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