Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

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, May 24, 2017

not just 'any' fuckin male violence...

"Dangerous Woman" tour - "a dangerous woman is someone who’s not afraid to take a stand, be herself and to be honest."

I had to look up Ariana Grande as I had never heard of her. And I found out.

Of the 12 people identified so far as victims, 10 were girls or women.

This is not just male violence, but male violence leashed out against females, and not just any females, but those refusing to be placed into and remain in her societal constructed gender box.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I want us to be OUTRAGED because EVERY child's death is close to our hearts!

So moving Alyson...just think what could happen if all musicians across the globe stood together, united against terrorism...
When Words Fail, Music Speaks

let's start with the bombs we are dropping EVERY DAY in at least 7 other countries in the world

So hateful. Go troll somewhere else.
All bombs should be banned..

really? hateful? how's that - i'm calling us on our hypocrisy - we pay our taxes, send our children, allow our representatives to vote 51% of our money for war so EVERY SINGLE DAY we kill womyn, children, men, artists, musicians, doctors, mothers, elders, destroy the precious mother earth as well - and where is the call to stand against this u.s.ofa. terrorism? not to mention what police & the entire 'justice' system is doing inside our country. no, no call. but when a single individual male - 79% most likely armed if not trained by the u.s. military - replicates once what we are doing 10's or 100's of times a day, we are moved to 'stand against terrorism'???

This post was about the children, women and men murdered after enjoying an evening of music not the military industrial estate. Your lack of compassion is an outrage. Go pedal your comments in a more appropriate post.

I'm outraged because it strikes too close to the heart. I have 2 granddaughters, 10 and 12, in Manchester who might have been at that concert too. This is real life, people bleed and people die. Giving it liberal lip service without really considering the real victims seems callous to me. This was a post about the victims in Manchester, UK not a forum to discuss US military politics.

& u think us military 'politics' is removed from Manchester? or I shld remain silent about my millions of grandchildren, children & grandparents who've been murdered these past 16 years because their blood, their deaths & suffering aren't important or 2 b mentioned or r a mere liberal lip service now that ur grandchildren might hv been in danger? & because ur grandchildren might hv been in danger, u & I no exactly what is going 2 happen 2 many many many more brown & Muslim children - like the more precious lives that were murdered in 9/11, we know this will be the reason to murder millions more sacred lives. there is not just one group of victims but an entire body of victims.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dear males and whites

I have to keep educating males (and white people) on the proper response when a womon calls them on misogyny or racist is for them to sincerely apologize, to think about it and promise to never do it again.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Oh womyn, my womyn, if only..

...we had been spending the last century and a half gathering together to figure out how we will have peace in our world; if only we had heeded Julia Ward Howe's call for us...

I suppose it is telling that today, on this day that has been so stolen from us and twisted into some commercialized event of something we should do EVERY DAY instead of once in 365 days – the honoring of our mothers – when instead it began as the call empowering womyn to leave home (as men desert home at the call for war) to rise with the knowledge that we can and must bring peace to our earth, that on my early morning hike through the woods 6000 feet above sea level in the midst of glorious pines and cedars, icy running brooks, blue jays and robins, my path was crossed by both a mother and baby bear, and a mother and baby deer.

The baby deer (i no fawn) had only faded tell-tale signs of spots and, ears pricked horizontal to the ground, muscles taut but still, after staring at me for several minutes, walked slowly up the hill, hiding and peeking out occasionally from huge stately trunks of pines. Then I noticed she was approaching her mom whose stance the baby had been mimicking. You'll see below I took the pic when she paused & they were about 3 feet apart. What I didn't capture was the baby going up to her mom and them sweetly kissing!

On the down hill part of my hike, I saw a beautiful chestnut brown bear passing across the path in front of me. At first she didn't see me, then suddenly, one paw beginning her climb up the mountain, she stopped and swung her head and then her whole body in my direction. Even though I was shrinking inside I reminded myself to swell up and stand tall - and very, very, very still. We stared at each other & she looked so small I thought she might be a young teen so I went on even higher alert, looking for the mom. After a few moments, she decided to continue up the hill. I still waited just in case - and sure enough up from the gully springs a little latte colored cub, never once looking in my direction, but sniffing all around, her little body just joyful as she bounce after her mom!

I still waited just in case there was another cub - plus I couldn't see how far up the hill they had journeyed.

And I remember here in the crisp calm and stunning beauty, the "cry goes up from the bosom of the Mother Earth to join ours: DISARM DISARM"

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spots of blue in the midst of red...

It is very nice to pull into towns and cities that are spots of blue in the midst of the raging red. Atlanta, Asheville, Fayetteville, and now Flagstaff.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mass migration of soldiers....

As I drive west on I40 through gorgeous New Mexico, I'm filled with such love and emotion inspired from the reds and browns and greens of the mountains, the blacks of the cloud shadows and the ancient lava weaving across the land, the buzzards and ravens and kestrels joyfully soaring on wild winds. I settle in content to listen to my book, absorb the magnificent landscape, and wave happily to the enthusiastic drivers who pass me, honking or hanging out passenger windows or just smiling and motioning thumbs up.

I see 4 or 5 large buses pulled off to the shoulder so I move over to the fast lane to give them space, as I always do. To my horror, I witness hundreds of identical soldiers pouring out of the buses onto the land beyond the shoulder. There are so many of them, they turn the red rocks a putrid green.

I'm sick. Where are they being taken to? How many of the people that I passed or even spoke with in the tiny towns across the country have turned their sons over to kill for the fascists that are blatantly running our country? What do these young men know about compassion and walking a mile in someone else's shoes? When, if not already, will they turn over their final speck of morality and become the killing machines for our empire?

I lean on my horn the way angry truckers do to me and give them the thumbs down. Some of them are facing me, others are milling around like the cows awaiting their cross-country railroad trip alongside the Texas freeway.

My heart clenches, wondering if they even know how to spell Korea or Somalia or wherever they are on their way to.

Several miles later, I pull into a beautiful Arizona rest stop and see that several large buses are idling there with the trucks. And dozens of soldiers are congregated around the doors. I lean out and try to yell "RESIST" "RESIST", that I think comes out as a squeak in this vast land. But all the soldiers turn in unison toward my truck and they all edge forward, their initial smiles turning into gaping stares as I repeat "RESIST" "RESIST".

I drive around to the car side, park quickly, hop out and see a few straggling soldiers leaving the bathrooms, climbing over the rocks and rugged terrain of the rest stop, heading toward the buses. I rush after them but can't catch up. I want to ask them, not yell at them, who they are getting ready to kill? Whose mother or son or brother will they decide to murder? But the all disappear as quickly as a retreating tide, leaving no footprint.

I feel like falling on my knees and weeping, knowing so much more clearly what their future has in store then they do. And our future, my future, the Mother Earth, and the future of all the unarmed and barely armed humans on this earth who will bravely try to fight for justice, for freedom, for peace.

White male coward

YMCA's have been added to my very short list about what is wonderful about the u.s. along with libraries and national parks. I've been able to work out daily in almost every city I've been in, which is crucial when spending hours driving.

I exit the Y this morning, feeling jazzed and so ready to leave the south and mid-west way behind and enter the great majesty of the southwest!

I enter the tail end of rush hour traffic as I head south on I25 to connect with I40 west. A couple miles before the ramp, a white pickup truck has slowed way down in front of me, like to almost 30 miles an hour.

As I cautiously edge around him, an older white man glowers out his window, glasses slipping down his nose in concert with a sky blue cap sliding over his right ear, and gives me the finger. 

The finger. He has slowed down on a 75mph freeway to tell me fuck you and make sure I see it. Okay.

Of course, he speeds up as I begin pass him and I give him my standard "what?" with both hands palms up and off the steering wheel. He slows down with me, attempting to make it impossible for me to pass or follow him.

I motion for him to pull over then as I continue to ask him WHAT??? He points to the shoulder and starts pulling over, like I’m going to stop on the side of the highway with cars speeding by.

I pass his new white pickup, emergency blinkers on, fuck you finger still up accompanied by thin pale lips mouthing fuck you.

I indicate the exit which is .5 miles away and watch him pull in behind me. There’s a gas station to the right directly off the exit. I pull into the station and the fucker drives right by and disappears down a side street.

What a fuckin coward. See? These men are bullies and cowards. They can’t have a face-to-face conversation.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The least of these...

I wait to leave the welcome center to get on the road until the sun is descending closer to the mountain tops and the wind has calmed a little. The center has closed and the internet no longer works. I look around for the suffering stranger and am relieved to see he is no longer around - at least that I can see.

I take off into the sunset, marveling once again at the majestic, snow-tipped mountains and the great expanse of the Mother unfolding all around me.

And then, not a mile or two onto the highway, I see a figure trudging along the shoulder, brown hair flopping in time to his stumbling steps, faded grey/green paisley material blowing out behind him like a final wave goodbye.

I wonder how many people steel their hearts to pass him, as I steel mine.

13 13 13 years to write...

Interstate 40 thru the northern panhandle of texas and on into New Mexico is a desolate, wide open, hot and windy land with trees as infrequent as buildings. Cows abound and some antelope, horses and even cowboys on horses rounding up those cows.

It is an unforgiving land here that I normally love. The horizon stretches so far there's no end, the sky is so humongous and beautiful and limitless, the ruggedness inspiring wild and inspiring.

Today, about 10 miles from the border, I see what looks like a man walking on the shoulder towards traffic on my side of the freeway, much too close to the sparse but speeding traffic. I look around for a stalled car but can’t see one. My first thought is wondering why he isn’t walking on the other side of the median and the nearly empty 2 lane frontage road, even less traveled.

I don’t stop when I see him but I do stop after I cross the border into New Mexico at the Welcome Center. I have to pump veggie oil into my main tank, download another audio book, rest and see if I can invite any tRumpers to talk with me.

Instead, I see this young man, hobbling around the reddish beige walls of the center. He is white but severely sunburned on his arms, face, neck – any part of his white skin that’s been exposed to the harsh sun and wind.

His arms are bright red and peeling in huge sheets of damaged skin. He pulls back the short sleeve of his t-shirt to reveal death-white skin of his upper arms and shoulder. His bottom lip has two black gashes where the soft tissue has gaped and then filled with blood.

It hurts to look at him.

His feet are swollen and bare, toes bent and huge as if he’s a 90 year old man with severe arthritis, dried blood mingled with dirt peeking out beneath the strings from frayed cuffs of his baggy jeans. He has a small backpack that looks almost new hanging off his shoulders and some kind of faded grey-green paisley material looped from the straps, hanging to the backs of his knees.

His arms are folded tightly over his chest as he asks me for a cigarette. I ask him if he’s okay as he nods, his eyes meeting mine for the first time, frightfully searching my face. I tell him he doesn’t look okay.

He stares quickly over my right shoulder, confides that he’s lived the worse life ever, the most horrible things have happened to him, and my first thought is a condescending one as I think of the Syrians murdered today by u.s. drones, challenging him in my mind, as Somalia and Afghanistan and the Black men on death row in Arkansas flash thru my mind, and then, the gashes on his lips begin to ooze blood & puss as he says he has had to endure things no human should have to endure.

And I believe he must have had horrific things happen to him and tell him how sorry I am. I ask him if I can do anything for him. He wants me to read something, this book he has written, that has taken him 13 years to write, and as he repeats the 13, 13, 13, I think about the documentary "13". He rattles on, incomprehensible to me about this vitally important work and where I can find it on the internet.

He's written a book and it has taken so long and so much out of him, and he thinks I need to read it. I nod, not exactly agreeing, but my concerned about his mental health increasing, as well as his physical well-being.

He peers at my license plate and he tells me he wants a ride to California - that I won’t give him.

He tells me the Texas police picked him up in Texas and brought him here over the border and I realize he's the same person I saw walking east (not towards California) along side the freeway. I know if he was Black, the police probably would have taken him to jail or worse. Convenient for the police to deposit him on the other side of the border, eliminating Texan responsibility and dumping him onto New Mexico.

I go inside the center and ask the womyn there to call someone to help him. They tell me there is no one. I ask in the whole state of New Mexico?

I start looking on the internet, make a few phone calls – I try the religious people and social services. There are no homeless shelters in Tucumcari, which we are about 40 miles from. The religious people I got a hold of said they were closed today. Social services had no phone number but a web site where the links didn’t work.

I consider asking truckers who are idling on the truck side of the lot if they can give him a lift. I see him approaching people, some stopping in their tracks to listen or talk to him and I hold my breath hoping they will be the ones, others scurrying away into the clean coolness of the center.

Tourists, mostly white, mostly appearing affluent, mostly from other states, mostly retired couples, mostly not seeing or not caring about helping this tragic fellow, human beings that could in the very least share money if not food or even a little ride.

And I remember in the old days, the people protesting "when did I not feed you, or give you clothes, or shelter?" and I'm so glad I'm not a christian.

This young man will probably end up in jail or dead or definitely suffering more. And he's a white guy and doesn't even have racism to deal with on top of everything else.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Death to Racism" is violent....NOT

I decide to take the scenic route north from I40 to Fayetteville thru the Ozark Mountains and it is stunningly gorgeous. Lots of woods, hills, rivers, forests! Not many animals, at least live animals: a couple of dead possums along the almost 50 mile windy, steep, meandering road.

But several beautiful birds: brilliant red, glossy obsidian, even a blue bird. Then a beige bird with the longest double feathered tail!

It seems I’ve been on many 2 lane highways across the u.s. since and including North and South Dakota – roads with no shoulder on either side, no clearing really at all, let alone a sidewalk. The morning mist from the valleys mingle with low hanging clouds making the landscape seem mysterious and magical.

I want very badly to speak person-to-person with someone from Arkansas, some tRump supporter, but I haven’t been able to approach anyone willing to talk. Or anywhere (closer to the reason) I feel comfortable stopping. There are about 4 or 5 VERY small towns along the route but they all sport huge u.s. flags at their predominant churches with scalding jesus christ signs (where will YOU spend eternity???), visible gun shops, and appear to be very white if not all white.

So I’m not stopping until I get to Fayetteville where I’m going to the Food Co-op, maybe to find tRumpers but  alsoto stock up on food and maybe find a Y – and see what the progressives are doing in town.

An older white womon approaches my truck, telling me how much she admires my messages including the form, letting me know when I ask why is she here, she’s an artist whose family has ‘lived’ in the Fort Smith area for 200 years…

Then she gets a good look at my t-shirt, which today says “Death to Racism”. She vehemently objects, telling me that this is violent. “They” believe in killing, we can’t stoop to their level” she definitively proclaims, as if wanting to terminate racism is the same as wanting to kill a person you view as sub-human.

She tells me that even though she loves my truck – so much so she just spent 15 minutes inside the co-op getting people to come out and look at it – but if she had seen my shirt and the violence I’m advocating by saying ‘death’ to racism, she would have never talked to me, never told anyone about my truck.

I look at her and say really? Don’t you think we need to kill racism? She physically flinches when I state racism needs to die. She has told me how she fought the systems many decades ago to become a doctor and so I ask her does she think misogyny, sexism, patriarchy need to die?

 She nods and I see decades of fight, strength, and success flash across her face when she states the depths of misogyny womyn experience is unfathomable.

So I say racism needs to die just as sexism needs to die. She looks a little conflicted and remains silent pondering when I ask her, what would she do to racism? Have it hang around another 4 or 500 years? Put it in a corner or exile it to someone else’s country? Why does she not want to kill racism?

She tells me it is violent and makes me just like the violent alt-whrite. I tell her killing an ism, killing a practice, killing a structure, killing an institution is not the same as killing a human or the mother earth or any life on the planet.

 It is killing the disease, it is eliminating the infection, it is destroying the contagion.

I tell her, but I don’t think she really hears me, that the ONLY reason you’re saying ‘death to racism’ is too violent is because you’re white. You don’t have to care deeply, you don’t have to make the strongest statement you can summon, your life doesn’t depend on eliminating racism.

I know the mentality she’s coming from, or the frame of reference. It’s almost- except it’s not, it’s racism – like the people who say we can’t be against anything, we have to be for something. Fuck that. There’re LOTS of things I’m against – and for.

It’s using the “new age” or extreme ‘nonviolence’ blanket to not face what is REALLY violent, and that is racism so I tell her calling for the death of racism is not violent, but what IS violent is white silence. Every moment white people go thru life without saying anything about racism, every time we are silent or we accept the ‘comfort’ of walking into a place (like the co-op I just went into), or go to a job, or live in a neighborhood that is all white or mostly white & we don’t say anything, do anything, THAT is violence.

Painting “Death to Racism” on a t-shirt is NOT violent.

I can see she’s reaching as she (kindly) accuses me of basing my statement on hate, of being hateful and it is the hate that echoes the hate of racists.

I ask her, well how DO you feel about racism? She shifts uncomfortably, and I think she’s trying to come up with a strong feeling that does justice to racism but is not ‘hate’ for she really wants to be a ‘good’ person but one that hate and death doesn’t enter her field of vision.

I tell her I abhor racism, I detest it, I loathe it – I wish there was an even stronger word, and I believe it is not just right to despise and hate racism, but it is our duty to do so.

She’s nodding slightly so I ask her what message would she paint on her t-shirt, should she decide not to remain silent about racism, how would she say it? She doesn’t know but she acknowledges it’s a good question and promises to think about it.

Weeeeellll, not the conversation I thought I would have but I think it’s a good one.