Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Monday, January 12, 2015

Nite 2: Palm Springs to Rest Area

Even though we (I) had REALLY wanted to make it to Palm Springs in time to visit the First Nation sacred land there, we don't pull into the city until dusk. We drive down the main drag and park so everyone can see the truck.

We jump out our vehicles, grab banners, flyers, and song sheets and find a great corner by the plaza that crosses the main road, to set up. We hang our banners back-to-back so that people driving down the main drag can see one side and people walking on the sidewalk also have a great view of our bold, black messages: Black Womyn's Lives Matter: FREE MARISSA NOW.org!

Once our banners are secure, we begin singing and handing out flyers. Traffic is sparse but steady, pedestrians are few but this allows us to talk with everyone, the curious interested folks along with the extremely bored! Most people are not from Palm Springs and those few that stop to talk, promise to bring Marissa's name back to their town.

A gay white couple put three one dollar bills into out donation box while a straight white family of four listen carefully to Lajuana explaining Marissa's story.

A young creamy brown womon with a chubby wide-eyed baby perched on her hip, joins Jasi & I as we walk down the sidewalk on our way to the truck to get him additional toys. Jasi foists a little purple Free Marissa flyer into her child's flailing hands while I attempt to recall enough Spanish to explain Marissa's story to her.

The mother wide eyed and struggling to understand, grabs the flyer and intently studies the print as a tear slips down her cheek. "My mother, mi madre," she chokes out, "esta muerta.... asesinada." Oh no, I embrace her as I murmur how sorry I am, lo siento, lo siento - muy triste.

Mujasi puts his arms around both of us and tries to hand her baby one of his cars. 

Before we part, she fiercely promises me she will read more about Marissa and do what she can.

After a couple hours on the streets of Palm Springs, it starts getting too chilly to hang out, so we begin to close down. A realtor approaches us - a local white and gay boy - who points to his 2nd story office around the corner and tells us he came down because he heard us singing.

He promises to send an email out with Marissa's story to his list of 356 local realtors!

Another short white male speaking heavily accented English and decked out in a very expensive suit with an equally expensive camera on his shoulder begins filming us. He tells us about the international film festival that's happening now in Palm Springs - but we missed the 8pm opening and folks probably won't get out until 10:30 or 11 - we can't stay this long.

He claims to be a journalist and promises to send our pics far and wide, especially in the media outlets he works for. Kata has his info...we'll see!

We have donated salads, bagels, sandwiches we consume as we head out of town. The desert sky is blacker than 30 leagues under the sea and the stars brilliant pinpoints of crystal shimmering white, just stunningly beautiful.

We drive to the first rest stop and spend our second nite on the road snuggled in sleeping bags and blankets inside the camper and the expo, steaming up windows and breathing heavy to warm us up.

Day 2 January 12th: Los Angeles to Palm Springs



Our first morning arising on the road after spending the nite in Los Angeles at a lovely home provided for us by two film-maker activists who wish to remain unanimous! Jasi & I have a little one room cottage with a bathroom all to ourselves. Everyone else shares living room futon and floor space.

We arise, stumble around gathering sleeping bags, toiletries, and back packs. The wonderful caravaner Ann has left to return to the Bay Area, leaving us with the truck as our only mode of transportation until we pick up the van.

Our hosts make us yummy green smoothies as we hold our first debriefing and planning meeting over midnite black donated  Peets coffee and slightly toasted Noah's bagels plus abundant fresh fruit. We talk about what worked last nite at Black Lives Matter and what didn't. We discuss improvements for our presentation, honing our talking points, and logistics for picking up our 8 seater van.

Finally packed up and ready to go, four caravaner womyn head to public transport themselves on the train to Irvine, while two of us - and Mujasi - jump into the front of the truck (one - our relief driver - slithers into the back to sleep) and navigate thru Los Angeles traffic toward our Lake Forest rendezvous with not a van but an expedition (as the husband of the owner insists we call our vehicle!)

We get to Lake Forest a couple hours later than planned - not due to the infamous L.A. traffic but do to the time we need to gather all our things and head out. Picking up the van is easy, hooking up with the rest of our crew so simple - the train station is literally 2 miles away.

Our caravan complete - except without Zakyia and Toni and their special RV, tearz - late in the afternoon, we head to Palm Springs.