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 31, 2006

Fly away, war - updated

I've done it again - jumped right to the most violent, agressive reaction while failing to mention standing on the street corner for almost 93 minutes before receiving one negative reaction to our vigil! In fact, sometimes every single car that goes by or that is waiting at the light, responds with waves, peace signs, deep sighs of gratitude, determined fists, shouts of 'yes' & 'right-on'.

We stand in the medium on Pennsylvania Ave, a very busy thorough-far that is about 6 lanes of traffic going both directions. 93 minutes pass before we get one single finger - actually we get two fingers in the last 13 minutes, both from middle-aged white males driving late model pick-up trucks. And this woman.

“Fuck you” An angry, middle-aged white woman has pulled her late model sedan over to the side of the road to scream at me as I stand with a sign that says: “6 more U.S. soldiers dead today” and “2 women & one almost-born child murdered by U.S. soldiers today”.

I approach her extended middle finger hanging over her cream-colored leather seats as her tinted window slowly lowers. I invite her to pull over & have a conversation with me in between her vacillating between screaming ‘fuck you’ and ‘bitch’ and ‘ugly slob’.

“You’re emboldening the enemy” she yells at me. “Oh really?" I querry. "How's that?” “You just are, by standing here not supporting our troops”.

“I’m ending war, killing, bombing” I counter. “I’m bringing our troops home now – that is the only way to support them” I state unequivocally. Later I think I should have said “Bush & warmongers are my enemy – and I’m undermining them”.

I keep trying to get her to get out the car, talk with me. She thinks she’s coming up with more & more hurtful things to say as she attacks my clothes, my weight, my single status (like she knows me). She shouts with some inner victorious streak that she has a husband! I guess she sees that as a major accomplishment of her life!

I tell her we are women, we are capable of talking with each other. She tells me she wants to murder me if she could. I ask what she means, if she could. She repeats her vehement desire to murder me if only she could. I ask her why she can’t? I invite her to go ahead, murder me. Then what?

She has worn herself out calling me names, wanting to murder me – I keep pointing to a parking place across the street & telling her to park. I tell her I am not her enemy, I am committed to ending war. I keep repeating war is wrong, killing is wrong as she tries to drive off in a cloud-less puff of smoke-less squeal.

The six year old, Hillary’s daughter who is staying with us now in her house, has painstakingly designed & decorated the sign she now holds up to this woman: “Fly away war”

an almost-born child murdered

I weep today in wretched grief and rage as I read the news: two women and an almost-born child are murdered today on their way to the maternity hospital by U.S. soldiers.

I read this news as the voices of those pro-war people we met yesterday in front of the White House loop through my head weaving intricately into this news: we’re giving them democracy dead; we’re giving them freedom murdered; we’re doing a good job in Iraq killing women & children; I support war 6 more soldiers dead; I support bush 6 more soldiers dead; I support the troops six more soldiers dead; we need to be there until the job is done 2 more women & an almost-born child murdered; if you don’t support the mission killing women & almost-born babies, you don’t support our troops six more soldiers dead”.

Six U.S. soldiers have also been killed. I'm furious. I'm desperate. I’m sick.

Two women and an almost-born baby. I'm enraged. I'm inconsolably bereaved. I'm incensed.

I am here in D.C., reaching tens of thousands of people - sometimes 30 to 50 folks at a time getting off buses or gathering with a tour guide; sometimes one or two individuals sightseeing. Sometimes elementary school children or entire junior high graduating classes. Sometimes tourists from the Benefit Funds Union or from Gadston, Missouri. Sometimes handfuls of visitors from Egypt, from Thailand, from Bolivia. Sometimes white men dressed in million dollar suits that could be lobbyists, could be legislative aids, could even be congress people - definitely the 'powerful'. Sometimes just regular D.C. folks surviving in this city where predominantly white affluence & racism lords so completely over predominantly black poverty & the ravages of racism. Sometimes soldiers in full uniform or in casual everyday clothes; sometimes top brass or enlisted grunts. Sometimes soldiers recently returned from Iraq; sometimes soldiers on their way to Iraq.

I desperately try to cling to the (real) power of the work we are doing – yet I feel so diminished, so self-indulged as I entertain the thoughts that we are making a difference, we are changing lives, we are helping to end this horrific war.

I am overwhelmed with the knowledge that there are not enough of us doing too little. I am engulfed in shame and rage toward us – the everyday American folks that cannot stop our days for a moment to end this war. We are trading good jobs, secure homes, ‘safe’ beautiful neighborhoods, degrees in geology or law, for death & destruction in Iraq.

Monday at the ‘parade’ glorifying not just soldiers but this war for ‘freedom & democracy’ in Iraq, an older white woman asked me how I prevent evil from coming into my life. I told her by coming to D.C., standing here, and trying to prevent my government from engaging in acts of evil in my name, in the name of my freedom & democracy.

She snorted like a horse in a stable & stalked off, throwing evil looks over her shoulder with some words meant for me but I couldn't hear.

I don’t believe in evil – but I do believe we as a nation have made a pact with the devil (although I don’t believe in the devil either); we’ve made a pact with everything that is against life & humanity, and goodness & compassion: it is fine for us to pursue our lives, our homes in the suburbs or condos in the cities, our privileged jobs in the 35k & up range, our great schools for our special children, now our summer programs & activities, it is acceptable & desireable for all of us to consume up to 60% of the world's resources – we are given all these things as long as we allow destruction, torture, murder, rape, despair of most of the world’s population & lands.

When will our only purpose in life be to stop our country & countrymen from capturing thru force so much of the worlds humans & resources?