boston dnc - tuesday july 27th
I wasn’t going to go to the radical women’s conference today – I was going to go to another event w/Deborah but jody asked me to pick her up this a.m. at her hotel so I hopped in my big truck & headed thru the new boston tunnel (that bostonians paid bechtel millions to build I understand) to the airport where the hotel was – very convenient! I pulled up in front of the Hilton to the ‘passenger loading/unloading only’ zone to wait for jody. the staff & many hotel guests waved joyously at me & my truck. as I hopped down to go look for jody, a news reporter approached & asked if he could talk w/me. he is from usa today – I frown at his biz card and say, this paper needs a broader perspective, not just a conservative, rich, white, male point of view – he is African american. he solemnly nods his head in agreement & says it’s the corporation that owns the paper – gannet publishing.
he continues to interview me re:my trip, my truck, how long I’ve been doing this, etc. as we speak, I see a tall white security guard approaching rapidly. he’s obviously anxious & working up steam, so I assure him I’m picking up a hotel guest. he kinda looms close as the reporter keeps asking me questions. an older white womon approaches us, hand extended, & introduces herself as Barbara harris from Austin texas. she graciously tells me she wants to shake the hand of the womon who is driving this truck – I repeat some of my story to her.while we talk, both the reporter & the guard are shifting their weight from foot to foot, listening intently. I tell Barbara about codepink & go into my truck to retrieve info for her (& the reporter) as she tells me she will do anything for us! (I might have her name wrong & the city she’s from – menopause, grrrr – but she’s definitely a delegate from texas!!!) as I emerge w/info for her & the reporter, I notice the guard has taken off. we all talk somemore when a short, stocky non-descript older (than the first one, who is clipping this one’s heels) white man approaches. he demands I move my truck immediately – both of them stand straight & menacing, as in no smiles or friendly, casual shoulders – stiff as the regular police. they both have wires in their ears and a hand in their suit jacket – it’s 90plus degrees already and about 430 percent humidity. they instruct me to proceed around to the side of the hotel & the loading dock there. so I do.
as I back into the dock & get out, another young white male sitting on the platform is scowling down at me as I approach the back of my truck. he has what appears to be a piece of hay or a very long tooth pick sticking out the side of his mouth in what I’m sure he thinks is an early tuff-guy pose. he snarls at me “that there should say get a hysterectomy” – I know immediately without looking he is referring to my ‘against abortion? get a vasectomy’ bumper sticker. I say in my sweetest smiley voice ‘oh really?’ yeah, he responds – I’m nodding too, he’s a little loser – ‘only if you want it to say get castrated’. he jumps back, knocking his chair over – the other fellows howl & he starts sputtering about how it’s the womon who gets pregnant. I smile sweetly again & say, yes, 'that’s my point exactly' as I ask directions back to the lobby from another womon. she begins to lead me back to the hotel lobby when yet another ubiquitous security fellow appears to halt our progress. apparently I can’t be trusted to go the back way thru the hotel to the lobby – who knows what havock I can bring to the kitchen or wherever it leads. the young man tells me he’ll escort me to the lobby – outside, thru the heat of the asphalt & concrete. he is so solemn & serious & on edge I have to ask him what is going on. he just mumbles 'security'. he’s about a great-grandchild’s age I’m sure, if I had one: a solemn, silent child at that. I remind him I’m a u.s. citizen, just like he is. when I tell him I’m not a terrorist, he smiles self-consciously but keeps matching my pace, step for step. I can just taste his rush of adrenalin, his hope that he will be the hero that overcomes the terrorist. I understand – who doesn’t want to be a hero? but such a stupid waste of time, harassing me.
I spent the day at the revolutionary women’s event tabling w/jody. it was a FABULOUS event held in boston’s new convention center – no police presence, just security that was pretty laid-back – other then having to wear a tag at all times! of course, I immediately lost mine somehow but they all knew me – I drove my truck there!
there must have been a thousand wimmin there easy. many wimmin didn’t know of codepink but lots did! we got several pages of wimmin to sign up for codepink – it was great! many wimmin came up to our table, introducted themselves & I felt I should recognize their names at least, if not their faces. fortunately jody was there to respond appropriately. it was terribly exciting, all that womonist/feminist energy, all that bountiful hope & brilliance! but the best part of today was this evening at the dnc – there are 2 sections of the dnc: the floor is the bottom part where all the delegates are seated; then there are the upper levels where the non-delegates are seated. the democrats running the convention made it illegal for anyone to bring in their own home-made signs. i.e. they wanted to control the signs that were on the floor & in the upper levels. well, medea somehow secured a ticket to the floor!!! AND was able to unfurl a banner that read “bring our troops home now!” she stood there, by herself, with this banner, refusing to back down. the press covered her & you could hear her lone strong voice yelling ‘bring our troops home now’ as security dragged her from the floor! then they made all the codepink wimmin, who weren’t able to get into the floor, leave. next to al sharpton’s tossing out his scripted 6 minutes & delivering his inspirational 20 minutes, medea’s action was the only other protest to reach the floor of the convention that I know of. and I missed it all cause I went home early! oh well, there’s always tomorrow! peace, sam