bush came to columbus & we were there!
At first, we could see no other demonstrators but we did see clearly where the prez was allegedly supposed to enter – lines of buses (instead of the tractor-trailer beds in California) blocking the view of the convention center followed by lines of police, patrol cars, bicycles – and their accompanying police force – and no parking along that part of the street. As soon as we were ready, w/the signs & the scoping complete, we headed toward the blocked-off part of the street. As soon as we started walking we caught up with a little old round white man that was shorter than ariel who might stand 4’9”. We could see he was wearing a military cap & carrying a folding chair and headed in the same direction we were. As we drew alongside, we saw a ‘kerry-edwards’ button on his jacket. He told us he was a wwII vet and a kerry supporter! He told us he had been a republican all his life until this election – as a veteran same as kerry & NOT bush, he was enraged that bush, a rich man that never served his country in action, had the audacity to attack another American who had served his country in action!!!
We rounded the corner & saw several demonstrators had appeared, including a line of billionaires for bush!!! Sadly enuff, these billionaires were mostly all wimmin and did they have their chants together – from ‘yes, four more years of war’ and thanks for cutting taxes, and we deserve our riches & ‘this is what plutocracy looks like – you can probably get the exact chants on line - they were awesome & they said this was their first Columbus demonstration! Yeah for the billionaires club!!!
AND we FINALLY met codepink Columbus!!!! Yeah!!!! Lezlie is another fabulous, energetic, brilliant womon with incredibly long & incredibly pink hair!!! Linda played a drum for us so we could chant with enthusiasm & force!!! Several codepinkers & some of the other demonstrators ended up moving to another entrance where both bush supporters, homebuilder’s attendees, and yet another conference folks were entering the building. We were able to hand out tons of codepink info, pink slip bush fliers & had some interesting conversations with a few women we were able to get to slow down long enuff to talk with us – the pro-bush ones, that is. The pro-kerry were more than happy to see us & chat awhile. And given bush’s amazing flubbering at the debate, I don’t blame bush supporters for hurrying by with their chins to their chests!
One woman who put herself in the fundamentalist Christian bush supporter camp talked with us long enuff to reaffirm bush was protecting the country, as it is written in the bible, by killing those people before they kill us. She did not want to be interviewed on video, but when I asked her what was Christian about killing people before they kill us, in fact I thought jesus said you have heard it said you should kill people before they kill you, but I say to you do good to those who would harm you, love your enemy’. She didn’t want to talk about that & off she went. Selective bible reading-itis.
Another older white woman who was willing to be interviewed told us her son had returned from Iraq but even if he hadn’t, she would still support bush because she came from a military family and that is what you did – you die for your country. Oddly enuff, there was no joy on her face when she spoke of her son returning from Iraq – only a great, not very well disguised sadness. Our battery ran outta juice before we were able to finish recording.
BUT we met a fabulous codepink womon, Linda, who confided in us that she had been a fundamentalist Christian for 10 solid long years of her life, that she had devoted these 10 years of her life to studying the bible – not just reading it, but devoting her daily life to studying everything the bible had to say by herself, with ministers, with groups of fellow Christians. And she’s agreed to be interviewed – only we’ve run outta battery on the video – we’re having technical difficulties but our codepink comrades have invited us to their home – Linda wants to welcome us, feed us, provide hot water & showers for us, and a rest!
A fabulous respite we have indeed – Linda makes a wonderful vegetarian meal in minutes & we all share a meal along with our stories & our hopes & aspirations for this next couple of months. I realize later that not one of us mentions our fears. Linda gives us a fabulous interview on tape (we’ve electricity now!!!) and also gives us many things to share with those folks who identify as fundamentalist Christians.
Off to return to Cleveland & the Dixie chicks concert!!! Peace, sam