WHO will stop us???
We set up a Hot Pink Phone booth with a CodePINK Peace Directory (THANK YOU Marie), with suggested talking points, outside the Oakland Federal Building.
We asked folks to take TEN SECONDS to call 800-517-5696 and tell their Congressperson to vote NO on the Supplemental.
When Marie and I arrived, Leeza and Carolyn were already present. As soon as we gathered, a plain clothes cop in a fancy suit approached us to ask for Janet, who wasn't there yet.
We explained he could talk with any of us. He smiled and just said he wanted us to know he'd be across the street.
As soon as he left, Walker (as he reluctantly identified himself, probably Homeland Security, as he had neither name nor badge number)asked me whether Barbara Lee's office had called us and let us know we would not be allowed into her office.
I stared at him in disbelief. I asked him to repeat himself. He told me he had taken it upon himself a few days ago when he found out we were going to be there (hmmmm???) to go to her office and ask if they wanted us to come up.
He told me we would not be allowed into the Federal Building today.
I asked him several times if HE intended to attempt to prevent us from going into the building.
He kept repeating, Barbara Lee didn't want us in her office.
I finally told him we did not need to have this conversation.
After we had passed out all of our flyers and gotten about 20 or so people to make calls at our phone booth, we went to go into the Federal Building to Barbara Lee's office to present her with a beautiful Pink Badge of Courage (thank you again Marie).
Homeland Security rushed to beat us to the 10th floor. When I arrived, several CodePINKers were in the hallway with the assistant Deputy Director, handing him the Badge and profusely expressing our pride and thanks in Barbara Lee for ALWAYS voting against war.
The 5 or so 'security' officers were guarding the door of her office around the corner and down the hall from where we stood.
This Director attempted to say the security was just doing their job, protecting the office from protesters.
We protested, we are constituents handing out flyers attempting to get the people to do their democratic duties.
Although he attempted to justify the security officers behavior, he finally relented, strode down the hall and demanded in a low, furious voice that they leave, and then turned to us to cordially invite us into the office that we have NEVER been blocked from before - and weren't today either!!!
A MAJOR victory over an incident which never should have happened in the first place.
I couldn't help later to flash a big smile and peace symbol at that very officer while I asked him to call his representative to vote NO on the Supplemental.
Although he is white, hugely overweight, and probably pushing 65, he informed he that he supported war - in fact, he claimed he was in Iraq.
I asked him if that bias didn't influence his decision to attempt to keep us out of our Federal Building.
He refused to answer.