-rousers march on Congress each day to protest the war in Iraq, the Bush administration and the capitalistic pursuits of Americans.
“Healthcare, not warfare,” one of their placards reads.
Another reads, “No war, no warming.” If you did not know better, you might think Code Pink was a parody.
Medea Benjamin, the Code Pink co-founder who used to be a Long Island girl named Susie, once lived in Cuba, where it felt “like I died and went to heaven.” She must be easy to please if Fidel Castro’s island prison is her version of heaven. She might try running that view by those Cubans who risk their lives in 90 miles of treacherous seas to reach the Florida coastline.
But that is Code Pink for you. Its members do not live in the real world. Now part of its membership has brought its far-out ideas to Fifth Street Northeast, highlighted by potluck dinners every Wednesday evening.
If 20 to a five-bedroom row house is Code Pink’s version of nirvana, it probably is a view shared by few others in the city.
The thought of so many sharing so few bathrooms does not exactly prompt warm and fuzzy images.
For now, Mr. Taylor’s group is monitoring the crowded living conditions of Code Pink. The city no doubt will pass judgment soon enough.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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