#59 Campaign Report Back Part II: Rapid City
Here I am, on the edge of South Dakota, facing the alleged red states of Wyoming and Montana, blocks from a military base, in a state that almost destroyed wimmin’s rights last year and certainly does not protect or promote the rights of the large indigenous population that resides here, not to mention a state that is almost 90% white – and we know how white folks have voted in the past two presidential elections.
I have been joined by yet another single mom Deirdra and her two amazon daughters. Two young white men who have noticed us standing on this busy corner, park their pick-up truck and head over to join us too.
We are standing for 2 and ½ hours, holding up our “Troops Home NOW” and CodePINK banners, along with the “honk for peace” sign. It seems that 2 out of 3 cars are responding and responding enthusiastically – with the peace symbol, honks, yeahs screamed out the window, fists shaking in powerful support.
We count 6 fuck you’s – then we realize the same late model red truck with the same 30 something white male has been driving back and forth so he can flip us off!
I think this is the longest vigil I have participated in. Deirdra’s girls, one about 6 the other 12, never once whine or nag their mom, but they are determined to stand for peace too!
This great peace family has invited me to come for dinner, to spend the nite, to rest, shower. I am touched and tempted but feel I must journal and then get on the road – roommate troubles at home once again summons me.
I had intended to go to Billings and then to Butte – for their Democratic senators are voting to buy the war and Patti, the awesome North Dakota coordinator, was going to organize and participate with me – but I don’t have the funds to extend the trip and worry about finding a roommate so I’m just heading for one more Peace-In at Matheson’s in Salt Lake City.
They opt to buy my dinner – and then some – for the road instead and I’m grateful, tired, and so inspired!
Before I go, we speak about the cell phone action: getting refrigerator boxes and making fake phone booths, standing at a busy street or in front of an organic coffee shop with the cell phone & asking people to call Stephanie RIGHT NOW!
Make a quarter page info sheet: on one side the facts of Stephanie’s two recent votes; on the other side a suggested script: 1) I am so disappointed/enraged/sorry that Stephanie voted against a timeline and funded the continuation of war against Iraq; 2) I want Stephanie to hold a town hall meeting in Rapid City on the topic of Iraq; 3) I want Stephanie to listen to her constituents and do EVERYTHING in her power to end war.
Or something like that!
When I spoke with Stephanie’s staff, she told me ‘frankly’, she did not receive many calls supporting troop withdrawal, but she’s received calls for keeping our troops in harms way.
Given the response we witnessed today, I question the accuracy of that statement. I caution her to really pay attention because the folks that are for war, tend to be aggressive, even violent, in their expression – and the danger exists of their voice riding over in her mind at least, our more peaceful, gentler voices.
So call Stephanie’s today. Better yet, sign up to meet with her!