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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The right - and wrong - way 2 kill

These "terrorist" killings in Paris & London put me in mind of the red coats during the u.s. revolutionary war just being beside themselves because the colonizers weren't killing properly! They were breaking the rules of war that england made & expected everyone "civilized" 2 adhere to.

Now we think it's an attack on our "democracy" when the killing we are doing around the world comes into our streets, our buildings, our families.

It is so easy & so quickly 4 us 2 4get we supply up 2 79% of the world's weapons depending on which people we're attacking.

Weapons: our biggest export.

Go to Heavan...

So I jump out my truck and there's an older white man in Florida digs - shorts, sandals and t-shirt - behind my truck serious peering thru his phone and taking pictures.

I prepare myself as I approach him. He tells me he's been following me for a few miles, wondering if he should try to pull me over but when he saw me making a u-turn he knew I was heading for Whole Foods.

He kept repeating "I just had to know who was driving this truck!" I kinda felt he was pro but I didn't want to assume. Finally he starts telling me how happy he is, how wonderful I am, and how necessary the messages are on my truck.

He tells me he's a christian so he'll not say he wants (grimace...no name) to go strate to heavan, not hell, because he's not that kind of a christian. His only concession is that he wants it to happen today, NOW. Please god, make him go to heaven, he begs.

I tell him I'm not a christian & I really don't care where he goes as long as it is out of power & as long as he takes all his cronies with him.

He laughs loudly and says he HAS to get a picture of us together in front of the back of the truck. He doesn't have to ask twice.

He tells me he's already sent a couple to his wife but he wants to send this one with us both. I urge him to also go around to the other side and take that picture too, the End Violence Against Womyn & Children.

I ask if he knows about hashtag Say Her Name, which he doesn't until I explain. He shakes his head knowingly and demands the same fate for those police officers: heavan NOW!

We part ways, he telling me fervently "god bless you" about 20 times. I grin and say "and Lesbians  bless you!" as we smile broadly and go our separate ways.

Venturing out

I'm about 2 leaf the cozy secure comfort & awesome support of womyn's land & venture out on2 the streets of West Palm Beach as I head 2 the Y! I'll keep u posted!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Three tRump supporters challenged by me....



I am in a park, across and down the road about 100 feet having a discussion with a sistar resister when I see three young white-appearing men carrying a large u.s. flag and equally large tRump/pence sign stroll by my parked truck and disappear at the back. I cut my conversation short, rush across the street and down the grass until I catch up with them standing a couple feet away, reading my messages.

I greet them to their joint surprise and summon my deepest bewilderment (which is very easy to do) to ask them why in the world are they carrying a tRump sign?

They angrily ask me if I voted for Clinton. I diffuse them by saying no I actually didn't. I ask them if they did and they answer as they adamantly shake their head no, one word: "emails". I don't want the conversation to go that way so I just clam up, put on my rueful smile, and shake my head. 

They are anxious to talk, especially the very blond and blue-eyed - and young-  flag carrier, who tries to proclaim that tRump has made the u.s. great again. When I ask how he continues broadly grinning and says one word “Carrier”. I try not to scoff and ask if they are aware of the details of that ‘negotiation’ or of the layoffs that were just in the news. “Fake news” one of them grumbles. At least they're up to two words...

So I ask instead if he or either of his pals (one who looks a little more brown than white to me) are getting a job with Carrier?

Flag bearer proudly boasts he’s joining the military to fight for me and everyone in this country. I tell him he’s not, he’s going to fight for our corporations right to exploit people in other countries. He wants to insist that he is fighting for my freedom of speech.

I inform him the fighting he's going to do is learning how to kill another human being, not how to fight for freedom.

He is getting angrier and louder and takes a step toward me so that I can almost feel his hot breath, as his arm swings to indicate what I’ve written on my truck. He wants the fuckin military to take credit for my right to say what I want.

I ask him if he REALLY believes in freedom of speech, why is he yelling at me? Why has he moved closer, raised his voice, why is he so angry?

He backs down enough for me to tell him I am the one who fights for my constitutional rights, me and water protectors and activists and lawyers and Sojourner Truth and Martin Luther King. He pooh-poohs my list of sheras and heroes but I tell him as authoritatively firm as I can that there is one lie he will NOT leave my presence with, and that is the belief that he is fighting for me.

I tell him I do NOT want him to kill ANYONE for me, to fight ANYONE for me, and reiterate this until he unwillingly indicates he understands.

Again I ask them how tRump has made amerikkka great again, as I pointedly look at my “Make racists, misogynists, war-mongerers, fascists SCARED again” sign on the back of my truck. They’re either not bold enough, or maybe in deference to the kinda-brown appearing friend in the middle, to mention Muslims or the wall, but instead they say that he is a businessman so he’ll provide jobs and bring wealth to the country.

I am incredulous again: their naivety is stunning. I ask if they really know what it means to file bankruptcy, as he has done to the tune of a billion dollars (that we know about)? They are kinda blank but still engaging.

I explain what that means to the little people, like them, who are going to work and work and in the end, not get paid.

When I ask them why the hell do they think a democracy, a government, should be run like a business, and have they ever worked for a business? They all nod and I say, so your employer has been more concerned with your welfare than him making a profit? You’ve had great experiences with employers?

They are again speechless, maybe thinking, maybe conceding their ignorance.

 Then they state, with a sneer that indicates the opposite, yeah, all white people are racist. I smile and want to say I didn’t know they were that informed. Instead I nod my head and say, yes all white people are racist, all whites have the legacy of racism on our backs, spoon fed to us since we’re born.

They protest loudly and want to talk about Black people being racist and I end up defining bigotry, prejudice, and racism for them. They state unanimously they don’t believe white people have more power than Black people, or more privilege, opportunities.

I ask them how many Black business owners do they know, police, politicians, bankers, realtors? They’re scrambling to deny racism accounting for their white worlds.

They out and out deny white supremacy. Flag bearer points out black-on-black crime (in Detroit…) but is silenced when I tell him Black people tend to kill Black people, white people tend to kill white people, men tend to kill along racial lines. So fuckin what?

I can see him thinking about that.

I leave them thinking about what are billionaires really doing for them? I tell them tRump doesn’t give a shit about them unless he’s exploiting them & I think in their heart of hearts, they know this.

Maybe. But off they go, another three tRump supporters challenged by me…

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Even while incarcerated, my truck works!



We are awoken with searchlight intensity illumination at 5:00am, as I’ve been told we would be, for breakfast (which I try to refuse but am quickly stifled again) at 6:00am and lockdown again at 7:00 – after all, drugs have been distributed, womyn have eaten poison, and the tv won’t go on until 10:30 – IF everyone has behaved.

I am not tired but I’m torn: I want to let womyn know I will listen to their story, if they want to share it, and I will write about it but I’m anxious about my Baby. I don’t know how long I can safely leave her without someone inflicting damage on her.

My name is called over the loud speaker and the cell door is released along with another inmate’s door – the new brown womon who has been brought in during the wee hours for driving without a license. A tense white male jailer has appeared, frowning at his paper work as he gruffly orders me to stand against the wall perpendicular to the door.

He drills me on what I’m allergic to and will not let me get away with not naming the specific chemicals in the lotion they want to put on my hands. He gets angrier and angrier as I attempt to explain first that I need to look at the container and then I say can’t pronounce these chemicals without reading them.

By the time he is spitting angry I come up with the biggest words I can think of off the top of my head because now I’m REALLY committed to not being fingerprinted with chemically-laced lotion. “Di-oxigenate phosphates, phosphorous chloridiums, pesticides, preservatives, depleted uraniumology” I make up, you know chemical sensitivities.

He is disguising his bafflement with my list and is close to spitting mad, threatens me with remaining in my jail cell – i.e. not being able to meet with a public defender or go to court – until I agree to be finger printed.

I tell him I agree to be finger printed but I don’t agree to be poisoned.

He orders me back to my cell, slams the doors as he scary mad huffs out. The other womyn are dying of curiosity but have to wait until we’re let out of our cells before I can tell them what happened.

A little after 9, the nurse comes back with more meds. I catch her at the doorway and tell her my problems with chemicals and the angry guard. She gets them to use water on my hands. Of course the angry male guard sarcastically demands if I’m allergic to water. I tell him it depends on what they’ve put into it.

He snorts like I’m making a joke until I tell him I use filtered water because most cities dump tons of chemicals into drinking water. I ask him hasn’t he noticed how awful water tastes? He grunts as he gets a paper towel, wets it, and proceeds to wipe my hands & take my fingerprints.

I’m led back into my cell and almost immediately the womyn tell me my name was called. One of them goes to the intercom and informs the jailers I’ve returned.

A young womon leads me to the interview room: the long room with stools and a phone receiver on one side of the thick, clear plexiglas, with the same configuration imitated on the other side as if reflected in a mirror.

A very large white male on the cusp of retirement and in a shiny grey suit that even I can tell screams wealth, glasses refusing to stay perched on his strate nose, stares at me with some wonder in a heavy southern drawl. He introduces himself, tells me he regrets not bringing his card, and that he is going to work on getting me out.

Actually, he amends that to he is going to get me a public defender who will get me out. After he explains the procedure, he looks at me admiringly and says his boss, the district attorney (I think) called him on his cell early this morning – which she apparently rarely does – to instruct him to get me out of jail.

He ponders what friends I have in high places, but he doesn’t ask me directly, thank goodness, as I am pondering such a thing myself.

He asks my jailers to allow me to stay in the interview room until the pubic defender gets there, which they do for awhile but he is taking too long to appear so I get returned to my cell block and the curious
womyn who are wondering what the hell is going on.

Soon I get called out again and this time I get put into a ‘solitary confinement’ cell because the lawyer hasn’t shown up in a timely fashion. There are no windows in this cell, the ceiling is much lower, one metal bed scrunched against the wall, two steps from one side to the other, no toilet paper and a dirty stainless steel toilet with no seat, just the rim.

People who have been stripped of everything but jail clothes have somehow scratched names and dates into the paint on the door and bed frames, along with drawings, phrases, and even sentences. I can’t imagine how long they were incarcerated in this dismal room in order to accomplish this.

My anxiety is rising. I don’t want my truck towed. I’m considering making that phone call – a call I haven’t made yet – begging for cash or for someone to come get my truck.

But I’m let out of the cell and taken to the interview room where a very young, very short, very cocoa brown, very slight man awaits with pad in hand. He introduces himself as my new public defender and listens carefully as I explain my case. He assures me he will go see the judge and I will get out.

I tell him I’m very worried about my truck and explain that I need him to check and make sure it hasn’t been and won’t be towed. He promises.

Once again, I’m returned to my cell in time for another meal that I want to return but I’ve promised my cell mate she can have first dibs on my lunch tray. I now have to wait until 2:00 for the court to resume.

Around 3:00 I’m led out to the front of the jail, put in handcuffs and fuckin ankle irons that I can barely drag along a fortunately short hallway into yet another courtroom. Several men, both Black and white, and all in their Sunday best, halt their milling around to stare at me as one of the white men approaches me and asks if I’m who I am.

He then tells me that they’ve been instructed to release me as soon as possible – and he starts laughing – because the good people of Adel are thinking there’s a protest at the courthouse, apparently because of my vehicle! All the other men join in laughing, really curious by this time, and make a little pack to head to the courthouse to examine my truck.
I make sure they know that there is information on all sides and to read everything!

So my truck has been working to free me from jail!










Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Something about the womyn….



It takes a good hour to process me into jail. The womyn jailers here also act surprised to see the likes of me – if they only knew, I hit the court in my airplane incognito clothes. They are very respectful, even almost pandering – bringing me a drink of water, first of all, and then in a paper cup, 2nd of all, because I tell her I can’t drink out of {fuckin} styrofoam.

But to my surprise, that I did my best to hide with my confident authoritarian face, no one could finger print me as I told them I’m allergic to chemicals after reading the list of shit in the ‘lotion’ they wanted to put on my fingers.

They then offer baby wipes instead, that I refused as well after reading the horrific chemicals people in Adel are putting on their babies’ bottoms, which one of the womyn whose initial concern was amping up toward irritation, explains slowly to me that she uses these on her own child’s bottom – a child who has rashes frequently.

I give her my serious “see! Your child has chemical sensitivities too!” nod while I encourage them to use coconut oil, cocoa or shay butter or even any vegetable oil.

They tell me how sensitive and expensive the finger printing machine is so they don’t know about these other natural products. I declare oil without chemicals is much better than oil with chemicals and suggest they go to the kitchen, if there is one. As they cannot find any natural oil, I then offer to go to my truck – or give them the keys – to get the proper non-toxic oil for the finger printing machine.

They give up, hand me my jailhouse rags, accompany me to the bathroom to hold out a clothes bag for any article of clothing I have on that isn’t white. Hmmmm

I am not made to strip as I have on a white t-shirt, or squat frontwards and backwards – as we were forced to do in North Dakota jails – nor was I told to bend over, spread my cheeks, lift my breasts. My hair was not searched, nor my mouth as North Dakota did.

I am lead to cell block 400 where I find out later the 9 or 10 female inmates are housed, this being a mostly male jail.

The 8 womyn are all sitting down at two long tables eating their dinner, for it is 5:00pm. They all look up in concert, beaming at me, as I get led into the cell. Introductions are interrupted when the jailer asks me if I want food.

I begin to say hell no, but the womyn all jump up to circle around me and motion discreetly, alert eyes wide with begging, for me not to refuse. So I don’t.

After the jailer leaves, they emphatically explain to me that I will be put in solitary confinement if I refuse 3 meals in a row. Then they all figure out how to divide up my food tray so amicably and quickly I have no idea what was for dinner!

Everyone settles back down, warning me not to say or do anything I don’t want seen or heard because they are under 24 hour every second observation and eavesdropping.

There are two Black womyn, one brown womon, 4 so blond and bright blue-eyed white women they are almost translucent, and two brown-haired white womyn. I will learn later that at least half the womyn have been arrested with either a boyfriend, husband, or 18 year old son. One womon has a $20,000 bail – drugs – and another womon has a $12,000 bail – drugs.

One womon was accused of stealing toothpaste and the others are there on parole violations. From what I can discreetly learn, most are locked up for speeding tickets, driving without or on a suspended license, operating a vehicle under the influence, and even failure to obey the legal command of a police officer.

I believe the drug of choice for at least three of the skinny skim milk pale white womyn is amphetamines.

But really, they are all in here because they are poor and can’t make bail. Some have been here a few dayz, others weeks. They are all waiting for their trial, which means they haven’t even been proven guilty.

The womyn let me know what I need to do, what the rules are, who my cell-mate will be, when lock-down happens, what to expect next. This is the first time my crime for being in jail is not standing up for justice, at least not directly.

I mean the other times, the womyn have already known I’m a water protector or anti-war or Black Lives Matter activist, etc, because they know of the protests or actions. This time I’m just trying to enter a “Not Guilty” plea and get a court date.

I am most anxious about my truck but I try to trust the judge and the police officer who called 9-1-1 to give them my license plate number and instructions not to tow her.

The womyn quickly show me a pile of books and encourage me to grab one quickly before we are all locked in our cells. Most of the books are bibles or bible-related pamphlets but there are a couple of mysteries so I grab one and head off to read as the locks bang into place.








JAIL



Who the hell ends up in jail after going to court to enter a “Not Guilty” plea for a fuckin traffic ticket? That would be me! 

And where? In fuckin Adel, Georgia of course.

That’s right. I went yesterday to my arraignment for a lousy misdemeanor traffic ticket, thinking I’m going to get my day in court and smash this ignorant redneck sheriff to hell and back for his southern white boy bigoted domination and I end up being taken to jail because the judge demanded a $400 bond – cash no less – before I would be allowed to walk free.

COURT

The courtroom, located in an ancient (for the u.s.) marble, wrought iron, and golden oak tall (for Adel) two story building with the 20 foot ceilings and lazy overhead fans, full of important white people expressing undisguised surprise that I’m here as they buzz around to make sure I don’t enter the hallowed court room with a water bottle. Of course the podium of the judge, clerk, recorder have a can of soda, glass of water or clear soda, covered coffee mug, bottle of water and bag of candies in evidence.

And three containers of anti-bacterial shit, which is a much more dangerous substance that water in a bottle…even in the hands of an old not guilty womon!

We all are individually called up alphabetically to meet with the million-dollar suited, tall, thin white male prosecutor (I assume – he is not introducing himself), who sits with his back to us, goes over the charges, records the pleas, and forwards the info to the judge, a very large, very broad in all directions, white-haired white male judge who is probably in his 40’s.

When court starts, I’m shocked to hear how many people are pleading guilty to minor traffic infractions, or some vehicle equipment failure, speeding tickets – not even “no contest” pleas but one after the other “guilty”. When one womon tries to change her “guilty” to “no contest” I get a glimpse of why people aren’t embracing that lesser plea.

It seems when people plead “guilty”, they are given more time to pay the fine and a lesser fine. When pleading “no contest” the fine goes up and the time goes down: they have to pay now and more money. But guilty leaves points on their driving record while no contest doesn’t.

A 40-ish year old Black man tells me he was stopped for speeding, 82 the officer admonished, in a 70mph zone. When the officer returned with the ticket, it said 92mph and when the victim questioned him, the officer threatened to raise it to 100mph.

I think I hear the prosecutor tell a young Black womon that usually fines are increased for those going to trial, but will be decreased now if she pleads guilty.

Another Black man was stopped with an expired license that he claimed was renewed but he hadn’t received the new one yet. The officer calls DMV in Virginia because he sees a “St. Thomas, VI” address on the expired license. Right. Virginia DMV of course has no record of the driver, so he issues another ticket.

In addition to the man’s home address, across the top of the license – for those ignorant of the VA abbreviation for Virginia – in bold large print are the words: “United States Virgin Islands”.

A young, very slender Black womon has been charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana which the officer ‘discovered’ after stopping her for speeding….hmmmm

She trembles wide-eyed as she nods to the judge, giving her a year’s probation with monthly probation meetings, fined $1367.50, 20 hours of community service. And by the way, she agrees to give up her right to refuse the searching of her home, her vehicle, her possessions, and yes, her body by ANY police officer or ANY public official at ANY time…

Then it’s my turn. I enter the only “Not Guilty” plea I hear. The judge is not happy. He begins to read me my rights, which include a right to a public defender if I qualify, and a right to a jury trial. I request both.

He then orders me to pay a $400 cash bond pending the trial. I’m stunned. I ask why he is doing this and he lets me know that it is to ensure I will return for trial.

I tell him that I’ve already come back to Georgia 2 months after receiving the ticket to this arraignment to enter a “not guilty” plea. He riffles through papers, looks at the computer, and responds with something like it’s the law.

I inform him I do not have $400 cash – I don’t say I wouldn’t give it to the county of Cook (which the womon sitting next to me who lives here claims this is Crook County) to hold for months and months even if I had it, which I don’t.

He tells me I’ll have to go to jail if I don’t come up with the money. I tell him he misunderstands, I WANT this trial, I’m looking forward to this trial, I’m greatly anticipating going to trial.

He calls forth the youngish white woman police officer leaning boredly against the oak door frame behind which guilty people have been disappearing with the court bailiffs and asks her to escort me to jail. I ask the judge about my vehicle – I don’t really care about me going to jail but I’m worried about my truck. He assures me it will be fine for a day or two.

What the fuck??? The officer is visibly embarrassed, mumbles what sounds like an apology and a ‘just doing my job’ remark, then, even tho she mumbles she’s supposed to, doesn’t handcuff me until we get to her police car.

The judge comes down and catches us before I sit in the car & says he’s heard I want to speak to him. Has he? I reiterate again that this is not necessary: I want to go to court. I ask him to release me on my own recognizance and he claims he can’t. I ask him to reduce the bond to $100 and he claims he cannot.

So I ask about my truck, which he doesn’t see. He reassures me that will not happen and orders the police officer to make sure it is not towed. And off we go to jail.