WITS on the road again!
Late last nite, I sent out an alert to Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa telling cp members WITS is heading to their town & asking for suggestions for the best, prominent pedestrian trafficked location.
We are looking for Silverado Plaza in Napa. Folks honk, wave, give the peace sign – even here! Maybe we ARE on a roll! The plaza ends up being a shopping mall – which means private property. The fog has now thickened, east coasters would say it’s raining. We call it drizzle.
We are not anxious to get kicked off the property – or rather fighting with the security over the truck being parked on private property. A public sidewalk surrounds the property, making it possible to set up –but there is nowhere to park the truck, in case we run into anti-peace zealots.
We decide to go back downtown, to the pretty bricked square across from the courthouse. We pull into the curve of the sidewalk to the red curb & unload. A meter maid drives up and so very kindly tells us we have to move, we are in a bus stop. She invites us to park on either side of the bus stop – all red curbs – and gives a bright smile & wave as she leaves.
We set out the shoes – only 2 suitcases worth, as it is drizzling – and hold up the banner: Mandate for Peace. Helen, a Napa cp’er, joins us moments after we’ve set up. She is so enthusiastic and ready to take on organizing cp in Napa! Yeah!
Foot traffic is sparse yet constant. Most folks stop to find out if we’re selling shoes or what. We tell them we’re selling the end of war. Most do not know the number of Iraqis killed nor the number of U.S. soldiers.
Two young high school students walk determinedly toward us & ask what we are doing. After we explain, both eagerly add their names to our codepink list and volunteer to help organize for the 24th. Yeah!
Off to Sonoma we go. By the time we get to Sonoma, we admit it is raining. There is a beautifu old brick city hall set way back from the busiest intersection in town, where highway 12 intersects as a ‘T’ with the main street, offering us a grassy lawn to set up on at the 3 way stop! Everyone has to stop & give us a look before they drive on.
We are amazed at the number of positive responses we get. A passerby comes over & joins us. Two more peace action folks dodge rain and swollen streams filling the gutters as they replace us at one banner so we can hold up another “walk in their shoes” banner.
Not much foot-traffic here, but tons of cars. Even the SUV’s are honking and waving. Another cp woman comes to join us. By this time we are drenched and cold but we hang in there to give her the opportunity to stand with the shoes.
The police drive by several times but, as in Napa, never even stop. What a difference from the mountains and foothills! Judy & I talk about going back to South Lake Tahoe – our schedules are so very busy before the 24th – we’re going to aim for next Tuesday & Wednesday.
As we are putting WITS away into the truck and getting ready to head to Santa Rosa, another cp womon comes rushing up. I had spoken with her earlier before leaving the bay area. She was coming from an appointment in Petaluma and so glad she made it before we leave. We spoke with her about organizing cp in Sonoma – it’s a maybe! Yeah!
We arrive in Santa Rosa at the intersection we are to stand tonite. It has continued to rain steadily. I have my rain hat to protect me – and a hot pink trench coat Corrine has given me awhile back. My arms are soaked though. We park in the little shopping center & decide the corner is fabulous – lots of traffic both ways, lots of sidewalk on all four sides. And there’s a bookstore and coffee shop right on the corner!
We have time to eat before we begin to set up. The coffee shop offers several organic and vegan choices along with organic coffee!!! We’re very happy. As we eat, a young womon and her daughter approach us – they are here to help with the protest!
We decide we can stand on two corners – Judy takes one suitcase across the street, Dandy & I start setting up on the other side. Soon several women join us! By the end of the protest, we have been joined by 10 altogether and are able to cover all four corners!
Again the police do not even stop to talk and many folks honk & wave. The Santa Rosaeans are thrilled with this corner, not the usual place for their demos. We talk about the 24th and about their doing the shoes action themselves.
Off we go to the Vets for Peace meeting and then home! We have had a VERY successful WITS day of actions!