Fifty-nine countries hosted 1,029 readings of Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ anti-war comedy, to protest the Bush Administration’s unilateral war on Iraq. Take a peek here to see the list of cities and countries where readings happened. — You’ll note there was a reading in every single U.S. state.
Readings were held in theatres large and small, schools, churches, libraries, in music halls, homes, cafes, community centers, clubs, subway cars, parks, and on street corners. More than 300,000 people attended readings organized by our 1,029 Lysistrata Project “spearheads.” Readings raised an estimated $125,000 for non-profit organizations working for peace and humanitarian aid. Some readings didn’t raise money, but the fact that they occurred at all resonated as a powerful symbol of world citizens united for peace. For example, a secret reading in northern Iraq was organized by members of the international press corps, who had to keep quiet about it or risk losing their jobs. A reading in Patras, Greece was held by Greeks and Kurdish refugees in an abandoned factory. There were secret readings in China and Isreal. A group of activists in Mindanao braved volitility to present their reading. The list goes on…
Many of us are more politically active today due to our participation in Lysistrata Project. We felt inspired by the palpable unity with others around the world on that day of action. We value the thought-provoking conversations initiated by the readings, and the new friendships fostered there. Above all, Lysistrata Project participants discovered individual empowerment to speak out for what we believe.
The international Lysistrata Project participants earned the news coverage they received on and around 03/03/03. The Project was featured on multiple CNN news programs, PBS’ Lehrer News Hour, and many network and local news programs. Dozens of radio programs featured stories about the project, including NPR’s All Things Considered and Dutch, French, German, Canadian, Japanese and Greek stations. Features appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, L.A. Weekly, The Village Voice, Ms. Magazine, American Theater, El Mundo, and thousands of other publications across the globe as the Associated Press offered the story, and as international Lysistrata Project participants dropped their own press releases.