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

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

What Were They Guarding Except Maybe Their Over-Time Pay Checks

After delivering, I go with my friends to the anti-bioterrorist laboratory demonstration and march. Boston university, I believe, is scheduled to be build a high-level bioterrorism lab in the middle of Roxbury, of course, a poor neighborhood predominantly of color. First of all, why should we develop such a lab anyway, and secondly, such labs normally exist in isolated areas not in the middle of cities.
The turnout in yet another neighborhood park was exciting – from the very young to the very old, mostly people of color, some white folks, lots of tables and I forgot my CodePINK bag of goodies - tears! The spinal cord is there, looking just as powerful. and of course the police, lined up on either side of the park, rows of bicycles this time, with corresponding rows of police. The biking men in uniform do not have on full riot gear – those full riot gear cops are lined up out front of the park.
It looks again like the police are out-numbering the participants, even though there are a couple of hundred demonstrators, I’m guessing. A couple of helicopters circle above. There is a stage where performers, spoken word artists and community activists present the case against the laboratory. The congresswomon from that district spoke eloquently and powerfully about the community’s responsibilities and duties in defeating this awful laboratory and how close they were to success! Several other community activists and leaders spoke about the continuing efforts to prohibit the building of this horrendous lab. We heard singers and poets, watched dancers and actors, and were inspired by the testimonies of young and old detailing their efforts to stop this lab. On the outer edges of the demonstration were tables with lots of organizations’ information as well as stickers that said “I live within _____ mile(s) of the lab and I don’t want it here!” Of course, I took a bright pink one and filled in 3453 miles!
Then we marched, following the loudspeaker that was actually great, unlike the obnoxious crackling ANSWER loudspeakers – grrrr. We marched around Roxbury, thru the surrounding neighborhood streets that were a few blocks away from the proposed lab site, gathering neighbors and support as we marched. When we approached the actual proposed site, yet another helicopter appeared as did tons of riot police in full gear. They stood shoulder to shoulder across the driveways and sidewalks surrounding the desolate lot housing only heavy equipment and towering piles of orange dirt and rubble (already contaminated?) – the site of the future lab.
What were they guarding, except maybe their over-time pay checks! It was unbelievable. The march continued on thru the BU campus. A short academic type white man in a dark suit yelled out something like “This will bring money to your community”. We roared, of course and yelled back: “Bring the money to your own community why don’t you?”
We returned to the park all too soon! That was rewarding and inspirational!!

Blow me???

I had deliveries to make today in Boston, and pick-ups so it is a work day for me. I make the mistake of talking with my sister, who is, if you can remember, a raving lunatic republican bush-supporter fundamentalist born- again xian and still has the nerve to be related to me although it is extremely hard to fathom. I KNEW I was adopted, plucked out of my real mother’s grip and set down between two siblings I no longer recognize. She asked me how it’s going and I intended to help educate her about the realities of a police state. I describe the horrendous ‘security’ measures, the hundreds of thousands of police and she interrupts to tell me, to admit really, that ‘they’ are just moving faster this time because they failed to take the proper steps last time. I don’t think she realizes what she just said. I say, “Sheree, we are not hijacking a plane to crash but we are attempting to express our patriotic civic duties and rights here” to which she asks in that excruciatingly innocent little girl voice “But did you hear the terrorists are planning on parachuting into Boston? That’s why there are so many helicopters there to search for them.”
Why do I always tend to end up shaking and hanging up on my sister – thank the goddess for the poor cellular connection excuse! Hopefully she doesn’t know. I’ve been waiting for my customer to come so I can unload the truck. He shows up with two other white fellows just as I hang up loudly cursing ignorant republicans. The helpers look a little taken back but my customer says he’s Canadian so he’s outta this mess. Yeah, except he’s living here.
Next I drive thru a little ritzy burb of Boston - Brookline I think. Two white guys in a delivery van scream out the window ‘blow me’. Blow me? – now what is that? Why do these furious guys retort with sexual obscenities (is that redundant?) We’re stopped next to each other at a light, unfortunately. I lean to mirror their out-the-window stance and queried: “What is wrong with you? You don’t know me. Can you not discuss what’s on your mind, if anything?”
The driver vaults over to passenger side and screams again “Blow me” and his companion resorts to a mere livid growl “Fuck you” as they tear down the street.
Everyone else honks and waves and is happy to see me – so many that I cannot keep track and drive at the same time.