what's christian re:bush - leaving mississippi
we grabbed out codepink materials & voter reg cards & began asking students if they were registered to vote. lots of students were already registered, some were registered in their home states, but way too many were not registered and never had - we registered folks until we ran outta cards! it was awesome. we handed out lots of codepink info as well. as we were registering voters & handing out info, a young male police officer approached & asked if we were soliciting anything. we said 'hell yes, george bush's removal from office!' he laughed and said he would sure join us in that!
when we'd registered about 3/4ths of our forms, a young white football type fellow stomped by and about 20 feet down the sidewalk before he entered the building he turned back and shouted "do you have a decal to park on this campus?" i looked around & then innocently questioned him "are you talking to me?" he repeated his question - i asked him which car was he talking about - i noticed lots of cars without decals. then he changed his question to: "do you have permission to set foot on this campus?" i asked him to come join us so we can have a conversation without yelling. he huffed & then threatened to call the police & report us.
we continued registering voters. when we ran out of forms, i went inside to borrow the stapler - here in mississippi, the voter reg forms had to be zeroxed in the clerk's office! then you have to figure out which county a person resides in; AND you have to have a STAMP to mail the card in - after you've written a return address on it as well the county courthouse address. i approached the security desk & asked for a stapler, which they gladly gave me. as i was stapling, i heard a voice bombing behind me "do you have permission to park that truck on this campus?" i turned to see another police officer -older, white with about an 8 month belly hanging over his belt - approaching me. "which truck could that be?" i enquired. then he asked me if i had the dean of students approval to solicit on campus. i told him i was not soliciting anything - i was registering voters. he told me i needed the dean's permission. i asked him since when did anyone need permission to register voters anywhere in this democracy? he said i had to move my truck & leave the campus unless the dean of students has given me permission to be there. i asked him if he was 100% sure i needed the deans permission to register voters in a democracy?
i asked him why was he really here? i told him we had already spoken with another police officer who didn't have a problem. he said he had a problem w/me parking my truck where i did. i told him there were other trucks also parked there & did he have a problem w/those trucks. he said he didn't see any other trucks. i said interesting.
by this time, the young people behind the desk, both african american, were laughing & several other students had come closer. i told this police officer i know what this is about - it is about the message painted on my truck urging us to get rid of bush & his regime. i told him if i had the young republicans painted on my truck he would have never approached me.
but i was leaving anyway - i was finished.
we left - happily. as we got to the truck, someone (probably the young football-type) printed a sign that said "i see your plates are from california - why don't you go back there?" ha!
but MOST of the students were so happy to see us, took lots of info, and pledged to vote against bush & get their friends & classmates to join them!