CodePink: Women for Peace, a Venice-based organization, celebrated International Women’s Day with a call to end the war in Iraq and for full participation by women in the peacemaking process.

International Women’s Day was held Wednesday, March 8th, and CodePink celebrated the day with a gathering at Santa Monica State Beach on Sunday, March 12th.

CodePink co-founder Jodie Evans said her organization was joining thousands of women around the world in calling for peace.

Evans said more than 400,000 women have signed the “Women Say No to War Urgent Call for Peace” petition, which was delivered to the White House and U.S. embassies around the world.

“Iraq women have paid a huge price for the war in their country, and this is an opportunity for us to raise our voices in unison with theirs to call for an end to the escalating spiral of violence,” Evans said. “The majority of Iraqis and Americans believe it is time for the U.S. military to come home from Iraq, and now we need to make our leaders listen to the will of the people.”

Women Say No to War events were also held in more than 100 U.S. cities and 25 countries, including Australia, England, Canada, Italy, Venezuela, Egypt, and Pakistan, she said.

Cindy Sheehan, an anti-war protestor whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004, joined the protest in Washington, D.C.

The worldwide protests ranged from candelight vigils to peace walks to rallies outside of Congressional offices.

In Santa Monica, aerial artist John Quigley and his team created the image of women standing around crosses temporarily put up on the beach to remind people of how many soldiers died in Iraq.

Quigley is known for recreating works by masterpiece artists by using humans to make the image.

Past images have included Pablo Picasso’s Mother and Child.

Information, (310) 621-5635 or www.codepinkla.org

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