boston dnc - grand finale - thursday july 29th
today, the progressive democrats met all day at a boston campus. I tabled again w/codepink and listened to many inspiring speakers from dean & kucinich to our very own Barbara lee & medea Benjamin!!! both wimmin gave the best speeches of the day, of course, & I wish I woulda taken notes, as you all are now familiar w/the state of my brain – could be early onslaught of alzheimer’s. Barbara lee spoke so eloquently as usual about how clearly the young African-americans in her district (that’s my district!) really get it and how they want exactly what the democratic platform should be about: universal health care, good jobs, decent housing, quality education, and a future that doesn’t threaten their lives of course. medea spoke about things no other person mentioned, if only I could remember, not to mention my poor paraphrasing! she spoke about her great sorrow learning that yesterday, more iraqi’s were killed then in any other day since the bombing stopped. she spoke about nader’s decision to run, the green party’s decision to run in uncontested states only, and our patriotic right & duty to do so with the most important goal of not only defeating bush & his regime, but of making our country a place we want to live in. they both said other wise things that maybe I’ll remember later.
leaving the progressive democrats, we headed to the convention. this is the last nite, the kerry nite. Edwards speech last nite was so great until the end, when he got on the war band-wagon. this nite, kerry’s speech would begin w/the war call, but the end was the moving inspirational part.
the codepink organizers wanted desperately to get our huge pink slip into the convention. the problem was two-fold: one - we had to make one that was appropriate for kerry: the ones we have say pink slip bush & impeach bush. the other problem was that law the democrats made saying you can’t bring your own signs into the convention. so how to sneak in a 40 foot banner when your bags & body are thoroughly checked when you go into the convention & then spot searches were also happening. we decided to cut up the banners & make smaller pink slips that read: bring our troops home now, or just troops home now. as we attempted to get close to the convention center, police lined up effectively blocking anyone from proceeding forward. I forgot to mention how they also have brought in all manner of huge dump trucks & semis & the like to block the view of the demonstrators from the delegates – now who thought of that? how come someone doesn’t want the delegates to know we’re out here? not only are we supposed to gather in a pen, but we’re supposed to out of sight & view – is this democracy?
medea & gael leap to the front of the crowd & mark off space at the foot of the policemen where we spread out blank pink banners. volunteers from the crowd provide markers (which we have inadvertently forgotten) and help making signs – it felt like feeding the crowd the fish & bread story, only this was obtaining the markers & artists story! some of us had passes into the convention hall – not the delegate’s floor, but the upper levels. we bundled ourselves in pink banners perfumed by magic marker & attempted to enter thru the long lines & security gates. we all got in. several kucinich delegates had volunteered to hold banners up on the floor – a brave womon from Massachusetts was one. I don’t know the others. the rest of us tried to get seats on the upper levels but we were so disappointed – not only were all the seats claimed, but the police & security came around & made us move first out of the stairs, and then out of the seating area all together. I couldn’t get a seat let alone unfurl my banner at the right time- tears! I was discouraged as well as pretty beat anyway so I took the t home. I caught kerry’s speech on the tv w/my friends. none of us could listen to the beginning – all the military & war lords lining up – but how he addressed domestic issues were righteous. I especially loved all the overt digs at bush & his regime, including the last: we will not claim god is on our side; but we are on the side of god – or something like that!!
so for me, this dnc has been one of extremes: extreme hope & inspiration; extreme militarism & police presence. I’m ready to head back to sunny, not to mention kool & breezy California. peace, suzanne