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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. 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 we want all to thrive in

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

swords, self-flagulation, and placerville news!

We’re really excited – in a town of 10,000 plus or minus, the press has shown up! Marie, our sister cp’er we expect to join us from South Lake Tahoe, hasn’t.

The younger white male takes pictures from all sorts of angles as I approach him & ask if he’s received the press release. I realize the moment I see him we have not come on this action prepared for the press. We have a few Walk in Their Shoes flyers, but they are old ones from last week’s action. My printer ran out of ink this a.m., making it impossible to print even an original let alone copies.

I try to find a place I can get on-line, download the originals and get them printed. There is no internet access on the street we are on so I give up on the packet – I want to be back to talk with him before he leaves.

I didn’t have to worry. He is obsessed with taking photos – of us, of the banner, of all the shoes – as a group and as individual shots. When we finally do get to talk, I tell him about this national action, taking shoes around the nation to bring awareness to the number of Iraqi and U.S. deaths since our invasion of Iraq. I see his eyes perceptively narrow as I frame the issue in this way. I go on to point out the high horrific number of civilian casualties, like you and me I emphasize.

Over half the dead are women and children. I watch as he takes notes. He asks me how many people died in Vietnam. I tell him 2 ½ million Vietnamese; 58 thousand U.S. soldiers. Again I seek and hold his eyes as I tell him the bottom line: one death is too many; 655 thousand deaths is an abhorrent travesty, especially as we are able to stop these deaths and prevent future deaths.

He asks if I’m for immediate withdrawal. I say of course. He asks if I’m not worried that chaos will ensue after stop protecting Iraqi people. I allow my incredulity to flood my being, reminding him I just told him about Iraqi casualties, 50 times more humans than inhabit his fair town. I ask where was our protection for these people. I tell him not to answer, saying as a reporter he and I both know where the 15 U.S. bases have been built in Iraq – each next to an oil field as he looks at me blankly.

He tells me he’s not there to argue with me. I assure him I know that & tell him I thought we were talking about why WITS & I were there this morning. He tells me he wants to ask me a question. I tell him he can ask anything he wants.

He tells me Muslims are a very violent religion…. Hmmmmm. I say confused yet nodding my head ‘oh you mean like an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth?’

He takes a step back as he says ‘no, I mean they beat themselves with a sword until they bleed.’ I stifle a laugh as I see he is so serious and on the verge of terminating our ‘interview’. I protest and reassure him I am personal friends with many Muslims, none of whom would consider having a sword let alone beating themselves or anyone else. He insists. I say, you mean like that Christian in the …. I can’t think of the name of that movie my chosen family recently dragged me to where the guy beats himself. Like the early Christians? I end up saying. He says no, they’re Muslims.

He is so serious I have to turn to Judy so he can’t see my horrified laugh and ask her if she’s ever heard of Muslims beating themselves with a sword. She laughs so loud and spontaneously as she exalts the ridiculousness of such a ludicrous stereotype. Now the reporter is backed into a corner. “I’ve seen it with my own eyes” he claims. Now I turn to him and ask him when he was in an Islamic country.

He says it was on video – like a movie, I ask? I see him gearing up to defend the veracity of the video so I tell him there are fanatics in all religions but he can rest easy tonite knowing that most Muslims, like I hope most Christians, are not violent, either towards themselves or others. He is not convinced.

I said I hope he hasn’t grasped on to that ignorant and vile stereotype to justify the mass killing of so many innocent women, children, and men. I try to insinuate he is a better human being and reporter than that as he protests he’s only ‘reporting’ the news.

We’ll see what comes out in the paper tomorrow!

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