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, October 06, 2004

heading east continued

we have a delivery to make in middletown connecticut, home of wesleyan college - even tho we're in connecticut for only a minute, we get about 18 yeah's to one f.u. and 2 thumb's down! the delivery to kehalauni goes very smoothly, even tho we changed the delivery time at least twice before finally arriving just before noon. kehalauni is one of the many wimmin whose support makes this road trip a reality & not just an idea. as we are unloading in her driveway, the mail carrier approaches, exclaiming his support for our work! the neighbor sees us but doesn't approach & kehalauni comments on this truck being her neighbor litmus test - she's recently moved in and has just begun to have a few conversations w/her neighbors! we'll see.....
before leaving middletown, we park on the main street & cross over to the local coffee shop - espresso time! as we're parked, several people approach us, very happy to see the truck. once inside the coffee shop, a middle-aged white womon bursts in, so happy to have tracked us down. she'd been going door-to-door to all the stores looking for us. she turned out to be the head of the local merchants association & was thrilled to see us. she assured us connecticut is totally democrat kerry country & asked us how she can support us? she ended up making a contribution for some codepink materials & our work.
once out at the truck, more wimmin excitedly approached us & also contributed - it was very rewarding. a couple folks complained about how they couldn't get any kerry signs - that he was focusing his campaign on the swing states, ignoring the states he was sure of~! we didn't have any big signs to pass out, unfortunately.
we left middletown & head to northern jersey to make a pick-up before heading into the big apple to drop off rae and connect w/new york codepink!
we arrived in new york shortly after dark & said our sad farewells to rae - it has been a truly awesome experience traveling this far and sharing this part of our incredible journey with rae abaleha. i've been blessed to have her with me thus far & i will miss her presence, her energy, her influence greatly. i can't believe she's actually leaving to go to wisconsin of all places but she is!
tomorrow, we visit w/folks, make a delivery in philadelphia & then set off to florida! peace, sam

heading to florida - youngstown first!

we were able to leave cleveland early this beautiful fall a.m., heading for youngstown university where we have a vigil and a codepink presentation planned. ray & susie, the 'democracy now' folks who so graciously shared their table w/us at the ani concert, have paved the way for us to come to youngstown & perhaps start another codepink chapter! we have a vigil scheduled from noon to 1, and a presentation scheduled from 1 to 3. we arrived on campus with minutes to spare! we were escorted onto the campus to park in front of the student union, where we set up a table & an ironing board w/all our cp stuff.
we were first approached by a group of young, white males who did nothing but crack jokes verging on taunts and claim they were totally unconcerned about the election, the war, the state of the union. not one of them would step outside his peers to talk seriously. we were relieved to know these were the exceptions to the students - most all the other students were interested, if not somewhat informed, about the issues facing our nation.
i spoke with a young white womon, karen, who was rushing by, saying we wouldn't want to talk w/her because she was supporting bush. i told her on the contrary, i do want to talk with her so i can find out how she came to that decision. karen told me she was voting the way her family voted, that they were republican & military, and she admitted she hasn't thought any farther than that. when i told her i knew many republicans and many military folks that were not supporting bush and i didn't think that in and of itself was enuff this time, she said she supported him because he is a christian. i asked, what is christian about bush? and she stated he was pro-life and kerry was pro-abortion.
pro-abortion - no such thing, i told her, kerry is for allowing wimmin to have control over our own bodies, for not making his personal or religious preferences into law. karen listened as i talked about the decision itself, how difficult it is for any of us, and how i want the right to make that decision for my own body. she seemed to agree except she talked about all the wimmin who used abortion as a form of birthcontrol - oh, i'm pregnant, i'll just go have an abortion. i told her how very, very infrequently that happens.
then we got back to bush - i asked her to explain to me how someone can be concerned about the life of a fetus while he is killing tens of thousands of fully developed humans in iraq, not to mention 1053 u.s. soldiers. we got into the iraq vs. afghanistan terrorist revenge discussion.
karen listened intently then asked me if i REALLY thought bush attacked iraq just for oil. i told her how sad & horrified i was to learn just exactly that. i handed her an iraq info quarter page to read & she asked for more information so i gave her a copy of all our info.
karen again reiterated that she hadn't really done any research but she was just following her parents. she promised to do some reading with an open mind so that when she went to the polls she would decide for herself who to vote for! she leaned over & hugged me, while the news cameras flashed pictures and stepped over to take our names.
the young democrats sponsored us on campus so we could give the presentation - michael was the coordinator & he shared his touching story about during the previous presidential election, he campaigned for bush - and for about 6 months into the term, supported bush. then he realized what bush was doing in our country & our world. he found out bush was not a christian, not for our people and now 4 years later he has joined the kerry campaign. he has promised support and resources for the codepink youngstown university campus.
at 1:00 we headed into the gallery where several students & faculty awaited us. we shared codepink's herstory, past & present actions, and the one vote dvd along with a few minutes of our 'what is christian re:bush?" video. three wimmin signed up to coordinate codepink youngstown!!! and an faculty 'volunteered' to be the advisor when ariel asked if she was available! afterwards, ray & susie took us out to the moderne chrome & steel coffee shop that was outta soy milk but boasted huge chocolate cake that we shared!
off to connecticut to deliver, new jersey to pick up and then the big apple to visit codepink new york, friends, relatives - and to say good-bye to rae - tears, tears!!! peace, sam