Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Bring Out Troops Home NOW!

I spent the rest of the day at the revolutionary women’s event tabling with Jody. It was a FABULOUS event held in Boston’s new convention center – no police presence, just security that once I left my truck parked, was pretty laid-back – other than having to wear a tag at all times! Of course, I immediately lost mine somehow but they all knew me – after all I drove my truck there!
There must have been a thousand wimmin there easy. Many wimmin didn’t know of CodePINK but lots did! We got several pages of wimmin to sign up for CodePINK! It was great! Many wimmin came up to our table, introduced themselves. I felt I should recognize their names at least, if not their faces. Fortunately Jody was there to respond appropriately.
It was terribly thrilling, all that womonist/feminist energy, all that bountiful hope and brilliance!
But the best part of today was this evening at the dnc. There are 2 sections: the floor is the bottom part where all the delegates are seated; then there are the upper levels where the non-delegates are seated.
The democrats running the convention made it illegal for anyone to bring in their own home-made signs. i.e. they wanted to control the signs that were on the floor and in the upper levels.
Well, Medea somehow secured a ticket to the floor!!! AND was able to unfurl a banner that read “Bring Our Troops Home Now!”
She stood there, solid and determined, by herself, with this banner, refusing to back down or sit down. The press covered her and you could hear her lone strong voice yelling ‘bring our troops home now’ as security finally dragged her from the floor!
Then they made all the CodePINK wimmin, who weren’t able to get into the floor but were sitting in the second level, leave.
Medea’s action was the only protest of the people that I know of to reach the floor of the convention other than Al Sharpton tossing out his scripted six minutes and delivering his inspirational twenty minutes,

Get Castrated

I wasn’t going to go to the radical women’s conference today – I was going to go to another event with Deborah but Jody asked me to pick her up this a.m. at her hotel so I hopped in my big truck and headed thru the new Boston tunnel (that Bostonians paid Bechtel millions to build I understand) to the airport where the hotel was – very convenient!
I pulled up in front of the Hilton to the ‘passenger loading/unloading only’ zone to wait for Jody. The staff and many hotel guests waved joyously at me and my truck. As I hopped down to go look for Jody, a news reporter approached and asked if he could talk with me. He is from usa today. I frown at his biz card and say “This paper needs a broader perspective, not just a conservative, rich, white, male point of view.” He solemnly nods his head in agreement and says it’s the corporation that owns the paper – Gannet Publishing. We grin broadly and I say they’re lucky to have him.
He continues to interview me about my trip from California, my truck, how long I’ve been doing this, etc. As we speak, I see a tall white security guard approaching rapidly. He’s obviously anxious and working up steam, so I assure him I’m picking up a hotel guest. He kinda looms close as the reporter keeps asking me questions.
An older white womon approaches us, hand extended, and introduces herself as Barbara Harris from Austin Texas. She graciously declares: “I wants to shake the hand of the womon who is driving this truck!” I repeat some of my story for her benefit. While we talk, both the reporter and the guard are shifting their weight from foot to foot, men left out but listening intently. I tell Barbara about CodePINK and go into my truck to retrieve info for her (and the reporter) as she tells me she will do anything for us! (I might have her name wrong and the city she’s from – menopause, grrrr – but she’s definitely a delegate from Texas!!!) As I emerge with info for her and the reporter, I notice the guard has taken off. We all talk some more when a short, stocky non-descript older (than the first one, who is clipping this one’s heels) white man approaches. He demands I move my truck immediately – both of them stand straight and menacing, as in no smiles or friendly, casual shoulders – stiff as the regular police. They both have wires in their ears and a hand in their suit jacket – it’s 90plus degrees already and about 430 percent humidity. They instruct me to proceed around to the side of the hotel and the loading dock there.
So I do.
As I back into the dock and get out, another young white male sitting on the platform is scowling down at me as I approach the back of my truck. He has what appears to be a piece of hay or a very long tooth pick sticking out the side of his mouth in what I’m sure he thinks is an early tuff-guy pose. He snarls at me “That there should say ‘get a hysterectomy’.”
I know immediately without looking he is referring to my ‘against abortion? get a vasectomy’ bumper sticker.
I say in my sweetest smiley voice “Oh really?”
“Yeah,” he responds.
I’m nodding too, he’s such a little loser. I reply as syrupy as he is surly: “Only if you want it to say get castrated.”
He jumps back, knocking his chair over. The other fellows howl and he starts sputtering about how it’s the womon who gets pregnant. I smile sweetly again and say, “Yes, that is my point exactly.” I turn to the only womon in site and ask directions back to the lobby. She begins to lead me back to the hotel lobby when yet another ubiquitous white male security fellow magically appears to halt our progress. Apparently I can’t be trusted to go the back way thru the hotel to the lobby. Who knows what havoc I can bring to the kitchen or wherever it leads. The young man tells me he’ll escort me to the lobby. Outside, thru the heat of the asphalt and concrete. He is so solemn and serious and on edge I have to ask him what is going on. He just mumbles 'security'. He’s about a great-grandchild’s age I’m sure, if I had one: a solemn, silent, ultra serious child at that.
I remind him I’m a u.s. citizen, just like he is. When I tell him I’m not a terrorist, he smiles self-consciously but keeps matching my pace, step for step. I can just taste his rush of adrenalin, his hope that he will be the hero that overcomes the terrorist. I understand – who doesn’t want to be a hero? But such a stupid waste of time, harassing me.