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"

Thursday, June 16, 2005

new jersey & freedom of speech?

made it to jersey last nite - today, i'm at a small branch library - i approach the desk. a 30-something white librarian looks up as i approach. as i ask to use a computer, she lowers her head & whispers "i agree with you".

i have forgotten, i'm wearing an old "pink slip bush" tee-shirt. when i realize what she's talking about, i open my mouth but she moves closer & covertly tells me "i can't talk about it, i'll lose my job".

i feel so sad & silenced. does this mean i can't talk about 'it'. will she lose her job if i'm talking? will someone ask me to take off my shirt while in the library? in new york i was asked to put away any 'propoganda' (i was carrying flyers) in order to enter the library.

'well, this is the united states of america,' i say. 'freedom of speech and all that.'

she bitterly snorts, sits back down, her eyes glued on me, pulling me. 'i have a 15 year old son' she continues so intensely and quietly, i wonder if i'm reading lips. tears spring to both our eyes as i say 'i'm so sorry'.

fiercely she says, 'i won't allow it to happen. i'll take us north. i'm so scared.'

two white male librarians appear & take their seats down the counter. they're talking about some movie they both have seen - not together. some sci-fi.

my librarian has moved up the counter to give me a sign-on card. 'i need this job'. her voice is low, desperate. 'my husband's been laid-off for 2 years, i have to work'. i tell her i understand. i want to tell her so much more. i urge her to check out the parking lot later.

the whole time i'm at the computer, the men keep discussing movies - but my librarian can't talk.