Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Mr. Brown goes to the MRS

There’s a bustle of activity at the MRS today: at least two scared looking youth, scrubbed yet ragged in their Sunday best hand-me-down suits, stand bug-eyed, stern stark white faces cracked occasionally by a flash of an uncertain grin as they are surrounded by earnest fast-talking sharks camouflaged their dress blues.

When these recruiters of cannon fodder dress in their blues, we know something is up. Another group of 3 or 4 youth in danger of being recruited hurry by us into the office. We hear them mumble something kinda irritably about a “Brian” or a “Bryant” again.

There are only 6 of us protesting today, all in our 50’s or older, all women in pink except one elderly ex-Marine who is probably in his 80’s. One of us leans against the gray car that we now recognize as Bryant’s: the older, fat and mean white man who brought a young half Asian woman into the station a couple of months ago to be recruited. At that time, he screamed at her and us not to talk to her, as she was a minor – his minor apparently – yet he was bringing her in to be recruited. Shame.

First the Captain, Jon Paul, comes out to notify a 72 year old woman that she is leaning against this special man’s special gray car, to which she responds “Oh, I had no idea, I’m sorry” as she pulls her hip away.

Later, she is caught brushing up against it again, this time by the big man himself, Bryant – except when I ask him why he is here, he informs me he is Mr. Brown and leaves, as if that should explain everything.

He seems to be working on installing state of the art cameras in the MRS. We wonder what has happened that they are in such a flurry of action to install these cameras.

I ask him again, when he comes outside the station, why he is there. He mutters he’s never killed an unarmed person. I ask him who has armed this person and did he think his weaponry equal to that of this dead human being or was he the bully with the massive fire power slaughtering the people fighting for their freedom against American occupation?

He storms back into the station stating unequivocally and absurdly, he defends peace.

Four more endangered youth approach the station. Again they say a special forces guy is here indicating they can’t talk now but will later; now they have to be on their best behavior – he’s a role model. I ask them to explain and one of the cockiest mentions with that special boy comradely smirk something about the number of enemy this self-inflated muck-a-muck has picked off single-handedly.

A brave sniper, although we guess pilots of drones could pick folks off too – only this man looks way to old to have those hi-tech computer skills.

One of the women stands with her sign, an inch from the window, about the rate of GI suicides so the youth inside can see. Another woman joins her with her sign, a picture of U.S. flag draped coffins and “Bring them home alive NOW”. I am holding a banner “War under Bush, War under Obama, Is STILL WAR”

This Mr. Brynt or Mr. Brown gets more and more visibly agitated, pulls out his cell phone, barks into it, and the next few moments, we see two Berkeley police on bicycles ride up and park themselves several doors down from the MRS.

This ‘hero’ is so undone by our presence he has called the police! And we are not even doing any civil disobedience. And between the camera installers, dress blues recruiters, and those endangered youth, we are outnumbered at least 2 to 1.

We move from the street closer to the glass door, as we see the youth are about to leave. We want to talk with them. Mr. Brown comes out, stands inches from my face holding up three fingers saying in his most menacing (I’m sure) voice that I have three seconds to get away from him. He forgets I’m not his soldier! I try not to laugh as he counts down. I indicate the wide space around him and I challenge him again to answer my question “How does killing people around the world contribute to world peace”.

He threatens me with citizen’s arrest as he rushes 20 feet or so over to the one lingering Berkeley cop with his whiney complaining. In the meantime all the endangered youth pour at once out of the MRS. As Mr. Bryant-Brown attempts to get the police officer to pull me aside, we focus on the youth leaving en masse.

They have been carefully instructed not to talk with us, but several do.

One tall, creamy chocolate handsome fellow hesitates, returns, looking over our literature and chooses the “Alternatives to the Military” pamphlet (of which we only have a couple left). I hope fervently he finds one.