- Leftist activist and Democratic Party fundraiser
- Co-founded Code Pink for Peace
- Board member of the Rainforest Action Network
Jodie Evans is a radical activist and Democratic fundraiser best known as the co-founder -- along with Global Exchange’s Medea Benjamin -- of Code Pink for Peace. Evans also works closely with Leslie Cagan, the pro-Castro leader of United For Peace and Justice. Over the years, Evans has supported such activist groups as Citizen Action, the Earth Island Institute, and the California subsidiary of NARAL Pro-Choice America. She is currently a Board of Directors member for the Rainforest Action Network.
Evans rose to public prominence via her leadership role with Code Pink for Peace, a self-described “grassroots peace and social justice movement” formed in 2002 to organize public protests against America’s impending war in Iraq. For four months, from late 2002 through early 2003 (shortly prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq), Evans led Code Pink members in staging all-day antiwar vigils outside the White House. She initiated a campaign where activists literally gave pink slips (women’s lingerie) to President Bush and other pro-war officials -- a metaphor for pink slips of the paper variety, which are traditionally given to employees whose jobs are being terminated. These unique tactics brought Evans and her group considerable national news coverage and many talk-show invitations. Regarding Code Pink's objectives beyond antiwar concerns, Evans stated, “We have nothing against communism.”
In August 2003, five months after the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Jodie Evans led a delegation of fifteen Code Pink women to Baghdad, where they met with Iraqi women for the purpose of "creat[ing] the understanding that the people of Iraq are no different than you and me." "We who cherish children," said Evans, "will not consent to their murder ... in a war for oil." Further, Evans praised the degree to which Saddam Hussein’s (now-fallen) government had provided social services for the Iraqi population, saying: “[T]here was a good education and health care system, food for everyone. That system didn’t belong to Saddam, it belonged to the Iraqis, it belonged to years of creating what a civilization needed. If your parents didn’t send you to school, they could be put in jail.” Said Evans in an August 2003 interview:
"Basically what the Americans did was destroy any form of infrastructure that could have held the country together--like the Iraqis say, to wipe anything that could hold the country together off the map.... There isn't an Iraqi you meet who doesn't feel that they're being disrespected, that this is being done on purpose. It's made them hate the American government, hate it. They just think it's stupid and cruel and mean and thoughtless and everything you can think of.... What's cool about the resistance is that the Iraqis don't back down."
While in Baghdad, Evans repeatedly and publicly painted America as an unprovoked aggressor, and Iraqis as noble defenders of their invaded homeland. “Iraqis continue to resist the occupation in their own way,” said Evans and Code Pink.
After Saddam’s toppling, Evans supported the insurgents fighting American soldiers, despite the fact that many of these were foreign jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda-type groups, and were former members of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guards, Fedayeen militia, and intelligence service. To Code Pink, these were the representatives of the Iraqi people fighting for liberation.
In December 2004, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Raul Grijalva, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and Rep. Henry Waxman provided diplomatic courtesy letters for Evans, Medea Benjamin, and several other antiwar activists who wished to deliver a combined $600,000 in medical supplies and cash to the families of the terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Fallujah, Iraq. The organizations sponsoring the delegation were Code Pink, Global Exchange, the Middle East Children's Alliance, Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Project Guerrero Azteca for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, and Voices in the Wilderness.
Evans wrote on June 26, 2005: “We must begin by really standing with the Iraqi people and defending their right to resist. I can remain myself against all forms of violence, and yet I cannot judge what someone has to do when pushed to the wall to protect all they love. The Iraqi people are fighting for their country, to protect their families and to preserve all they love. They are fighting for their lives, and we are fighting for lies. We must get out of Iraq now. They will rebuild their country, it will take time, a long time, but they cannot start until we are gone.”
In addition to her Code Pink duties, Evans also sits on the Advisory Board of Iraq Occupation Watch (IOW). Her fellow IOW officials include Leslie Cagan; Medea Benjamin; Rania Masri of the Iraq Action Coalition, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, and the American Civil Liberties Union; Maria Luisa Mendonca of the World Social Forum; Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation; Milan Rai of Voices in the Wilderness; Pratap Chatterjee of Berkeley's Pacifica radio station KPFA; and Stanford University professor Joel Beinin.
In January 2006, Evans traveled to Venezuela with Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin for a friendly meeting with President Hugo Chavez.
In August 2006, Evans was one of a dozen activists (among whom were also Medea Benjamin, Cindy Sheehan, and Tom Hayden) who participated in a Code Pink-sponsored trip to meet Iraqi “political leaders” in Baghdad. Team member Geoffrey Millard referred to this trip as a "diplomatic communication." As such, it may have violated the legal prohibition against private U.S. citizens conducting their own foreign policy. Among the Iraqi parliamentarians with whom Evans and her cadre met were:
Shortly after that 2006 trip, Evans spoke highly of the conditions that had existed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein: "Let’s go back to the Iraq before we invaded, there was a good education and health care system, food for everyone. That system didn’t belong to Saddam it belonged to the Iraqi, it belonged to years of creating what a civilization needed. If your parents didn’t send you to school they could be put in jail."
In January 2007, Evans traveled to Cuba as a guest of that nation's Communist regime.
In early September 2008, Evans perpetrated identity theft that enabled her to gain admittance to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota; she was detained by the Secret Service when she attempted to rush the stage during the acceptance speech of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
In a June 2008 radio interview, Evans expressed sympathy for the grievances that had prompted Osama bin Laden to order the 9/11 attacks: "We were attacked because we were in Saudi Arabia, that was the message of Osama, was that because we had our bases in the Middle East, he attacked the United States.” When the interviewer subsequently asked Evans whether she considered that "a valid argument," she replied: “Sure. Why do we have bases in the Middle East? We totally violated the rights of that country. Why do we get to have bases in the Middle East?”
In September 2008, Evans and Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin met with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York; they were subsequently invited to meet with Ahmadinejad again, in Iran, two months later. There, they met with high-level government officials, and offered to help fund environmentally-friendly businesses as well as the construction of a “peace park” in Tehran.
In 2009 Evans and Code Pink led several trips to Gaza, Egypt and Israel to deliver cargoes of “humanitarian aid” to Gaza's Hamas-led government, and to publicly denounce Israel. During one trip to Gaza in early June of that year, Hamas gave Code Pink a letter to be hand-delivered to President Barack Obama.
In December 2009, Evans and Code Pink led more than 1,000 leftists, among whom were Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, to Cairo in order to deliver “humanitarian aid” to the Hamas-led government of Gaza. To lend credibility to her mission, Evans carried with her a letter of support from Senator John Kerry. Prior to the trip, Hamas had guaranteed the safety of the Code Pink retinue in Gaza.
In January 2010, Evans and Code Pink asked the Muslim Brotherhood to “join us in cleansing our country!” -- and implied that an appropriate means of doing that would be to kidnap former President Bush and his wife, as well as Karl Rove and other members of the former Bush administration.
BigGovernment.com has chronicled Evans' extensive ties to Barack Obama:
- In February 2007, Evans co-hosted (along with her now-deceased husband Max Palevsky and Dreamworks executives Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg) a key Obama fundraiser just weeks after Obama had announced his presidential candidacy. Evans herself donated the maximum $2,300 to Obama’s campaign.
- In April 2007, the Obama presidential campaign announced that Evans was one of its early fundraising bundlers.
- In June 2008, Evans met with Obama at a high-priced fundraiser.
- In late August 2008, Evans attended the Democratic National Convention and, because of her status as a bundler, was invited to two private receptions with Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden.
- In September 2008, Evans attended two exclusive Hollywood fundraisers with Obama. Two weeks later, she met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City.
- In October 2008, Evans worked with Code Pink’s Los Angeles chapter on a get-out-the-vote campaign in Obama's behalf.
- After Obama’s election as President in November 2008, Evans and some fellow Code Pink representatives traveled to Iran at the personal invitation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- On June 19, 2009, Evans visited the White House and met with Buffy Wicks, the deputy of Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. That same month, Evans visited the White House residence.
- In the fall of 2009, Evans, at a San Francisco fundraiser for Obama, personally gave the President a propaganda package compiled from her recent trip to Afghanistan, where she had met with the Taliban. The next day, Evans was given a briefing by Obama's deputy chief of staff.
- In November 2009, when Obama announced his plan to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, his staff coordinated with Evans on the matter of how the anti-war left's dissent against that policy should be expressed.
In early 2016, Evans was a key supporter and organizer of Democracy Spring, along with such notables as Medea Benjamin, Heather Booth, John Cavanagh, Bill Fletcher Jr., and Jim Hightower.