Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my "radical ride" mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

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.