Awesome, exhilarating, intense, tragic, determined, and totally CodePINK!!! was our action today 12:30p.m. at the Hart Senate Building in D.C.!
We entered the building from every direction, met in the center. For those of you who have never been to the Hart Building, it is an huge, 6 story structure that is built around an atrium – so that the center of the building is empty to the ceiling, and the offices are built around the 4 walls of the building with balconies forming borders and opening onto the atrium.
Medea began taking shoes out of the suitcases and putting them onto the floor. People read the names of the children and women killed in Iraq –first individually, then almost as a chorus – their voices, the names of the dead, rising and reverberating through-out the whole atrium into the offices on each floor.
I was on the second floor balcony with a CodePINK bannering virgin, Maureen. We crouched down behind the cement balcony, I pulled it out from my shirt, and we unfurled it over the edge of the balcony.
People below cheered, cameras flashed, TV filmed! Then I looked to my left, to my right, up every floor, and down – there were a ZILLION banners on each floor, each cranny, each balcony!
The police came quickly, ordering us to pull off the banner – and they pulled it off. I tried to negotiate, slow them down a moment. Then we pulled it off and suddenly, a huge pink slip banner starts unfurling from above and passes over our floor! Our two police officers who were hassling us moved in quickly.
Maureen and I moved quicker and began helping the banner unfurl and reach the next level – we were fighting with the police officers – as they tried to pull it up, we pulled it out.
Medea was on the ground floor and grabbed the bottom with some other cp’ers – the cops were pulling so hard they actually lifted her off the floor!
It seemed as soon as the police pulled one banner up, another banner was unfurled on another floor, another side, another corner. It looked choreographed, it was so beautiful, pink, anti-war and pro-peace.
When medea wasn’t holding onto the edges of a giant pink slip, she was leading the hundreds of people on the ground floor around in a snake dance, weaving around the shoes, the installations, and other people – chanting, singing the whole time.
Soon every balcony was filled with people with more pink banners and huge slips being dropped and re-dropped. After awhile, all the banners were either confiscated or slipped back into their places.
Everyone joined the cp’ers on the first floor – walking now around in a huge circle chanting “defund the war”. Staffers, tourists, lobbyists come out of their offices & lined the balconies.
Police surrounded us, attempting us the final warning. Medea negotiated thru the first 2 warnings. People in the balconies began shouting “NO WAR” “NO WAR” – we took up the chant until Medea signaled us to end the demo.
We broke the circle and began picking up the shoes, putting them back into the suitcases. Someone started singing “we shall overcome” – I’m sure they heard us into the next building and out onto the street.
I heard the police say “but you’re still demonstrating” – we kept moving and singing until all the shoes had been picked up.
Once the shoes were picked up, we milled over toward Boxer’s office to thank her so much for signing on to Feingold’s bill!