columbus ohio day 3 - in progress
today we headed down to columbus, ohio to register voters & to work the line at ani difranco's concert, if not to table inside the event! the 3 hour drive was beautiful, thru the country-side dotted w/small farms, harvested fields, and clumps of trees barely tickled with fall! not to mention the slight fall chill but beautiful sunny blue skies unblemished by cloud nor too many birds! the minute we exited the freeway to head down high street, the major north-south street in columbus, espresso awaited!!! the folks there were thrilled to see the truck & one fellow talked about registering to vote for the first time in his life in order to remove bush from office, and knowing several other folks in the same boat!
we also talked about the 80 pound weight paper thing the secretary of state attempted to invoke - talk about a victory!!! in case you haven't heard, the ohio secretary of state announced that the county clerks' offices wouldn't accept voter registration forms that were NOT printed on cardstock!!! this would have disallowed all the folks who registered on paper or newsprint - internet registerees, folks who xeroxed a form and went around registering neighbors and co-workers, folks who cut their registration form out of the newspaper, not to mention those folks who picked up forms at libraries and postoffices, who often make additional forms by copying the originals rather than taking the trip to the county clerk's office - after all, there are pretty large cities in ohio: not all are the little 1 road towns where the county clerk, the court, the postoffice, the library share a building or a corner! apparently there is an arcane law on ohio's books stating the kind of paper registration forms have to be printed on -= the good republican was attempting to disenfranchise voters especially the recently registered ones, the overwhelming majority - as in 4 to 1!!!! have been registering democrat! he didn't reckon w/the determination of the county clerks who refused to follow his orders, beginning with cleveland's cuyahoga county! these are the heroes of our activism, the little cogs in the huge machine of voter repression - thank the goddesses, we are all here doing our part!!! folks in columbus seem to be more determined then ever to get out & vote g w out of office!
we headed to the campus first, to find a library & get in touch w/folks already here. we met several groups doing voter reg, including the kerry democrats, act, and moveon folks. we head further downtown & find a corner to register folks on and spread codepink. we only have time to register about 5 people before we have to head to the ani concert!
did i tell you i'm traveling with two of the most AWESOME young wimmin? their enthusiasm and energy, not to mention their brilliant & thoughtful perspectives not just on the bush regime but on creating a world we want to exist in, has provided sustenance and encouragement for many including myself. in all the weeks we've traveled together, rae has moved consistently & powerfully to squash the bush mentality wherever it occurs, and equally as brilliantly to fill our spaces with compassion, consciousness, and awareness. i don't know ariel as well, but she also exudes confidence, compassion, and a total grasp of what we need to be doing right now to defeat bush & take back our government & lives.
as we parked next to the concert hall, we see another truck pulling a bigger-than-life display of bush's butt getting paddled as he lays over uncle sam's knee driving over to greet us! it is the 'liar, liar pants on fire' fellow that i first saw in nyc at the rnc unwelcoming!!! here he is in columbus ohio with yet another wake=up message for us! we exchanged mutual adulation and expressed our hopes for the change we're feeling in our nation!
even tho we arrived at the ani difranco concert early, many wimmin were already lined up waiting to get it. the three of us split up and walked up & down the line, looking for folks to register to vote, spreading codepink & defeat bush. i don't believe we found one bush supporter in this line! later but before the show started, we went inside to set up a codepink table. we were supposed to share w/the progressive democrats but their table was overflowing. instead the wonderful ‘democracy now’ folks moved over & out came codepink! we were able to have a HUGE presence at the concert. Lots of wimmin hadn’t heard of us – lots had!
The concert itself was unbelievable – not that I got to focus on that much of it but there was a big screen within viewing distance of the tables! Ani made an awesome movie about the herstory of voting in this country that I caught glimpses of – it is another dvd that everyone should see & I wish I could have!
But the best part is that rae was able to find the stage manager and now codepink has a pink slip that says ‘fire bush’ and is SIGNED BY ANI DIFRANCO!!!!! Is that the best or what?!!?? peace, sam