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"

Monday, February 27, 2006

liberty to say what???

I woke up in time to drive into the sunrise this morning - it is so beautiful to welcome the day with the sun coming up. I see the terrain looks very much like the high dessert in California - altho it appears to stretch much farther - the hills have flatten tops and the low bushes are just branches, no leaves. Spring has yet to come to this middle part of Texas.

I am resting at a Texas rest stop once again before I enter Fort Worth & meet the CodePINK women at Whole Foods - YES, Whole Foods in Texas! I'm thrilled. I have plenty of food but it'll be great to get some fresh-cooked w.f. delicacies!

As I sit in my truck, writing, I notice a skinny white man has pulled up and parked on the opposite side of the road from me. He is in one of those white dually trucks hauling a long, empty hitch. He is staring at me behind dark glasses. He keeps walking a couple of steps toward my truck, then kind of hops back off, wavering from side-to-side.

I wave out my window & smile. He grunts & hems & hahs, still shuffling from foot to foot. I speak in my neutral but strong voice - hello, what's up? He approaches slightly & mutters I'm disgusting. Then he tells me his father fought in World War II so that I could have the right to paint this shit - he gestures to my 'imprision bush' paintings - on my truck. How dare I paint these words on my truck when people died for my liberty, he querries?

I say - "let me understand you. Your father fought in Germany during World War II for my liberty?" He nods vigorously as he opens his mouth but I cut him off. "My liberty to paint on my truck words YOU think I should write, not the words I feel & believe?"

I'm trying not to gawk at this silly man. It is obviously hard for him to express himself, altho once he started, he let it out. How can he not hear the irrational position he holds? Before he can consider my words, another even larger truck hauling a huge travel trailer pulls up on the road between him & me. An older, very rich looking white straight couple pause there to lean conspiratorially in his direction. She has flounced her perfect auburn haired coifs at me as she turns to lean toward my liberty fighter's son so I just get a glimpse of an orange-tinged base rouged check. I can't hear exactly what they are saying but I do feel their comraderie and hear her drawl something like 'wahl, thank ya for tryin' while the husband is muttering something about 'no good- hmmmm'.

They pull off & I tell him my father fought in the same war and I ask him again 'did your father fight for me to have the liberty to say the words you want me to paint on my truck - is that liberty? I tell him liberty is for me to say whatever I want, not just what he thinks is okay to say. I tell him this is what liberty is.

And he tells me well then George Bush is fighting in Iraq for my liberty. I tell him George Bush is fighting for liberty alright but not mine - he's fighting for our corporations' liberty to plunder oil in Iraq.

Then this guy fesses up as he continues to stalk back & forth alongside his rig - he's been in the oil business for 30 years and maybe Exxon made a profit this year ("a" profit my whole face says), but what about last year and the years before? What about?

I ask him, okay, what about? what was exxon's profit last year & the previous years. He doesn't know exactly but he's SURE they lost money...

I urge him to look around our country - to see who has money and who is suffering. To see what is really going on. He is angry and belligerent, defending the oil industry to the end. I repeat again that we both know the war in Iraq is nothing like the war our fathers fought in and for - even though I don't know how much of that I still believe. He is stalking off toward the bathrooms and I'm hoping he'll think about liberty.

I'm off to meet some wonderful women in Fort Worth. peace, sam

Mid Texas and CodePINKer's

It is so black here in mid-Texas - the sunset was gorgeous, wide over the horizon and spreading around almost 360 degrees of pinks & yellows and reds. Then total darkeness. There is no moon, no stars, no street lights, no distance flickering of a living room light or tv screen in an occasional home.

The only light comes from headlights & reflectors on the sides of the road. The road is so straight that even the light from the on-coming traffic, sparse as it is, illuminates nothing but the road in front of them. I can't tell if the terrain is flat or hilly, full of cactus or trees, or just miles of sand and chaparrel.

I drive on, watching the fuel gage, and straining to see anything beyond the asphalt. Finally I see lights in the distance - looks like a city coming up. I see the lights for mile after mile after mile. It doesn't seem to be getting any closer.

When I do finally get closer, the lights start to thin out - they only appear to be a cluster, but they are really spread out over lots of land - individual lights, not a city. I keep driving.

I finally get to a rest stop & pull in to sleep. It seems small for all the space around, yet safe enough. peace, sam