Sunday, October 31, 2004
codepink voting caravan & pink slip squad!!!
At noon, we return to fuel coffee house - our wildly wonderful progessive center base in jacksonville - to decorate our cars with pink "vote now" and "free ride to the polls" posters, as well as our 'pink slip bush' & 'kerry/edwards' signs. I make a large sign for the back of my truck that says "Join the CodePink Voting Caravan" and tape it onto the door. Then the cars fall into line behind my truck & off we go.
Our first stop is a giant shopping mall - we travel around slowly, looking for folks who need to go to the polls for early voting. Ariel has the megaphone - she & Debbie are becoming megaphone junque-ies - they LOVE it and both are fabulous at it. As ariel is announcing our free rides to the polls, hop on board to defeat bush, etc.etc.etc., we travel slowly thru the parking lots encircling the building, drive by the lines of people waiting to go into the theater, and go into wendy's lot. Everyone stops and listens, most people wave & nod, a few bush supporters try to frown the smile off their faces while a few do their obscenities thing. We keep driving around getting lots of notice, lots of promises to go vote, lots of folks who already voted, but no takers on the pink slip caravan. We talk to a few folks who want rides but not until Tuesday so we take down their names, numbers, addresses and turn the info over to Corrine Brown's office. She's the congresswomon from duval county who was part of the congressional black caucus that couldn't find one single senator to sponsor the challenge to the 2000 election. Awesome workers in that office as well.
We leave the mall, find a few more strip malls & get the word out to more folks. Then we head into neighborhoods for one last sweep of our caravan before heading back to fuel to meet the other codepink wimmin who are going reverse trick-or-treating w/us.
Tonite, we go door-to-door, sometimes avoiding the homes w/bush/cheney signs, sometimes not but mostly looking for doors w/lights on. we have our whole skit down and first we just practice on kerry people: we are the pink slip squad, etc.etc.etc. People LOVE us, even the republicans. We hand them a voter info sheet & urge them to help us get rid of bush & vote for Kerry.
We meet one young, white womon who is undecided - still at this late date. She admits she hasn't researched either candidate but she's leaning toward bush because he has kept us safe since the 9/11 attack. I point out that it was under his watch that we were attacked in the first place. She seems to ponder that. I tell her about the huge increases in attacks around the world since bush has bombed iraq, including the numbers of israeli's and palestinians killed during these past four years as being 2ce as many as the preceeding 15 years.
I ask her if she thinks we've been made safer by attacking a small, poor country that had nothing to do w/attacking us. She has heard such things but anyone can make a mistake - I say a mistake that has cost maybe 100,000 iraqi lives, and certainly 1119 u.s. soldiers' lives.
Again she repeats that she hasn't done the research. I tell her there is no reason that she should trust me but if she can trust me, I have spent that last four years (actually my whole life but i don't mention that) researching, reading, questioning, talking w/people, listening - trying to figure out what is happening in our country & the world. I tell her if she wants to support wars, a war president, and rich people getting richer & richer, then bush is her man. If she cares about the american people, about education, health care, the environment, jobs, AND if she cares about our soldiers, and the iraqi people - then vote for Kerry.
She promises to think about it and do her own research, in the next 24 hours - I hand her some info that she promises to read. We'll see. She is the only voter we encounter tonite that is undecided.
We had a long & productive day. Tomorrow we intend to go door-to-door again, canvassing and getting out the vote; we'll do a caravan again around 3:00 when other folks who drive are outta work, and we might to a banner waving too if we have time! peace & keep working hard! sam