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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

Friday, November 24, 2006

Here comes the Sergeant

I return from parking several blocks away – I don’t want to give this officer reason to pursue my truck.

I see more officers have arrived, almost outnumbering demonstrators – I HATE that. When will the police not outnumber us but more importantly, when will they rush to a demonstration with the intent of protecting our constitutional rights to practice democracy? And not with the intention of silencing us?

An officer is speaking with one of the wimmin, who turns to point me out with obvious relief to the officer.

I smile at him, noting his rank, and immediately mention his officer who needs training – the one that thinks my 6 wheels don’t constitute the 6 wheels pictured on the sign. He agrees to look into it.

Then he begins: we really shouldn’t be there. It will become very busy. Why don’t we go somewhere else.

When I assure him we are here to stay – our banners are out by now, both of the hot pink “No Buying while Soldiers are Dying” as are the intense photos of dead and dying Iraqi children displayed in the midst of the WITS shoes – he concedes we have the right to be there but not the shoes.

I tell him the shoes are an integral part of our demonstration. He doesn’t want them here. I ask him to look carefully at the shoes & I tell him this is the 33rd time in the past 3 weeks we have set this WITS action up around the state of California. I ask him if he knows this is part of a national action.

I reiterate we’ve set this up 33 times and have never been forced to remove the shoes. I look him in his pleasant, smiling face and tell him I sure hope I haven’t come to my home town to have my constitutional rights blocked by the San Francisco police.

He pauses, then passes the buck to his lieutenant, motioning to one of the many police cars now illegally parked along the curbs, saying he’s the one who wants them moved.

Again, I tell him they are part of our action. He says they/we are a hazard to the public. I say we’ve already compromised and moved them from in front of the buildings. He says when more people arrive, they will trip over them. I point out that most of the shoes are surrounding the trees. I concede the ones in the pathways between the trees we will move. It is better that the shoes are around the trees anyway – it allows us to place the Real Face of War photos against a tree trunk in the midst of the shoes.

This configuration is very powerful.

Again, he motions to the dark police car & says he’ll check with his lieutenant if that is a good compromise (my word).

He tells me the lieutenant is allowing us to be there but he warns me that the Department of Public Works will be there to pick up abandoned property on the sidewalk.

Again, I allow some of my exasperation to fill my words. “You know these shoes are not abandoned but are part of our protest.” I protest to his friendly smiling face.

I have to thank our first tenant at CodePINK to make me realize that smiling, friendly faces don’t necessarily mean jack shit. It’s amazing what some people think they can say with a beatific smile.

I had to smile as beautifully and ask “do you think that is legal, for the Department of Public Works to confiscate the tools of our action?”

He wants to leave as badly as I want to return to the action. Later he finds me to tell me the lieutenant has allowed us to stay – with the shoes and all – and that he spoke with their legal department and they are allowing us the shoes; i.e. dpw will not be confiscating anything from us that day!

Oh the police….


  • At 13/12/06 9:36 AM, Anonymous sandrat979 said…

    Only a tasteless group of wimmin(women) would hold a protest with pictures of dead and dying children. Weather they be Iraqi or American it does not matter! Lady, replace that Iraqi childs face with the picture of your own childs face and see how you like it! Because if you do not stop all of this protest bs the troops will not be there when we need them here at home. Being strong against terrorism is the only thing that has kept us safe on our own soil. If you do not understatnd that thenn you are stuck on stupid! Only a moron will support someone who says that they want to wipe us off the face of the Earth. Or tells us to convert before it is too late. You may want to bow to mecca but I certainly don't and won't. You better start listening to who you are supporting and understand that they mean what they say


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