Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Monday, November 08, 2004

am i afraid

i'm leaving my daughter's house - it is so pleasant here. she's restored an old 1906 home and has furnished it with wonderful old pieces of furniture & art and colors that are so pleasing & calming.
am i afraid to get on the road. hell no, i'm petrified. i do not know what is going to happen as i cross thru the heart=less land, over the mountains and into california. i do know that for the past 3 years, since 9/11, when i've travelled, yes, i've been scared but i knew that the majority of u.s. americans voted for gore. this i knew w/great confidence. i also knew that bush supporters are violent and aggressive - they belong to the mentality that it is okay to destroy other people and other nations to get what they want. how often have i heard white males say they wished we'd just make iraq into a parking lot - level it all, destroy everything there. i ask them since when have the iraqi people become your enemy?
how the hell did that happen? even if there were iraqi's on those planes 9/11, which there were not, but even if there were, does that make iraqi wimmin, children, and even men our enemies? because our government has attacked iraq, dropped bombs, killed 100's of thousands of iraqis, does that mean to a 54 year old iraqi womon with one grown child, kinda like me, am i her enemy?
but i digress - i want to talk about my fears here. the prez & the republicans have already said they are taking this election win as a mandate to continue their agenda: i.e. bomb the hell outta iraq. not 4 days after the election, and a huge offensive has been mounted. when we were in florida, we heard from a womon who had a friend in the reserves - they were put on notice the beginning of october and 2 days before the election, they were called up for duty. he said there were 600,000 reservists called up in florida and georgia. that's a lot of soldiers & we haven't been able to verify this, but lots were called up. he said there were not given absentee or provisional ballots, they were not allowed to vote.
i digress again. this mandate the prez thinks he has, translate that to the common redneck, the the average white testosterone driven cowboy who put bush in office along with the average rich white male - they have a mandate as well, to squelch dissent. am i scared? yes i am. but i am going anyway. because they have not really won - they win if i allow my fears to stop me. i am going with my truck painted shame, for we need to be ashamed.
driving on the freeway today, a couple of white males almost broke their neck trying to give me the finger and contort their faces into the best ugliness - who'd think they'd be estatic. they've won, supposedly. then there were all the other drivers who were soooooo happy to see me, who clapped and shouted and threw their fists in the air in triumph and solidarity.
this is the driving reason i'm going on the road w/this message & in this truck. we so desperately need hope, all of us. i need to connect w/us all over the country; and i need for folks to see me & to take hope. we will prevail.
i have faith that i will make it back to california in one piece and i will have joyous experiences along the way. i will try to keep up the journal, if i can. it is very late now & i still haven't left atlanta. AND i really want to be back for the wednesday codepink meeting.....we'll see.
peace & love, suzanne

on the road again - to be continued

i have often been asked why i drive my truck around the country w/such messages painted on the side. aren't i afraid? i better not go to certain places, i'm told. i better not go here or there, stick to the west coast, the cities, the progressive centers.
i say do we not live in a democracy? or do you know, by telling me i should be afraid, that we do not live in a democracy - only if we can pass for the majority, do we get our democratic rights. have you known all along you get democracy as long as you're the right skin color, the right class, the right religion, the right political persuasion? have you known all along our democracy is not for all of us?
i began painting my truck & driving it around the country after 9/11 and after our president told us to go shopping, he was going to war. the first thing i painted on my truck was "thou shalt not kill" and then under it i had the words "retaliation, revenge, avenge, offense, defense" in black circles with big red lines thru them. i was seeking out wimmin to talk w/them about whether they really wanted our country to go to war. the second trip i made, i replaced the circles with the words "unless to secure 60% of the world's resources for 4% of the world's people".
i have been thru the 'heart' (more like heart-less) land of this country before, many times. i have white skin, i am jewish, i am a lesbian, but often white christians in this part of the country assume when we first meet that i am with them. i am not.
i paint my truck and travel for two reasons: 1) to let these people who think they are the only voice, the majority voice, in this country - to let them know they are not. there are other voices. and 2)to touch base w/those folks who are like-minded, who do not have easy access to alternative representative news & views, who do think and feel liberal but are surrounded by aggressive non-liberals.
on one of my trips recently, i was listening to the biography of eleanor roosevelt and she said it much better than i ever have: it is as easy to spread hope as it is to spread fear. so i am going thru the country trying to spread hope.
i set out this morning with a message of shame - shame on all of us, for we have all lost big time. it is not the first time in our history that we have lost big time - in fact, our loss makes me wonder about all the other losses in our country - like from the very beginning when the original people were being murdered all over this country - were there many like-minded folks who were against this killing of innocent people in order to take over their land? did these european folks stand up against the other european folks, the rich, land-owners who were grabbing whatever they could or were they the only ones here? were there major protests about the mass killing of buffalo and the genocide of the first peoples?
more later. peace & love, sam

to leave the country or not to leave

today i begin my trip home to california. i've been gone for soooooo long, even when i returned it was only for brief moments. i've been keeping my homesickness at bay but now it has overwhelmed me. i can get biodiesel in atlanta, another cellphone (i lost my cell phone when i left tallahassee!), have breakfast with my wonderful daughter who has taken such excellent care of me this weekend, and hit the road.
i begin my day thinking about all the times i've considered leaving this country. i am 54 years old and i've been voting since 1968, the year nixon got into office. it was my first time ever voting - i couldn't wait. martin luther king had been assassination the previous year, the civil rights movement was in full gear, we were marching, rioting, demonstrating, sitting-in, boycotting - we were powerful and young and just knew we were changing our country & our world - all for the better. we had already made soooooo many, many changes, at our highschools, our neighborhoods, our towns - it seemed again we could never lose. bobbie kennedy was running for president - no way could we lose.
then kennedy was murdered, & nixon was in - big surprise. then watergate happened and still republicans remained in power, at least in the oval office.
but this is not about the extent to which the republicans are willing to go to in order to win - we already know they are willing to use bombs to get what they want - even bombs that leave depleted uranium all over our world....
this is about leaving the country. 1968, the first time - i couldn't believe nixon got elected. then again in 1972 when he got re-elected. then when reagan 'defeated' jimmy carter, jimmy fuckin' carter - probably one of the most compassionate presidents we've had in my lifetime - and then got re-elected again - not to mention the bush fiascos - all these times i seriously wanted to leave this country. i didn't.
do i leave this time? have the majority of the u.s. american people proved over and over and over again they are greedy bullies who believe might makes right, we deserve to consume 60% of the worlds' resources because we are so special, god blesses us, we have manifest destiny. this has to be hell, this life we live, where human beings, mostly white, rich, male, christian, will go to any extent to be on top of everyone else. and the other human beings, who live under such oppression, think emulating the oppressor will get them out from under and onto the top. how many of us think the top is not worthy of our energy and focus? not many. even those of us that are against war, against destroying people and the environment to get what we want, even those of us still participate in this society, benefit from this society, keep the fibers in place altho we're trying to change the pattern.
until the day comes that every human being, or the vast majority of human beings, agree to truly honor and protect all forms of life, we are in hell, we have made hell here on this wonderous earth.
do i stay and fight in this country that is truly destroying our whole world faster than anything - can i turn my back and walk away? i remember reading one time, another time i considered leaving, an article where the author said it was okay to leave the society when that society was so adverse to one's values & beliefs, it was okay to build your own society.
just considering going to another country is so u.s. american - how many countries in the world can the average u.s. american go to? almost any. we have such privilege. altho i've never been off this continent, i understand that most white americans chose to live segregated among themselves in other lands. i do not want this.
i am rambling. i have to get on the road, get back to california, get back to codepink & our regrouping.
peace & love, suzanne