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

Monday, December 26, 2005

Raging Grannies and Wal-mart

The heavens parted & allowed a weak sun to shine for about an hour as the Raging Grannies and CodePINK women gathered in the parking lot at Wal-mart in Oakland. We sang the grannies famous X-mess songs where they’ve taken popular tunes, as Jingle Bells and Oh When the Saints, and re-written the lyrics. The grannies held a Raging Grannies purple banner and we held our signs that read: “Christmas was just another day in Iraq: 19 Iraqis dead, 2 U.S. soldiers dead”; and “Violent Toys = Violent Boys” ; and “Say NO to war toys”; and “War is NOT a game”. We also handed out flyers about “War is not fun and games” and our weekly vigils.

We were not once hassled by security or police – they hovered around and waited us out!

We did get cheered & thanked by many shoppers, folks driving by, and workers alike. One young woman pulled over in her car & asked with astonishment “Buying at Wal-mart is supporting the war?” I spoke with her briefly about the 6 richest individuals among the top 10 richest in our country & their support of the Bush administration. She asked where I recommend shopping – a granny said ‘don’t shop – give up shopping’. I said chose a small store, owned by people you can identify, when you really need something. She agreed to never shop at Wal-mart again!

Another passerby, this time a young white man with a military hair cut, cheered us on as he passed saying: ‘yes, support our troops, bring ‘em home NOW – and I’m military. I’m with you all the way!’ Then he reiterated: “I’m military, I say bring our troops home NOW”.

None of the shoppers were hostile or flipped us off. One very wealthy-looking older white straight couple dressed to the nines hurried by. I attempted to give the woman a flyer & she shook her head no and then shot me a disgusted look over her shoulder when I said “please don’t buy at Wal-mart, especially war toys”.

We speculated why the police did not arrive to ask us to move – maybe they were called but didn’t make it a priority; or maybe with this last huge law suit Wal-mart lost, they’re being more careful. Or maybe because the parking lot includes customer parking for many other stores – a pretty unique situation for Wal-mart I believe – they stayed back. Security did wish us a happy new year as we left though! When I mentioned 2006 is the year we say enough, basta, and end war, the two guards just smiled broadly!