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"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Trouble in PINK Paradise - in process

We are ecstatic! Not only have several of us stood up individually and testified about never bombing Iran, but also numerous women were able to begin cleaning the committee hearing & singing “we don’t want your dirty war machine” for many minutes as the police were unable to remove everyone at once!

On top of this, Rumsfeld testified at the appropriations committee – Nancy heard & rushed down to another room in the same building, slipped into the proceedings just before Rumsfeld was finished talking. She was able to yell “Liar” at his retreating back and better yet, she was able to hold up the peace sign to the row of press as the police escorted her past their cameras.

We regroup in the cafeteria at Rayburn, everyone talking excitedly about the experience. We are proud of ourselves, especially those of us who have never done this before, and we feel like we are accomplishing our mission, preventing the next war as we end this one.

As we are talking, Hillary gets a call from the house – the landlord is there demanding that we remove our beautiful pink banners from the front of the building. We are devastated. Sooooo many people in the neighborhood have told us how much they love and appreciate our house. The landlord is saying neighbors are complaining. Hillary is troubled. She has a $2000 deposit that she doesn’t want threatened by our boldness.

The women at the house have agreed to remove the banners. The landlord is not stopping with that. He is insisting that I remove the truck. Hillary wants me to comply. I want to negotiate.
I call Gael and get the name and number of our lawyer & leave a message for her. I decide to return to the house & figure out what the landlord is doing.

Don't Iraq Iran - in process

Today the senate is holding hearings on iran – we have decided we need to testify. Last night we made “Don’t Iraq Iran” banners & a “Don’t even think about bombing Iran” banner.

We also made plans to disrupt the hearings, depending on what was being said & by whom.

We go into the meeting separately & sit in various places throughout the hearing room so we all won't get kicked out together & at once. Chairs for the public are set up on the same floor as the senators – more like a council meeting w/the senators seated at an elevated horseshoe table; the experts on the same level as we are.

We try to position ourselves away from the door – i.e. the guard – and several rows back where it will be harder for the guard to get to us.

When the proceedings start, Medea emails & lets us know the expert witnesses who will testify first are actually pretty good – so we’re not sure we will have a chance to protest anything they say. We all agree determined to protest even considering bombing Iran though.

The chair of the committee frames the problem we are facing as Iran's desire to make nuclear weapons and how we will prevent them from making nuclear weapons. I think what a nobel endeavor this could be, working toward no nuclear weapons; but no, we are not working for a world without nuclear weapons: we are working toward determining which nations we decide don't deserve nuclear weapons and which do.

One of the best things I hear is Senator Oboma I believe correcting the rest of the committee about diplomacy – he tells them diplomacy is not something you bargain with or hold out as a reward if someone does what you want; diplomacy is the approach & only approach no matter what – I’m paraphrasing.

Soon the opportunity comes – one of the senators is asking about a bombing scenario for Iran – which sites would be targets, how many bombs would be needed. I begin our ‘testifying’ – I stand up, hold out my arm & exclaim “I want to testify! The American people will NOT tolerate ANY bombing of Iran” I say. “We will not stand for one tiny bomb to be dropped on Iran”.

The guard tries to hurry over to stop me. I keep shouting until he gets close. The people sitting next to me block his access to me until he threatens to kick them out too.

I sit down when he gets close & apologize for loosing my temper but ask him if he heard what they said about bombing Iran. He hesitates & looks back toward someone else & then returns his gaze to me. “I’m sorry ma'am” he states “I have to ask you to leave.”

We get outside the room into the hallway – I’m worried he will escort me out the building, which I don’t want. I ask him again if he heard what they said about bombing Iran & tell him we cannot allow that to happen. Before he figures out how to answer me, I ask where the bathroom is. He points down the hall as another plain clothes police comes charging out the room – I repeat the directions for the bathroom as I head down the hall. Neither man tries to stop me!

I go to stand by the front entrance to the room – where the Senators come in and out of, I’m hoping. Only one fellow comes out & after I determine he’s not a Senator & solicit his help in preventing war in Iran. He is totally supportive.

I finally leave the building to stand out front & hold up our banner: Don’t even think about bombing Iran. I get to speak with many, many people – some didn’t know we were even considering bombing Iran; others strongly agreed & shook my hand. Still a few scoffed & tried to say it is too late, we’re going into Iran.