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"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

no mandate builds

i arrive in d.c. a little after 8:00 - it is dark, frigid & i have to be concerned with where i can drive my truck & not - the terrorist patrols are out in force i'm sure & i'm feeling the pressure to get to our codepink house - i'm only a day late! there is lots of traffic as i exit the freeway & begin driving thru downtown. and lots of blue & red flashing lights. for blocks, every left turn is closed by patrol cars or ambulances. i'm only slightly curious about what could possibly be happening so i'm able to bear to the right side & slip by the lines of gawkers as i look for my turn. having a truck especially with outta state plates gives one an advantage. did you know d.c. streets begin with letter names downtown, like a, b, c, etc. to z (i guess), and then it starts with one syllable names like ask, big, cat, etc.; and then 2 syllable names like ashland, bacon, etc.; then 3 syllable - that's how you know you're heading north & away from downtown.
finding gael & lorie's house is a snap - it is a huge house on a dark street, brightly lit & glowing a welcoming pink as i get a park right across the street. the whole front of the house beckons warmly as hot pink fills the windows and doors. lots of codepink wimmin are already there, working on making posters, banners, and sashes for the women's march & funeral on thursday. we are all excited & determined as we talk about our actions the next few days. i think i'll never be able to fall asleep, between the high energy and the amount of work that needs to be done to stop this regime.
i admire all the fabulous messages painted on banners & the rise/resist sashes, re-connect with familiar comrades and meet new ones. i begin painting a banner for the back of my truck to parade around d.c. tomorrow: "rise, resist, women's march & funeral procession, thursday 9:00 dupont circle". just before i get to the end of 'dupont', nausea and exhaustion overwhelm me. i brave the frigid cold to get my sleeping bag & stuff and then crash. we have an action in the a.m. and then the codepink organizing meeting, and an action in the p.m.

the road to d.c. is froth with..... to be continued

``````weellll, i couldn't leave atlanta last nite -= 20 or so degree weather or contaminated fuel caused my truck to lose power, stall, and refuse to go. of course, i'm a californian now but as i was trying to get my wonderful truck up and started, i had a vague memory of someone talking about having to warm a car up before taking off - so i pulled off the heavily trafficked 2 lane atlanta road onto the flat lawn of a neighbor as i attempted to start the engine & not attempt to drive. i noticed the heat gauge hadn't left the coldest mark. so i waited and waited as i attempted to get & keep the truck running.
finally i was able to get a consistent engine hum, noticed the gauge was almost warm, so i took off. things ran until i attempted to steer the truck up a small incline - we are in atlanta afterall, east of the rockies - and she wouldn't make it. oh shit, i let her drift backward until i could turn around into a side street. able to drive forward, i headed back the way i just came until i realized it was also a slight incline that i'd formally headed down. i decided to attempt to make it to the gas station and mix some regular diesel in w/my biodiesel to see if that helps.
it might have helped - at least i was able to strike out for the oil change place where they also replaced the gas filter. it was almost midnite by this time so i delayed my drive to d.c. until the morning - just what i need to be stuck in rural georgia in the middle of a frigid night.
the next morning, i headed out around 5:30a.m. early morning truck drivers honked & waved. one fellow, a middle-aged african american, turned his interior light on so i could see his broad smiles, and right=on fist, followed by i love you sign. two other cars honked & waved.
80 miles outta atlanta, deep into rural georgia, my truck began again to lose power - first slowing on any incline, then refusing to go over 40, & finally dropping down to 25 going downhill with wind at my back. and lastly stalling out, forcing me to creep along the shoulder.
i pulled off the closest exit, tried mixing a little regular diesel into the mix again, drove up and down the exit road looking for a friendly mechanic...okay... the truck began to drive normally so i decided to chance the road again. for about 2 minutes, she drove fine - then it was back to the balking at hills. the next exit boasted a semi-truck dealer sign = i took the exit, pulled into the lot housing a huge, modern building & lots of semi trucks minus the trailers - semi trucks painted solid colors, white, blue, red - none of the spit-polish chrome fancy trucks at the nevada stop where the republican cowboys reigned. i got on the phone to my daughter, warning her she might have to do an internet search for me, while i waited for the boys to open. 8:00 the sign said.
i noticed white people thru the tall glass windows milling around, stopping ever so slightly to peer out the window at me, and continue casual strolling by. no gaping and tumbling out the building. good sign. i entered & approached the young woman at the front desk. she assured me they worked on isuzu's and directed me to service. i pulled around the side of the building, parked & got out my truck, taking a deep breathe and readying myself to deal with, well white trucker males from rural georgia.
i entered the doors, two mid-30's white males spoke as i headed toward the desk. "got trouble?" one asks. "yeah, i think i need a fuel filter - bad bio-diesel probably" i say. i ask if they know about diesel isuzu's. they both assure me they do, tell me where to go buy a filter, and let me know they'd be happy to put it on for me. they turn out to be very pleasant & helpful. i feel myself relaxing a little and head on down the road to bob's. there too, is a shop full of white males, southerners who do not make eye contact but are exceedingly polite, unlike the midwestern white males i've encountered. bob says loudly to me that he appreciates my speaking out about my beliefs. he informs me and any of his employees that might be listening that the thing wrong with this country is that people no longer speak their minds, they don't think and express their views.
i can't tell if he agrees with my views - i think he does not, as i ask him if he wants to express any of his views to me - he barely shakes his head as he answers a phone, turning away from me. i buy 4 gas filters - i need to be prepared on this 500 mile trip thru the south to d.c. - and leave without any other conversation.
when i return to the dealer, the same boys come out to meet me. the tall one jumps in my truck & takes it around to the bay. he tells me he used to work on isuzu's for 10 years, just like this very truck. he's so friendly & helpful, i'm thinking i've fallen into an oasis of democrats. i have asked him to let me watch so i can fix my truck myself if it happens again. i know how to change a filter but i don't know you have to fill it w/diesel before you start the engine - great tip!
i ask joe how it is working in this shop, if the guys are supportive. i'm assuming he's a democrat. he tells me he believes this, he waves toward my truck, makes the world go round but he likes bush. i'm startled, to say the least - not by his views, but by his friendliness. they all support bush he says, but he's not like them - they're grim. i ask him name three things he likes about bush. the first thing is that bush is from texas. okay. the next is that bush takes care of the troops. i should have waited & allowed him to tell me the 3rd thing, but i'm shocked so i ask him to explain HOW bush has taken care of the troops.
how many times do i have to hear the mentality that states we should not have gotten into the war, bush was so stupid he didn't realize he was being lied to - he was just trying to protect us, so he attacked the wrong country - it was the right people - 'those people', the ones that need to be destroyed before they destroy christians. (between fear of liberals and moslims, no wonder right-wingers are so paranoid & angry).
when i asked him, okay so if the ira (he nods) attacks china and then china decides to attack georgia because we are both christian and white (not), it's understandable to you? he looks unconvinced but grudgingly