what is christian re:bush - atlanta
thursday i drive to a small shopping and office plaza where my daughter works to meet her for lunch. the first 20 minutes that i'm parked there, i cannot even tell her i've arrived because i'm approached by dozens of folks wanting to talk about defeating bush & his regime: most loudly exclaiming their praise & agreement, but one tall thin white male walks steadily & nonchalantly by, leaning slightly towards my right ear as he passes, not pausing his step, to mouth quietly and so sincerely 'thank you' as he continued walking toward his work place, i'm sure.
i decide to repaint the numbers on my truck - the u.s. body count is up to 999 - there in this parking lot, as good as any wal-mart it seems. as i'm beginning to paint, an older white womon comes flying out of the adjacent beauty parlor, her bright red hair plaster to her head, a black plastic cape covering her upper body. 'wait', she pants, 'i'm with the atlantic journal newspaper - may i take your picture?' she races by me & returns seconds later w/a fancy-looking camera, snapping away. 'just pretend i'm not here' she commands. i speak w/her anyway.
'this is the saddest part of my job' i tell her curious face: 'repainting the number of u.s. soldiers that have been killed in iraq, and the number of iraqi's that have been killed'. i point both figures out to her. i ask her if she's heard of codepink:women for peace. 'of course' she says - she didn't go to the rnc but her friends did & she knows we raised hell there! yeah! i tell her there is a new chapter of codepink forming there in atlanta & give her some information.
my daughter comes out of her office & we walk around the corner to lunch. the womon behind the counter points to my shirt & declares her agreement: pink slip bush! i ask her if she's regsitered to vote, which she is, but her sister & best friend are not. i get her voter reg cards & she promises she will not only register them but she will personally give them a ride to the polls of the 2nd! yeah!
we return thru the parking lot to see yet another young man standing by the truck & reading every last word. he asks me if cnn knows about me & my truck. i tell him i don't think they are too interested in grassroots organizing to rid ourselves of bush. he says he knows some higher up mucky-mucks at cnn that owe him. i get some codepink info for him, write down my number & email, and tell him i'm glad to speak w/anyone! i'm not hanging around to see if they'll ring!
i continue to talk w/people, hand out deception dollars & pink slip bush information until i get too hot - this would be a great place to vigil at some point.
friday - i take my truck to the hardware store - i'm out of black & red paint. the clerk at the store makes all the employees and any customer within earshot listen to her as she enthusiastically reads the back & sides of my truck. they all burst into clapping in unison several times during her recital - especially w/the imprison bush.... and imprison asscroft..... sides.
later, i go to the locksmith - i need another truck key for rae. as i pull into the parking lot, a rasta womon my age approaches me & questions me about my truck, my purpose, why i'm here & where i'm from. she calls me sistah & embraces me, saying she's got my back wherever i go! and i believe she does. she thinks i have great courage to drive around the country, especially in georgia outside of atlanta. i tell her i can only do it because i know her and wimmin like her & have received her support and their support - and men too.
another womon joins us - she is not registered to vote, which she does while we're talking. she has never voted but intends to in this election. both of these rasta wimmin are interested in codepink & registering voters so i give them all the information i can. they both want shirts like mine: pink slip bush. both of them have lost their jobs over 2 years ago & cannot find new work; neither have their own homes or health care, both of them have children.
the locksmith joins us in the parking lot, loudly declaring "it is white people who have elected bush & it is white people again that will elect him this time". he glares at me as he intimates you should be talking w/white people. later he apologizes for his temper but i tell him no apology is neccessary - he is right, it is white people, mostly white men but too many wimmin, have & do vote for bush. "there is no hope for us or for poor people" he exclaims further.
i disagree w/him loudly & firmly - i tell him i'm returning from the rnc unwelcoming. i tell him about how almost a million people have taken to the streets - the largest demonstration ever at a convention - even larger than the 1968 one! i tell him about the days of protests and rallies and actions. he told me in the past 30 years that he has been in this country, he's never missed an election & he doesn't intend to miss this one!