codepink cleveland kick-off debate speak-out
rae & i spend the morning getting ready for tonite's debate & speak-out! we had a sign=making party last nite after the last voter registration was turned into the board of elections. some wimmin made a huge "cheney is in bed with halliburton" and "we're getting screwed" sign to hold as we great his motorcade. rae & ariel have developed a codepink song sheet for us (i'll post a copy) that includes lyrics to 'i will survive' and the marching song!!! we planned to meet at 6:30 at a sports bar & grill where naral is also meeting, march to the route by 7:30 where we'll vigil & protest until returning to the bar at 9:00 to watch the debate & speak-out about it.
when we meet at the bar, we realize it is not going to work - they actually allow smoking in resteraunts & public places in cleveland - ufb - and several of us are not willing to tolerate such atrocities. so we change plans - we have tickets to the edwards/cheney debate given to us by the cleveland democrats so we will view the debate there.
as i'm driving my truck around the case western campus where the debate is at, several folks hoot and holler, glad to see me. a few try to hold up bush-cheney signs but i'm ready with my "28 days of lies left" sign on the brightest pink paper for them! a very well dressed late 20's white man runs over to my truck & hands me his card: assistant to the head of the democratic party it reads, as he points out his boss to me - a man equally well dressed, white, but older - walking on the other side of the street with a whole group of important folks - they all turn and wave & shout 'keep up the good work!'
i smile & wave at them back. another man carrying a microphone and some kind of huge recorder walks next to my truck & asks me if he can interview me for the radio - i give the codepink spiel as he turns on the mike & asks me a few questions! we get lots of coverage in cleveland, on tv, radio, and in the news! rae, already famous for her shrimp escapade, also talks to reporters & furthers codepink in cleveland.
as codepink wimmin gather, including a couple of fabulous wimmin from columbus who have traveled all the way up here w/their drums & music makers, we march down the street to meet up w/the kerry democrats. we make a big, bright presence, as usual and line the road that we thought was the motorcade route. the police presence, as strong as ever, pushes up onto the sidewalk, as usual, even tho the streets are totally vacant. we wait and wait and wait - then the word comes that we've missed cheney totally but edwards is still coming this way. we wait and wait and wait somemore - then we find out that they've also diverted edwards - so much for lining the motorcade route. edwards & cheney are safe from terrorists and demonstrators & supporters alike.
it is fucking freezing in cleveland - you can see your breath if you dare suck in that cold, wet, damp air. we return from the motorcade & head over to the oval ellipse where people are lined up on many sidewalks trying to get into the roped off area to view the huge outdoor tv screen where edwards is facing cheney.
the debate is probably 45 minutes over before we get close enuff to walk inside the area - we have the special blue tickets that allows us to be in the front, in anticipation of edwards after-debate arrival. we are close and in position to hear too clearly 'both john kerry & i believe marriage is between a man and a woman' - not just once, or twice, but 3 fucking times. now why did john edwards have to say that even once? he could not think of anything to say other than marriage is between a man and a woman, like i care what he thinks? the point is, will he support a constitutional amendment to institutionalize his thought on marriage? grrrrr - every single day since i left the rnc unwelcoming, i've had to face fundies who look into my face & tell me they're voting for bush cause he's against gay marriage - not that they want to keep anyone from getting married cause they have those kind of gay friends, but because it's just not right two men marrying each other let alone two wimmin. grrrrrr. and now this white man who wants my vote is appealing to the fundies to vote for him. when will the democrats every learn?
i raised my voice to compete with edwards, much to the chagrin of the kerry supporters around me, altho a few gay male voices also raised w/mine in the near distance.
we were also disappointed in edwards talking about hunting down terrorists and killing them - can he not be more creative?
grrrr - what a way to leave cleveland after such awesome experiences with most of the voters. but we're off to youngstown tomorrow & a codepink presentation on the university campus - that should be fabulous!!! peace, sam