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"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

2006: We end war

It’s official – our Mother’s Day MONTH of actions is over! And our Women Say ENOUGH! BASTA! 2006: We end war picks up steam & continues!

The Pentagon has allegedly dropped their attempts to eliminate the Geneva Convention agreement making ‘degrade & humiliate prisoners’ illegal. Suzanne Swift is in jail for refusing to be redeployed to Iraq; Lt. Ehren Wataba became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq.

Several new bills & resolutions are popping up in the Senate & House to get us out of this war by 12/31/2006! The number of dead U.S. soldiers has topped 2500; the number of Iraqi dead has multiplied 70 fold; the crimes committed by U.S. forces in Haditha has made front page news & the Iraq government is investigating.

Our Supreme Court, 5-4, has decided the police do NOT need to knock & announce themselves before entering your home. Oops I was going to keep it all victories!

CodePINK Co-founder Diane Wilson has called for & CP National is endorsing a “Troops Home FAST” beginning 12:01a.m. July 4th. Eve Ensler has launched a 2 week festival in NYC bringing the issue of violence against women front & center with her play “Necessary Targets” and a panel of an incredible, courageous group of women who presently live in conflict zones including Iraq, Bosnia, New Orleans, Sudan, Burma, Cambodia, and Congo.

Janet is touring the west coast spreading information about Mother’s Day MONTH & hope for ending this war; Desiree, Texas, is organizing support for Suzanne Swift and is putting out the call for us to add CNN and other major media offices as targets for vigils & demonstrations; Joan is working hard organizing in D.C., especially building connections with other coalitions & groups; Julia is returning to Chicago to continue lobbying & sharing lobbying skills with grassroots women there; Elizabeth, Tennessee, is working on desperately needed funding for the Violence against Woman Act.

And I am in Atlanta seeking respite as I work on compilation of our book of MDM actions, which I hope to have the draft done by the end of the week. The format for our book includes a description of the action, suggested process, step-by-step guidelines, some responses to look out for, and the flyers to hand-out.

ANYONE who wants to have input, PLEASE email me at mzsam@bayareacodepink.org. I’ll try to attach a sample when I email.

ALSO, bay area MDM women: let’s have an event! How about a reunion & a report back to the CodePINKers who stayed behind & to the larger community. I will return by the first week in July – how about the 2nd week in July?

So women of this list: do we want to plan a next action? If so, what will be our next action?

If we intend to stop this war by the end of 2006 – and I believe we do & will – we need to figure out what we are doing next. I know many of us are continuing local actions in our communities – let’s share w/each other what those are & coordinate if we can/want to; and let’s discuss if we want to do more actions together?

As I continue to travel across the country & speak with women, I am talking once again about the need to work 10 times harder than what we have been doing. I am talking about asking women to commit to working 3 hours a day, every day, to end war: one hour can be on the internet or telephone; but the other 2 hours out in the streets.

I draw a diagram of the capitol building (congress), and I draw the lines of the senators’ offices & the representatives’ offices; and I show where the mall with the museums & memorials are at, filled with U.S. tourists, military folks, and visitors from around the world; and lastly I fill in the white house. I talk about a pink presence on each one of these streets – every day, from early morning until late at night.

I ask women to draw a diagram of their town: where are the federal, state, local politicians? Where are the recruiting stations? Where are the parks, the public transportation centers, the heavily-trafficked areas? I talk about a pink presence on each one of these streets – every day, from early morning until late at night.

When women whine about having the time, I tell them I’m not doing whining anymore. We HAVE to end war this year. Period. I am only seeking out women who have no excuse not to end war now; women who really want to end this war.

I ask them about tv, movies, shopping at the mall or just shopping. I ask them about pretending as if we are living in war-time & what can we eliminate from our lives to make space for more time & resources for ending war?

I ask them about spending money & reevaluating what we really need, especially for the next 6 months. I talk about Alice Paul & rephrasing her directive to shop, to watch tv, to study, to work, to stay home NEXT year: this year end war – so everyone can have these options (of work, school, play) in their lives, not just those of us who are benefiting from the violent hogging of our world’s resources.

I talk about 4% if the world’s population consuming 25 to 60 per cent of the world’s resources; I talk about the necessity to change each & every one of our life styles – mine included – in order to end war & restore peace & justice to our planet.

I am working on another video – hopefully this one will be more ‘legal’ than the last one – I am seeking out women who are anti-war & asking them “what would make you decide to drop everything & get out into the street today & every day to end this war?” I want to document the average North American’s reasons for not ending this war – for the next generation of children from our country & from Iraq, (and any other country we are scheming to bomb in the near future) who will ask us what happened? How did we allow this to happen?

As I have often wondered about the German people as Hitler was amassing power, I think the children of tomorrow will wonder about the U.S. American people while Bush continues down this road to conquering new countries & spreading U.S. imperialism.

86 yeahs! a record? to be continued

Last time I traveled down or up I81, I know I got LOTS of yeahs - this time, I'm only on I81 for a few hours - thru Virginia across a tiny strip of Tennessee - I get 86 positives and only 3 negatives

missed opportunity

No one disturbed my rest all night – except the cigarette smoke wafting into my windows that are lowered to allow the barely cooler Virginia nite air into the front seat as I sleep.

I get up, step out the truck into a still hot, still dark, still early morning, and immediately about 3 or 4 young, skinny white males begin sauntering over the steaming asphalt towards me. Hmmm – which way will this go, I think.

“Rad, man” I hear them say as they approach. “We LOVE your truck”.

They are all smoking, casually dressed, and smiling broadly – yet there is an intense air of seriousness about them. Several more young guys tumble out various cars & join us.

We talk – and talk and talk and talk – about the war, about stopping the war, about their desperation & despondency. They say they are on their way to bonnaroo – like I should know what that is. I don’t but they repeat ‘bonnaroo’ as if they’re saying ‘tree’ or ‘morning’.

They each talk about the renewed hope they have, seeing my truck and me. I ask them what they’ve been doing to end war. They admit that since the 2nd stolen election, they’ve given up.

I challenge them to stop waiting for someone else to step forward; to be the leaders, be the activists – that it is up to them to stop this war. They can’t wait for someone else to do it. They can’t fall under the spell of those in power making them deny their own power.

I realize, after they’ve each hugged me awkwardly, promised me to become active, & told me ‘peace’ in their barely adult voices, that I missed the opportunity to begin my new video.