it is frigid again, this a.m. - snowing on top of slush & snow already on the ground. rae & i head to scope out banner drop locations after we drop a couple of codepinkers off at metro to flyer for tonite's action and tomorrow's funeral procession & rally. it is too cold to flyer on the streets so we are going to be inside the train stations!
rae & i find a place to park several blocks from pennsylvania ave -= most of the street parking is prohibited in preparation for tomorrow's shin-dig. everywhere we go in d.c., folks welcome us heartily. we park, feed the meter, and head toward the parade route, handing out flyers as we go & talking up the action tomorrow. everyone we meet, takes the flyers; some even agree to come.
it is difficult scoping out buildings on pennsylvania avenue -= first of all, it is snowing so it's hard to look up, especially indiscretely, and see anything! we do spot roof=tops and buildings that could work but we are not successful in attaining access to the roofs, or even into the buildings most of the time. we keep running into groups of suited males & femails, mostly white, brandishing red, white, & blue folders and looking official. i think they're feebee's in training. rae asks one of them what is in that folder. he is startled, smiles condescendingly & asks why she wants to know? she tells him how pretty they look & he says they're just folders.... so much for that!
there are police all around, lots of plainclothed cops as well as uniformed. i'm sure we're being watched. we consider a crane that is hoovering at least 50 feet in the air over a construction site a block from the inaugural route. rae is up for climbing it early in the a.m. if we can figure out how to keep the banner there until the parade. or if we can figure out how to make it unfurl at the right moment, providing no one spots it prior. we hear from another codepinker we have a location secured at the end of the parade so we note the buildings here that we think might work & head back to the truck - time to meet the other codepinkers in d.c.
we're having our large organizing meeting at cafe luna - a community space for progressives to meet and greet & plan. about 40-50 or so codepink wimmin showed up, hailing from all over the country from hawaii to maine! it's awesome! i hear around 400 wimmin have signed up on the site as well. we get an action sheet for the next two days and the weekend progressive democrats summit as well. we sign up for various tasks and head out to prepare for tonite's action.
as i'm standing at the back of the truck parked in front of cafe luna holding my banner trying to figure out how to attach it to the back of my truck in zero degree weather w/snow falling, a police car stops & the officer hails me. the friendly white male officer asks me if that was my truck - he says he saw it earlier & wondered whose it was. he introduces himself as the gay/lesbian laison to the washington police department, hands me his card, and tells me if there is ANYTHING i need or any of the codepink wimmin need, to call this number & he'll take care of us, no matter what! he continues to admire my truck, inform me that washington d.c. voter over 97% for kerry, & asks if there's anything we need - several other wimmin have joined us by now.
i decide to ask him about d.c.'s arrest policies, as in do they intend to arrest demonstrators? he looks blank & i explain how in boston there was a no arrest policy at the convention, but in nyc it was just the opposite. he says he doubts if any arrests will be made - he says the washington d.c. police are the best in the nation, the most experienced in handling demonstrators/ions and unless there is violence or civil disobedience, no one should get arrested. he said he would give me a ticket tho if i didn't feed the meter. okay.
he parks behind the truck & goes into the cafe after handing out several more cards to the rest of us. when he returns, i ask him if he'd mind pulling his car up to my bumper so rae can climb up and hang the banner. 'sure' he agrees - he pulls his car up to kiss the back bumper, rae climbs up onto the hood, and holds the banner up high as we hand her masking tape - it works, despite the cold, the snow, the salt & dirt covering the back - the banner sticks! now we can drive around d.c. announcing the funeral procession & rally tomorrow!