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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

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Who would know if anything had been bombed in Newark?

There was a great event this weekend in the park in Alphabet City, the East Village: despite torrential rains, thunder and lightning, sooooooo many folks showed up. It was an artists' event with a concert and rally, so there were huge blank white sheets hanging on the fence around the whole perimeter of the park. Artists and regular folks spent the weekend drawing mostly protest paintings. We tabled the event both days. There was a great mix of liberal and angry New Yorkers as well as tourists.
The general feeling I get around New York is anger - with bush (over 70% of New Yorkers are registered democrats!); with the RNC choosing NYC as its location; with the continuing loss of both u.s. and Iraqi lives - for what, they ask, for what?
There was a 'heightened' code orange alert for this weekend (orange plus, Randi Rhodes of Air America radio quips!) Supposedly there have been plans uncovered to bomb a couple of banks, including one in Newark. Someone said "Who would know if anything had been bombed in Newark?" Like the neighborhoods in Flint Michigan, most of Newark appears to have lready been bombed and devastated!
I met a distressed womon on the subway this evening, riding home. The conductor began his 'if you see any suspicious package' routine that I always have to loudly react to, putting my fingers in my ears and singing “I don’t hear you. I don’t hear you.”
This womon was probably in her late 40's, dressed as if returning from an 'important' Wall Street job, Jamaican-American, and VERY upset. She told me she was here for 9/11 and she didn't need any conductor reminding her how dangerous New York City has become. She was furious with bush and the RNC choosing New York to invade.
Anguish flooding her face and words, she asks “How dare they make us an even greater target? If they truly believe we are about to be hit again, why aren't they holding their convention in some desolate location where they will not endanger our lives, once again, or anyone else’s life in an urban setting?”
We talked about CodePINK: Womyn for Peace and the upcoming demonstrations and protests. As she rushed off the subway and was swallowed up by tons of commuters, she handed me a piece of paper that she kept in her pocket book just for occasions like this: it lauded women and our talents and it ended with reminding us to take the time to take good care of ourselves! It was quite sweet. I REALLY wanted to get to know her better after that and wished I had been brave enuff to ask for her number.