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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. 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 we want all to thrive in

Thursday, September 16, 2004

L. what's christian about bush - las cruces

las cruces is a HUGE city, sprawling thru the high desert like l.a. stretches over the basin. we follow the signs to downtown & as we're driving, we spot kerry-edwards headquarters & in we go! the rooms are bustling w/folks working hard to get kerry elected in new mexico as well as 16 boxes of pizza, which rae & i both decline. we talk w/the volunteer coordinator, who has come from boston to spend this time in new mexico. she tells us their strategy is to focus on the registered democrats & the undecided voters - which there are plenty of in that state, especially the western part including las cruces. she takes one look at the truck & then gives us her treasured bumper sticker that she's been hording for the right moment, sayinng she'd be honored to have it travel cross-country w/us! it says "it's up to the women: vote" "john kerry". so that has an honored place on the side of the truck w/the others!
as we're leaving las cruces we pull into a gas station to fill up & ask about a mail box. the young man, manager written across his shirt, tells me he can mail them in the office. i tell him these are vitally important documents, voter registration forms. he assures me he personally make sure they get mailed, altho he himself is not voting. he lives in texas, which is less than an hour away, and thinks bush might be doing a great job, he's not sure. i tell him i'm sure, bush is doing a terrible job at best. i run thru the state of our economy & this fellow nods his head, agreeing he has witnessed the downfall of the eonomy first hand. he comes out to the truck w/me to get a voter registration form. he asks about codepink & then says he thinks we should just bomb the whole country & turn it into a parking lot.
i stare at him for a moment & i say 'okay, so it's alright with you if we kill someone's mother, someone's child, someone's wife?'
'well, they're terrorists.' he says a little less firmly.
i say 'they're human beings, people just like you and me. you are talking about killing someone's mother and grandmother and children.'
'well, i didn't think about it that way,' he says. i say you have to think about it that way.
he asks for more codepink information. he agrees that a vote for bush is a vote for rich people. he asks for another voter reg form for his girlfriend, saying he will pass this info on to her & talk it over w/her.
i think he was sincere and hopefully ready to vote against bush! peace, sam

K. what's christian about bush - tackling new mexico

rae & i got up bright & early this a.m. & headed out for portales, armed with 24 new mexico voter reg forms. portales is in another county so our first stop was the county clerk's office to figure out if the county forms were interchangeable - they were! we picked up absentee ballet form & requested forms printed in spanish. the white wimmin in the office looked at us blankly, the hispanic womon came forward & explained there were none. this is new mexico, we're talking about. okay.
outside, we stood in front of the post office, with the truck parked a block away, & began vigiling. most people were registered to vote and most did NOT want to talk but we persisted. soon an official looking older white man came stomping out of the post office - as much as you can stomp on marble - and declared 'you girls have to move along - you're not allowed to stand on the sidewalk in front of a post office.' hmmmm, news to me. we explained politely that we were registering voters. he told us 'bush said no one is allowed to stand in front of a post office'. i asked him if the constitution of the united states was enforced in portales. he retorted that he would call the police. okay, call the police, i agreed.
while we were waiting, an older white man waved frantically from across the street, beckoning me to come over. 'i have to give you a donation' he proclaims, 'it's time to put my money where my mouth is!'. he reaches into his pocket, pulls out his wallet & a $20 bill and tells me how glad he is to see me. while we are talking, another elderly white man, his peer, walks stiffly by and doesn't acknowledge my donor's wave & greeting.
'see that,' he says, 'we go to the same church & that man won't even say hi because he hates democrats.'
wow. the republican extremists, once again.
while we are standing there, i notice a group of white women on the steps of city hall reading the truck & shaking their heads as if they're looking at clinton courting monica. i approach them to engage in a conversation but they've all turned & rushed back inside. i go in with my codepink info, which they refuse with great hostility so it's back to the sidewalk.
a white womon in her late 30's pushed by me, telling me she refuses to talk w/democrats because they are so closed-minded. when she returns from the post office, i try to engage w/her - she's a christian, a republican, & knows bush is doing a fabulous job. she thinks he should bomb that whole country over there and save our country. this she throws at me as she gets into her vehicle. i tell her, 'yes, i guess that's what jesus would do too.'
i hope i saw her hesitate before flinging open the door and flouncing righteously inside.
we decide to go to the college down the road as we've only registered 2 voters thus far. at the college, the police immediately spot my truck =- hmmmm - & ask what we are doing there. i tell him we're registering voters. he follows us into the student union where we're forced to ask permission to register voters which is of course, denied. but rae gets to check her email & i get to try to order a latte but no soy milk.
the janitor, sweeping the steps, tells us he registered to vote last week and what a miracle that was - he is a former felon & thought he couldn't vote. i believe it is 'only' 7 states in which felons cannot vote. as we walk thru the parking lot, we see a van w/a kerry-edwards bumper sticker. someone had written in the dust on the car's windows: "bush, bush, bush" so rae hurried over & put codepink info under the wipers!
so much for portales - off to las cruces - it is mexican independence day & we're hoping to find a celebration where we can register voters & hand out codepink info. on the way, we stop at white sands national park. as we drive in, the ranger asks us what we are doing - getting rid of bush - whoops, and ducks into his little office to pull out a huge kerry-edwards sign! he doesn't let us in for free but his greeting is good enuff for us at this point. we're feeling the hostile vibes of eastern new mexico seeping thru altho we've received 5 yeahs! and 2 fuck you's thus far. it is rosh hashanah & we're at the great white sands park at sunset - just wonderful! peace & happy new year! sam