What's Next? Summer of Protest anyone????
First, let me send all of you awesome PINKS – and browns (berets) and greens (party) et al – my deepest appreciation for your participation in the recent #59 Campaign Peace-Ins across the country! Many of you participated at – literally – a moment’s notice, and when it fit into my traveling schedule. I thank you!
For those of you whose state I didn’t get to drive through (yet), I recently drove the CodePINK truck from Atlanta, thru at least 10 states where we vigiled and held a “Peace-In” in the offices of those Dems who voted against a time-line for returning our troops from Iraq.
We did actions:
· in Clarksville Tennessee in “Patriot’s Park” in front of a military base;
· in Louisville Kentucky we tabled at a “Vegan” festival signing up at least 35 more pinkers for that newly revitalized chapter;
· in La Crosse Wisconsin, two twelve year old “ CodePINK: Women in training” sat in their Congressperson’s office until the police came, cited & ticketed them for trespassing – when alls they wanted was to talk with Kind about his horrific vote and influence him to end war;
· in Wilmar Minnesota, a town of purportedly 18,000 but about 3 traffic lights, we strategized over organic coffee;
· in three cities in South Dakota – Aberdeen, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls – we certainly made the newly elected Congresswomon Herseth feel the heat;
· and again in both Fargo and Bismarck North Dakota, Congressman Pomeroy knows how strongly we feel, strong enough to challenge him to hold town hall meetings on Iraq!
· and finally, but certainly not least, Salt Lake City and Congressman Matheson – who was challenged to don the uniform & stand in their shoes before making soldiers continue fighting, and who is also being held to representing his progressive constituents and hold town hall meetings in Utah as well!
For those of you who’d like more details, please check out my blog at www.codepinkjournals.blogspot.com
So now I get to the point of this email: What’s NEXT for us??? Now that the Dems have bought the war, have miserably failed all of us – especially Iraqis and our soldiers – what are we going to do?
There were two things that consistently met me as I traveled, whether it was in a big blue city or a tiny red town: 1) People were PISSED at the Democrats; and 2) People felt the most despair with the numbers of activists – or rather the lack of activists – willing to participate to end war.
I think we need to find a way to take that newly surfacing anger directed towards these ‘representatives’ that the general public is feeling and magnify it 20 fold, direct it, tap it, utilize it – turn it into righteous rage and action. I think the time is right, I think people see that neither the Bush machine nor the Democrats have any intention of shutting down war.
It is UP TO US!!! To SHUT DOWN WAR!
I propose a “Summer of Protest” where we focus on those three entities that are supplying war:
1) CORPORATIONS: as SSA (Stevedoring Services of America); Blackwater; etc. – those entities that are providing the materials needed to occupy Iraq
2) CONGRESS: those #59 who voted against the timeline and the 86 who then voted to continue the occupation of Iraq thru September (contrary those entities to previous rumor, this vote included only 8 of the Out of Iraq Caucus) –that are providing the political supplies for war
3) MILITARY BASES & RECRUITING STATIONS: every town, city, village I drove almost 3000 miles through, had a visible military base in or close by – those entities that are supplying the human fodder for war.
I propose we begin July 4th through Labor Day – and end up in D.C. September – the month the Dems are now claiming will be …. what??? What WE make it, that’s what! They vote again – we HAVE to be there!
Connecting with CodePINK chapters and our allies across the country has given me the vision of a massive spider web for peace. People all over are doing actions, sometimes daily, sometimes with 2 people, sometimes with hundreds – but they are doing actions, spinning the web. Some are walking/marching, some are biking, all the way across the country, to end up in D.C. for September, spinning the web. We just need to connect the strands.
I propose we set up camps, we continue peace-ins, we hold town hall meetings, we vigil, we banner outside of bases “Soldier don’t kill for me” “Soldier don’t die to make oil companies rich” “Soldier DON’T GO”; we make cardboard phone booths out of a refrigerator box and place it ‘downtown’ wherever there’s foot traffic, and get folks to call their congressperson right there & then – and we do those office visits weekly at least; we demand town hall meetings – all in those districts w/the 86 plus 59 congresspeople; we march/walk/bike in the direction of D.C. if not all the way!
Or whatever you and your town decide to do – but we commit to doing a Summer of Protest! We sacrifice, it costs us, we take time off work, from family, from home – on top of vacation, we suffer, we give up weeks and weeks of ??? and spend weeks and weeks organizing to SHUT DOWN WAR!
I intend to begin driving the CodePINK truck around the country again from July 4th to Labor Day: I invite you to join me for any or all of that trip; I will join you at any action in your town, city, overpass that you want.
In Berkeley, we are holding a MMMEG (Monthly Monday Meet, Eat & Greet) this Monday, June 18th. On our program are 2 speakers who were instrumental in starting the Seneca Falls Women’s Peace Encampment in the 80’s – if you can’t come to Berkeley and be part of this awesome inspiration, check on-line. We are so very pregnant with our rich herstory of peace activism – let’s continue growing and birthing our country into peace NO MATTER WHAT!
My 2 cents,
Zanne Sam Joi