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, September 28, 2011

Day 1: The way to Palm Springs!


What a perfect first day for a CodePINK ENOUGH WAR! Caravan!

The sun is shining before 7 – those of you who live in the bay know the significance of that! And a brilliant blue bird flies in front of my windshield as I hurry to our caravan rendezvous point on Ashby at College Ave.

Kevyn, an awesome CodePINK womon, and Peter, a special Vets for Peace man, fly right by the truck, not noticing it, so deep in conversation they are. I hope not being able to notice my truck is not going to be a condition on the road!

After loading and unloading stuff, fueling up with coffee and gas for Peter, we take off down 880 to 580 to 5 amidst a small symphony of horn honks, waves and peace symbols that continue thru out the day until we reach Palm Springs. 

I only notice one “fuck you”, just outside the Grapevine from a white boy in a large white pickup truck!

Arriving in Palm Springs, Tracy is waiting on the corner to great us with signs: “Endless wars, Endless money”. Tracy reminds me we met a few years earlier in Peoria, Illinois demonstrating at Senator Durbin’s office, when I was passing thru on another cross-country trip. 

Soon Carolyn shows up with Tom, and then George – and we have a protest downtown Palm Springs!

There are no negative responses in Palm Springs – if you don’t count apathy as negative – several horn honks, quite a few short “we support you” and “take my spirit to D.C.” kind of conversations, and one middle-aged smiling white man driving a huge dually pickup truck with a camper shell – a truck so big and coming so close that we all tense up at first.

He inquires if we are taking that truck to D.C. and when I say “yes” he wants to know if we need any donations! He hands a crisp $100 bill out the window to my waiting hands.

George turns out to be a naturalist volunteer at a national monument that has suffered severe funding cuts by the very congress person who voted 10 years ago with Diane Feinstein to make it a national monument. He wants us to go there and scope it out for a potential protest this weekend when Mary Bono Macks will be there for a photo op.

We are tired, the sun is setting, it has been so very hot – 96 degrees – and it’s our first day on the road – but I don’t want to miss the opportunity of going with a naturalist to nature! When our protest downtown Palm Springs is over, everyone agrees to hurry to the park before it gets too dark.

What a blessing! We need flashlights by the time we get there, but George knows his way around. He takes us walking thru the monument, points out invasive trees, like the one that sucks 200 gallons of water a day off the river surface (as opposed to the native trees that put roots deep into the aquifer to quench their desert thirst) and leaves salt deposits to invade the earth; the smoke tree that really looks like smoky wisps in the fading light, the bushes with brittle thin stems that are merely dormant, not dead.

We see big black beetles, scurrying about recycling and scavenging the desert’s daily treats, burying into the sand and pointing there bottoms up, ready to spew poisonous (to birds) ink whenever we get too close.
We stumble upon a 7 inch vertebrae, a rare site in a place where all organic matter is swiftly consumed, and try to figure out which native animal this remnant of life has come from. A few feet away, we see the bone which once held the eye & cheek socket lying in the sand with a few other small bones and a little flatten piece of fur attached and we think it might be a fox or coyote.

George points out an amazing large rock formation protruding 20 feet or so into the skies, with lines of quartz & granite, rivers of parallel layers that no longer rest on the ground where they were formed but are now almost vertical to the ground where they have been lifted up by earthquakes.

We are sad to leave such a special place but it is really too dark to wander around in a place where thorns and cacti thrive, so off we head to Carolyn’s house!

And what a treat that is! Carolyn has a lovely home in La Quinta, east of Palm Springs and on our way to Phoenix, our next stop. She has invited us into her home, offers dinner, a perfect salt-water pool and turns her spacious and comfy empty lot over to all of us and our camping things!


We're off!

Two vehicles, two CodePINKers and one Vet for Peace! On to D.C.